With her pop song “Tattoo,” Swedish singer Loreen defeated 25 other countries to be voted the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday night.
She first won for Sweden in 2012, and this is her second time winning over the hearts of the judges and audience.
The colorful, spectacular competition, which was hosted in the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, England, in keeping with the 2023 competition’s theme of “united by music,” recognized the spirit of tenacity of the war-torn Ukraine. The host nation is often the victor of the competition the year prior. However, the 2022 runner-up, Britain, is hosting this year’s competition on behalf of last year’s winner, Ukraine, which is now embroiled in a war.
— Eurovision Song Contest (@Eurovision) May 13, 2023
You’re stuck on me like a tattoo-hoo-hoo, Loreen sang in her hymn as she reeled on stage between two illuminated platforms. The act seemed to be more of a traditional pop choice for a competition that has lately favored the bombastic and fantastical act.
Second place went to Käärijä of Finland for their industrial metal/hyperpop smash “Cha Cha Cha.” The song emerged as NPR’s pop culture critic Glen Weldon’s top pick. The “catchy-as-hell bop,” Weldon wrote, “exists to get you up and moving; imagine a Crossfit instructor shouting at you in Finnish.”
Another notable performance, at least in the eyes of the American public, came from Austria, who came in at number 15. Shortly after Teya & Salena approached the stage, their song “Who the Hell is Edgar?”—which is, of course, about being possessed by the spirit of gothic horror author Edgar Allen Poe—began trending on Twitter in the United States.
Let 3 represented Croatia by performing “Mama!,” a stage piece with anti-war overtones that was more overtly disguised with mustaches, drag, and rockets — imagine demented Sgt. Pepper.