While the song contest was underway, Russian missiles hit the Ukrainian city of Ternopil, home of Ukrainian contestants Tvorchi.
Swedish singer Loreen won the Eurovision Song Contest with her power ballad “Tattoo” in a colorful, eclectic music competition clouded by the second year of war in Ukraine.
The diva from Stockholm beat acts from 25 other countries on Saturday night to take the continent’s pop crown at the competition in Liverpool, United Kingdom.
Finnish singer Käärijä came second in a close battle with the Nordic neighbors.
Loreen scored 583 points after combining the public and jury votes, narrowly beating Käärijä who scored 526.
Loreen previously won Eurovision in 2012 and is only the second performer to take the prize twice, after Ireland’s Johnny Logan in the 1980s. The win also ties Sweden with Ireland as the nation with the most wins, with seven each.
The UK is hosting this year’s Eurovision on behalf of Ukraine, which won last year but was denied the right to host the contest due to Russian aggression and ongoing war.
As Eurovision was underway, Russian missiles hit the western Ukrainian city of Ternopil, home to electro-pop duo Tvorchi, this year’s contestants in the song contest from Ukraine. Local authorities, writing on Telegram, said the attack hit warehouses belonging to commercial enterprises and a religious organization, injuring two people.
Tvorchi said this week that they hope to draw attention to their country’s fight for freedom with the performance of their song “Heart of Steel”, inspired by Ukrainian forces defending the devastated city of Mariupol in the face of a massive Russian. invasion
The Ukrainian entry placed sixth in the competition.
TVORCHI performed the song “Heart of Steel,” inspired by the Ukrainian defenders of the ruined city of Mariupol.https://t.co/uWTvDKTuaB
— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) May 13, 2023
Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra rode a huge wave of support from across Europe to win last year’s contest.
Under the slogan “united by music”, this year’s song contest combines the soul of Liverpool — the English port city that gave birth to The Beatles — with the spirit of war-torn Ukraine.
The sights and sounds of Ukraine ran through the show, starting with an opening film that showed 2022 winners Kalush Orchestra singing and dancing in the Kyiv subway, with tunes taken by UK musicians – including Kate , Princess of Wales, presented. playing the piano.
The folk-rap band themselves took to the stage at the Liverpool Arena in a giant pair of outstretched hands, accompanied by massed drummers.
Liverpool has embraced Eurovision, and Ukraine, with businesses across the city flying Ukrainian flags and a program of cultural events introducing locals to the Eastern European country’s art, music and food.
But organizers said they rejected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s request to make a video address at the song contest citing the non-political nature of the show.
Founded in 1956, Eurovision is a European cultural institution that has produced breakout stars — ABBA and Celine Dion are both past winners — alongside performers whose careers have sunk without trace.
Participants from 26 finalist countries entered the arena on Saturday in an Olympics-style flag parade, accompanied by live performances from Ukrainian acts, including Go A, Jamala, Tina Karol and Verka Serduchka, all past Eurovision competitors.
Now in its 67th year, Eurovision bills itself as the world’s biggest music contest, an Olympiad of party-friendly pop. Each contestant has three minutes to mix catchy tunes and eye-catching visuals into performances capable of winning the hearts of millions of viewers.
Loreen became the bookies’ favorite and won the most votes from the professional judges in the complex Eurovision voting system.
Around 6,000 fans watched the show inside the arena, and tens of thousands more in the Liverpool fan zone and at big-screen events across the UK.
The global television audience is estimated at 160 million.