Today marks one month – yes, just ONE MONTH – until the Eurovision Grand Final. I have spent the last few months intrenched in all of this year’s entries. As the first few entries were unveiled, there were a couple of standouts, but nothing grabbed me as my favorites for this year’s show. There were a lot of lack-luster, and not-my-jam songs it seemed. I began to genuinely wonder if this would be the year that I didn’t love anyone. There were ones that were good, Belgium’s “Because of You” by Gustaph, last year’s winning country Ukraine’s “Heart of Steel” by Tvorchi, Romania’s “D.G.T. (Off and On)” by Theodor Andrei, an unpopular opinion here, but Norway’s “Queen of Kings” by Alessandra…
But none that were knocking my socks off.
Until I was hit by a tidal wave.
Malta’s “Dance (Our Own Party)” by The Busker blew me away. The lyrics. The saxophone. The sweaters. I thought they were my favorites.
And then came France’s “Évidemment” by La Zarra blowing me even further away out on the Sea of Eurovision. It started off a little… boring… and I found myself thinking ‘Here we go, France has gone back to taking themselves far too seriously…’ And then the funky beat set in and I sat up a little straighter. Everything about her and her song is phenomenal. I cannot wait to watch her perform. It makes me disappointed she’s one of the Big Five, so will only perform once. She was my new favorite.
Then… then Finland came in like hurricane. A neon-green, puffy-sleeved, weird-but-cool-hair-cut hurricane, with “Cha Cha Cha” by Käärijä. The first time I watched his winning performance, I could feel my jaw just falling further and further open. He and his performance have everything. It absolutely SCREAMS with personality and weirdness. It has the funk, the catchiness, and quickly became a song I found myself skipping through my Spotify playlists to find.
On the heels of Käärijä, Germany was announced, “Blood and Glitter” by Lord Of The Lost. They are everything you would hope they would be based on those words alone. They were one artist I had heard of before, being adjacent to one of our infamous YouTube Music Video Rabbit Holes – a Eurovision post wouldn’t be complete without at least one mention of those.
So, this year, I do not have one favorite. I have four. While I unfortunately do not think The Busker boys of Malta will actually win – don’t get me wrong, I would LOVE it if they did! – I think the other three have a solid chance of winning. Providing Sweden’s already-won-Eurovision’s entry, Loreen, doesn’t walk away with it all. While I know I am new to Eurovision, I do not quite understand repeat contenders. Specifically when they already won once… Perhaps in this year’s coverage, Loreen will share!
Without further ado, and in the order of which I found them (not preference, I love them all equally!) here are my Top Four Favorites!
There are some others that I like quite a lot that I feel are worthy of being mentioned…
- Australia’s “Promise” by Voyager
- Czechia’s “My Sister’s Crown” by Vesna
- Moldova’s “Soarele şi Luna” by Pasha Parfeny
- Serbia’s “Samo Mi Se Spava” by Luke Black
- Slovenia’s “Carpe Diem” by Joker Out
You can find all the 2023 Eurovision entries’ official music videos here, or their winning performances here. All are worthy of a looksie!
I will close with my initial/final thoughts on all of this year’s participants!
- Albania: Albina & Kelmendi “Family Duje” – I do not like this one, at all.
- Armenia: Brunette “Future Lover” – While this one isn’t bad, it’s not really my thing.
- Austria: Teya & Salena “Who The Hell Is Edgar” – Interesting. I really don’t have another word for it. It’s one that has grown on my the more I have listened to it.
- Australia: Voyager “Promise” – I really enjoy this one. And that growl towards the end is SO unexpected.
- Azerbaijan: TuralTuranX “Tell Me More” – This one is a hard pass for me.
- Belgium: Gustaph “Because Of You” – I really like this one, as well.
- Croatia: Let 3 “Mama ŠČ” – I love everything this band and this song stand for.
- Cyprus: Andrew Lambrou “Break A Broken Heart” – Very catchy, but honestly feels a bit like anything you would currently hear on the radio.
- Czechia: Vesna “My Sister’s Crown” – I really like this one, as well.
- Denmark: Reiley “Breaking My Heart” – I never know how I feel about this one…
- Estonia: Alika “Bridges” – Not my jam.
- Finland: Käärijä “Cha Cha Cha” – Love it. Love him.
- France: La Zarra “Évidemment” – Love it. Love her.
- Georgia: Iru “Echo” – This is another one that grows on me the more I listen to it…
- Germany: Lord Of The Lost “Blood & Glitter” – I love it so much that I could die. This band is amazing.
- Greece: Victor Vernicos “What They Say” – The first time I heard this entry was as I am typing this… I feel that says all you need to know on how I feel about it.
- Iceland: Diljá “Power” – No one from Iceland will ever be Daði Freyr, but this girl… she is widdling her way into my heart.
- Ireland: Wild Youth “We Are One” – Regrettably boring and forgettable.
- Israel: Noa Kirel “Unicorn” – This one is a bit skewed… the first time I hear Noa’s song, it was a leaked version. And it was T E R R I B L E – I cannot fully express how awful it sounded. And the lyrics were… oof. So when her official video was released, it was pretty obvious it had had some major work done to it. Her live performance will be interesting. And you will never be able to say ‘unicorn’ or ‘phenomenal’ normally, ever again once you listen to this.
- Italy: Marco Mengoni “Due Vite” – Italy hit it out of the park in 2021 with Måneskin, and have seemingly settled to send utterly boring and forgettable acts since. It honestly sounds like one we’ve heard before.
- Latvia: Sudden Lights “Aijā”– This one is… ok. If there’s nothing else to listen to. A true disappointment following the entry for Latvia last year.
- Lithuania: Monika Linktyé “Stay” – No one from Lithuania will ever be The Roop. She has a lovely voice, but not really my jam.
- Malta: The Busker “Dance (Our Own Party)” – I love everything about this song.
- Moldova: Pasha Parfeny “Soarele şi Luna” – I really like this one, as well. And listening to the artist describing the inspiration for his performance is really cool.
- Netherlands: Mia Nicolai & Dion Cooper “Burning Daylight” – I’m sure this is for someone, but I don’t think it’s me.
- Norway: Alessandra “Queen Of Kings” – It’s a good song, but her singing sometimes comes across as screaming on the high notes…
- Poland: Blanka “Solo” – I really liked this one when I heard it on Spotify. It’s really catchy, and I could see it doing really well. Then, I watched her winning performance, and ooo boy, it was rough. She’ll be another one who’s live performance will be very telling.
- Portugal: Mimicat “Ai Coração” – Completely unexpected. I quite like it!
- Romania: Theodor Andrei “D.G.T. (Off And On)” – It’s a decent one. Not a favorite, not terrible.
- San Marino: Piqued Jacks “Like An Animal” – Another one where the first exposure I had to it was it’s terrible sounding video on YouTube. And upon listening to it on Spotify where the sound is fine, it’s…… there.
- Serbia: Luke Black “Samo Mi Se Spava” – This one is super weird, but I love it.
- Slovenia: Joker Out “Carpe Diem” – Slovenia understood the assignment this year!!
- Sweden: Loreen “Tattoo” – Because she’s already so popular and everyone loves her song, I was destined to not like it. But deep down, I do know it’s good. And she’s good. I just feel like she’s had her turn.
- Switzerland: Remo Forrer “Watergun” – This is a very serious one.
- Ukraine: TVORCHI “Heart Of Steel” – A strong entry from last year’s winning country!