Loreen wins ESC 2023 for Sweden

Sweden’s Loreen has won the Eurovision Song Contest for the second time, easily claiming the jury’s vote with her song Tattoo. Käärijä from Finland won the hearts of the viewers. A meaningful competition or gratuitous kitsch?

Ilta-Sanomat (FI) /

Käärijä already a legend

Käärijä has done a lot for all Finns despite his not coming in first, Ilta-Sanomat believes:

“Even if Käärijä is not remembered as a Eurovision winner, he is a Eurovision legend. His song will be played and celebrated at Eurovision parties for years to come. But Käärijä did something even better for Finland than winning the Eurovision Song Contest: he created a phenomenon and thrilled the entire Finnish public. ... In the course of his Eurovision journey, Käärijä taught us much more than just that green is a great colour: he taught us that it’s okay to be yourself and have fun. It’s okay not to speak English perfectly. It’s okay to hug one another. It’s okay to say you’re really tired.”

Dagens Nyheter (SE) /

Just what SVT and Sweden need

With Loreen’s victory Sweden, which is now next in line to host the ESC, will have to spend a lot of money. But it will be worth it, says Dagens Nyheter:

“The bar has been set high for [public broadcaster] SVT — the British put on an impressive Eurovision Song Contest this year: luxurious, professional, powerful. SVT also needs to live up to the fantastic standards of its own most recent Eurovision Song Contest in 2016. Next year we will doubtless have a debate about the financial priorities of public broadcasters — Eurovision needs to be produced but at the same time SVT is expected to save 100 million kroner (about 9 million euros) by 2025. Let the debate start like this: Eurovision is exactly the kind of show public broadcasters should be focusing on: funny, silly, educational and border-crossing.”

Hanna Fahl
Lidové noviny (CZ) /

Quickly forgotten and not very informative

Lidové noviny is less enthusiastic:

“Yes, the ESC attracts large audiences in many countries. After all, it’s organised by the TV channels that form part of the European Broadcasting Union and it would be sad if they couldn’t generate enough publicity for it. The ESC says nothing about the state of the world each year, or even the state of Europe’s pop music scene. ... When it comes to a dispute between rational thinkers and defenders of the contest and its alleged prestige, it’s good to ask two key questions: ‘Do you remember who won last year? And if so, do you know at least one other song besides the winning song?’”

Ondřej Bezr
Causeur (FR) /

A dead star

The contest has lost any character it ever had, Causeur sums up:

“The ESC is neither a celebration of the song nor a celebration of Europe. Instead of being a forum for Europe’s musical diversity and creativity it’s become a showcase of Anglo-Saxon standardisation adorned with a pseudo-engaged yet conventional discourse. ... In short, it presents the perfect image of an anational and above all acultural Europe: an empty, neutral, indefinable event with no character of its own, which shines only through the refraction of external influences — a dead star.”

Alexis Jouhannet