Sweden’s Loreen wins Eurovision 2023
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Sweden has been crowned the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2023, with singer Loreen beating 25 fellow finalists to the top spot.
Loreen, who actually won the contest when she represented her country for the first time round in 2012, has done it again with 'Tattoo', which has already topped the Swedish national record chart – Sverigetopplistan – since being released in February.
According to the Eurovision website, Loreen has a fair few tattoos herself – her favourite being a quotation in Arabic, which translates as ‘You suffer, you learn, you change.’
She says she lives by this phrase, which is tattooed on her side.
From industrial metal to ballads and pop, this year has seen Austria, Portugal, Switzerland, Poland, Serbia, France, Cyprus, Spain, Sweden, Albania, Italy, Estonia, Finland, Czech Republic, Australia, Belgium, Armenia, Moldova, Ukraine, Norway, Lithuania, Israel, Slovenia, Croatia and the UK all battle it out in the grand final in Liverpool.
Earlier in the evening, Loreen left viewers thinking her performance was a tribute to Wolverine thanks to some particularly long nails, while Finland's 'Cha Cha Cha' song had those watching with subtitles on in hysterics.
Last year’s contest was won by Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra, who were crowned victors having amassed 631 points from both public and jury votes.
However, due to the ongoing war against Russia in the country, organisers decided it was too risky to host it there for 2023 – as is customary for winning nations – meaning duties fell to the UK, which ended as runner-up.
Members of Kalush Orchestra were actually fighting on the frontline in the Ukrainian war before being given special permission to compete in Eurovision.
After their big win, they told Eurovision TV: "We feel a big responsibility, since we received permits to leave Ukraine to be here.
“We have a duty to be useful to our country at this moment. We didn't have any opportunity to rehearse together for a long time, but now, we've gone into 'extra mode'.
"We're all very hard working, and we're all doing what we can to make this happen. We've enjoyed seeing people singing our song, even if they didn't know all the words. We really appreciate seeing people supporting Ukraine, and supporting us."
The UK’s Sam Ryder produced the country’s strongest finish in decades with ‘Space Man’, having won the jury vote for a total of 466 points.
He fared better than any other entry since 1997, which was the last time the UK won Eurovision with Katrina and the Waves’ ‘Love Shine a Light’.
Since then, the UK has finished rock bottom several times - including 2021's entry, where James Newman managed to score zero points.