Eurovision – the result

Time for a bit of post-match analysis. We can have all sorts of theories about what entertainment is but last night it was very much on the box[1]. It was Liverpool. It was in solidarity with Ukraine. It was Europe and beyond. When Reith put it that the BBC’s role is to: inform, educate, entertain, he must have had Eurovision in mind. Connecting broadcasters together, in unity across Europe is a wonderful achievement. Every year we are reminded of the things that draw us together.

For all the devices we carry around and snap five second glimpses of the world, they cannot compete with a large scale, live, in the moment experiences, shared with millions of other people. Especially when that massive event springs positivity from every direction.

Not only that, but the talent on displays in Liverpool this year was astonishing. Fine that one or two acts tipped the balance of the crazy scales to the limits. The bulk of the acts were briming over with enthusiasm, excitement, and electricity.

To the technical staff who made the staging work – what an incredible job. The ability to create impact and spectacle is a great gift. And no doubt, extremely hard work.

Eurovision has taken place with a war raging in Europe. Lives are being lost. Communities are being devastated. This is a good reason to remind ourselves that the world can be a better place and that better place is worth fighting for.

As per previous years, the voting system is a mysterious concoction of strange machinations. As complex and opaque as a social media algorithm. As the votes roll-in so expectation builds. It’s cruel too. Sudden leaps from single figure votes to hundreds of votes can be seconds away.

It was sad to see the UK entry fall by the wayside. To me it was a good song, but it peaked at average.

I was converted to Sweden. It’s not easy to put into words. The story telling wasn’t overblown. However, the act drew my attention like a powerful magnet to a chunk of steel. As the staging ascended so the song climbed. Its pacing didn’t race. It burrowed deeper into my mind.

Sweden’s Loreen had a magical attraction that captivated both judges and the public. Commiserations to Finland. Loreen is a worthy winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2023. 

For me the star of the show was a song. A song that is so inspiring in difficult times. Singing this song is open to everyone and the moment you sing the song, the words become true. You’ll Never Walk Alone[2] with hope in your heart. Thank you, Gerry & The Pacemakers.  Thank you, Liverpool. 

[1] Or on the tube as we once said, when it was a tube. It’s TV. 



Eccentricity, excess and exuberance. That’s entertainment. Eurovision is a big mark on the calendar. Each year it’s getting bigger. It has songs and it has a contest and much more besides.

This year’s coverage is a bit OTT. Now, I like the occasional bacon and eggs for breakfast, but I don’t want it for lunch and dinner too. And for supper I’d like anything but bacon and eggs. Media’s May menu is a video age version of Monty Python’s Spam sketch. That’s how I’m getting to feel about the wall-to-wall coverage. Yes, you can have too much of a good thing.

That’s what’s special about Eurovision. It comes but once a year in a blaze of musical colour and preposterous lyrics. Then it’s gone only to rise like a phoenix in the year to come.

This scribbling is no criticism of the massive stage set and inventive use of every form of graphical illusion. Even some music. Liverpool is proving to be a number one venue for this extravaganza. The stage set and the mastery of its technical complexities are outstanding.

Please, no more Beatles illusions. We get it.

Earlier this evening, BBC Radio 4 gave us proof that Artificial intelligence (AI) has a way to go. It’s attempts at writing funny jokes are beyond a joke. With that in mind, maybe the writers of the hosts scripts for the semi-finals were using AI. I’d cringe even if I didn’t hide behind the sofa. I know British humour doesn’t always translate well but it’s better if it’s aimed at real humans.

Musicality is all well and good, it’s the weirdness that makes an act stand out. Staging a whole song around Edgar Allan Poe[1] is mind bending. Well, you might say, why not? I wish Austria well with their catchy use of Poe, Poe, and more Poe.

Australia is not in Europe. Who said that? It doesn’t matter. They are 100% welcome. Especially when they bring a regular rock rampage to the stage. Their efforts are not going to win. That much doesn’t matter. Their stadium rock show number is still going to do well.

I not sure why but my soft spot goes to Belgium. That guy has got a star quality that shines bright. Is he a contemporary version of Boy George? Not sure. Then there’s Cyprus. At the other end of the scale, he’s auditioning to be a Greek God. Thunder and lightning. Very Very Exciting (to quote Queen).

Sweden has the drama. It’s a mega blast that dominates the arena. She could be the winner.

Saturday evening should be a memorable triumph. Let’s hope it is for the sake of unity and good fun.

POST: Liverpool is twinned with Cologne in Germany. I’ve always found that a good match. Two major cities with a strong sense of their identity and place in the world.