Eurovision 2023 — Auditory Ruminations

This page contains my incidental thoughts about the Eurovision 2023 finals. I will be adding short remarks repeatedly on that Saturday afternoon. The event will start at 2:00 PM Central Standard Time and you can watch it without commercial interruptions if you subscribe to Peacock Premium. Also, I will be crossposting these auditory ruminations on my mastadon account. (Here are my 2022 ruminations — wrapped up in a blogpost).

(Listed most recent ruminations at the top).

A day later, I rewatched both the opening Stefany medley and the closing Liverpool Songbook medley. Both were extraordinary and elegantly staged. The task of having to feature Ukraine’s music alongside Eurovision’s and Liverpool’s seemed an insurmountable task, and yet they pulled it off. Next year’s event about Sweden will probably have a LOT of Abba (and Loreen obviously).

While I am not exactly surprised to see Loreen on top, I was disappointed that Estonia and Spain didn’t get better televoting. Probably the most interesting thing is that Kaarija’s Cha Cha Cha did so well. (It’s the Verka Serduchka for this year). Aha, it looks like Ruslana showed up in the final medley. Here’s the Honest Vocal Coach’s opinion.

It was lovely to see Ruslana show up in the final “Liverpool Songbook” medley during the last Interval. Past Ukrainian singers were well-represented. I love the cameos, though it must be tiresome to have to sing the same song all the time.

My picks: Spain, poland, cyprus, estonia, israel, slovenia, France, Armenia, Israel, Slovenia. I would vote for Estonia or Spain. I could be happy with Slovenia or Israel winning. Personally the songs of both Ukraine and UK and Austria were my favorite.

I’m really am loving the lyrics of UK’s song. Very fun. The song deserves to be a top tier song.

Croatia’s song and performance is certainly the strangest thing i’ve seen at this event.. Also, whatever the message of the song is diluted by the linguistic barriers

I am loving Slovenia’s boy band energy — never underestimate the power of the teenage girl voting bloc.

Israel’s song was great — So you wanna see me dance? Sexy teenage girl energy!

Lithuania had a good look and singing style, but the song seems almost too mellow for the contest.

Germany’s heavy metal entry underwhelmed me. It’s a good song and loved the presentation, but i find hard to imagine that now is the time for the contest to vote for a heavy metal song. Actually the lyrics and message is pretty interesting for a song in this genre.

Norway’s song seems too much Phantom of the Opera — like the Wonder Woman outfit though…

Ukraine’s Torchei is pretty mind-blowing. How can you not like a country that sends such a weird and funky (and almost punky entry).

Armenia’s FUTURE LOVER is a great song and concept, what a cute girl and performer. . followed by Moldova’s electro-folk. Both are amazing performances. moldova’s seems almost mystical. I don’t know if either type of performer ever actually wins this event, but these little gems make this event what it is….

i love the infectious dance song of Belgium — lots of style . It doesn’t feel very distinctive or memorable unfortunately. Won’t win, but will be an underground sensation

Australia always brings a great song and performance — and this is a great rocking song, but it’s too soon after Maneskin to have a serious shot. Loved the guitars though.

Czechia female empowerment song is of course great — love the rap style and clever visuals. just wanted to say that Russia 2021’s song did an incredible female empowerment song as well….

Love Finland’s very strange novelty song, but unfortunately it lives up to the stereotype of having a lot of gaudy and strange embellishments.

Estonia’s simple really was a charmer. Purely on the basis of the loveliness of her voice, she deserves to win the whole thing.

Like Italy’s song, but a little too distracted by the men jumping off the stairs…. A little too lowkey for me.

I love all the Albanian entries — always in their own language, ethnic, Turkish, balkan, full of heart and soul. Their songs seem a little too ethnic for a global audience; that’s why they never seem to come close to winning…

I love love Loreen — and the staging was nice and intimate. Still it’s a diva performance, a little over the top. I’m not voting for Sweden this year.0

loved the Flamenco stye elaborately staged Spain song. True to Spain’s roots and showing off her incredible voice. My fave so far.

Cyprus has the complete package. Charisma, simple melody, great voice, . Nice soaring song, Simon Cowell would go gaga about this singer.

Wow, France has a Huuuuuge dress. That aside, I love the style and costumes. has a chanteuse/retrodisco feel. I love this performance…

Serbia’s song had a great videogame song, but I wish there were more actual singing …..

Portugal has been doing lots of soulful folk songs over the last decade. It’s nice to see them trying something in a cabaret/nightclub style. Wow, great finish! I’ll clap to that!

SWITZERLAND Wow, could there be a more relevant song than that. Good song..

Portugal has been doing lots of soulful folk songs over the last decade. It’s nice to see them trying something in a cabaret/nightclub style. Wow, great finish! I’ll clap to that!

I love the valley girlish Edgar song by Austria, but don’t get the armies of dancing soldiers in the backscreen. Distracting (still good song though)

1:48 PM. Ok, I have my drinks, snacks, bluetooth keyboard, etc. I’m definitely ready to go!

1:20 PM. I cannot make predictions here, but here are my vague guesses (biased perhaps by my penchant for pretty female faces). I liked Israel, Czech Republic, Belgium, Poland, Estonia, Austria, Australia. But who knows? I love a lot of these.

1: 12 PM. It’s important to mention that this year several Balkan states decided not to participate because of the economic stresses from the Ukraine war. That’s a shame because each smaller nation brings a different and unusual song to the contest (even if they don’t win). Look for example at Moldova whose performances are always impressive. I particularly regret the absence of Bulgaria; they always put in great musical acts.

7:58 AM. Amusing to read the almost condescending coverage of Eurovision by US Media (Here’s NPR, CNN, NYtimes). They provide superficial information you could find from Wikipedia and use an amused and almost condescending tone about the event, treating it as an insignificant regional event….as if!

7:50 AM. Happy to report that Olympic ice skater Johnny Weir will be providing commentary on the Peacock stream. Last year his commentary was great, snarky and very well-informed.

7:40 AM. Happy to see some EV luminaries were featured on the Eurovision subReddit. Sam Ryder and Jamala.

7:30 AM. Here’s my 64 Youtube song playlist of Zany/offbeat EV songs. I just started a new Underrated Eurovision Youtube playlist (see below).

6:45 AM. Although it only recently became possible for Americans to watch Eurovision, I have avoided the Semi-Final competition because I didn’t want to spoil the surprise. Then last year I decided to watch the Semis — and had a lot of fun. More patter, lots of low-ranking songs which were nonetheless terrific!

6:30 AM All excited about today. While watching the semi finals and the “postcards” between each musical act, I felt very nostalgic about my years living in Europe. It was lovely to see scenes of Lviv, one of the greatest cities in the world! Here’s the first postcard batch, the second batch . (Here’s a listing of the actual places.

More later!

Here’s to the Losers

Not everybody can do well in Eurovision, but I want to note some amazing performances that nonetheless did very poorly in the competition. 2023 on top, other years below it. Here’s an Underrated Eurovision Youtube playlist I created. (Hmm, I need to remind myself of a few more — I’ll finish this list post-Eurovision.

  1. (2023) BEAUTIFUL SONGS NEVER WIN BIG THINGS. Burning Daylight is a terrific and uplifting sung by Mia Nicolai & Dion Cooper (Official Eurovision entry for Netherlands). Such a simple song, yet a standout performance which unbelievably didn’t qualify for the Eurovision finals. Have no fear. This song will endure with or without the Eurovision bump.
  2. (2022) River by Ochman was a terrific ballad, and Krystian Ochman is oozing with both charisma and talent.






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