STORY CONTINUES BELOW THESE SALTWIRE VIDEOS
By Paul Sandle and Sarah Mills
LIVERPOOL, England (Reuters) -Sweden’s Loreen gained Eurovision 2023 with the tune “Tattoo” in Liverpool, northern England, on Saturday, turning into the primary girl to triumph twice within the contest.
Finland’s Käärijä, a green-bolero-sleeved rapper, got here second. He gained the viewer vote with “Cha Cha Cha”, nevertheless it was not sufficient to overhaul Loreen’s lead after the outcome from the juries within the 37 taking part international locations.
“I’m significantly overwhelmed,” Loreen instructed reporters.
Evaluating her win to 2012, she mentioned: “It is like coming again to a household.”
Loreen is the one particular person after Eire’s Johnny Logan to win the competition twice, and her victory places Sweden stage with Eire as essentially the most profitable Eurovision international locations, 49 years after Abba’s well-known victory.
The 67th version of the musical competition was held within the “Metropolis of Pop” on behalf of Ukraine, final yr’s winner, which was unable to host this yr due to Russia’s invasion.
Organisers needed to stroll a tightrope between placing Ukraine centre stage and steering away from any overt political messages, which aren’t allowed within the contest.
They largely succeeded.
Kalush Orchestra, 2022’s winner, combined video recorded in Ukraine with dwell efficiency in Liverpool in a gap sequence that included a cameo look from Britain’s Kate, Princess of Wales, enjoying the piano.
However as the competition was underway, Russian missiles hit the western Ukrainian metropolis of Ternopil, dwelling to electro-pop duo Tvorchi, this yr’s entry from the nation.
Native authorities, writing on Telegram, mentioned the strike had injured two individuals.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was barred from addressing worldwide viewers – who numbered 160 million final yr – by contest organiser the European Broadcasting Union.
It mentioned that granting his request, which was made with “laudable intentions”, can be in opposition to the non-political nature of the occasion and its guidelines prohibiting making political statements.
Nonetheless, the present, watched by hundreds in particular person on the banks of the River Mersey and by hundreds of thousands on TV, was infused with the spirit of Ukraine, notably in a rendition of “You will By no means Stroll Alone” collectively sung within the enviornment and in Ukraine and which introduced many within the viewers to tears.
The 26 acts within the last spanned musical types from ballads to heavy rock to rap, and included a handful of weird performances that the competition is famend for.
Germany completed backside of the desk, simply behind Britain, however no nation obtained the dreaded “nul factors.”
Pam Minto, a 37-year-old help employee, mentioned she hoped her metropolis did Ukraine proud.
“We have simply beloved the entire occasion proper throughout Liverpool from begin to end. It is simply been superb,” she mentioned.
(Reporting by Paul Sandle; extra reporting by David Ljunggren; modifying by Jason Neely and Leslie Adler)