Sweden’s Loreen won Eurovision 2023 with the song “Tattoo” in Liverpool, northern England, on Saturday, becoming the first woman to triumph for a second time in the contest.
Finland’s Käärijä, a green-bolero-sleeved rapper, came second. He won the viewer vote, but it was not enough to overtake Loreen’s lead after the result from the juries in the 37 participating countries.
“It was crazy,” Loreen said in an interview broadcast to reporters after her win. “I’m thankful.”
Loreen is the only person after Ireland’s Johnny Logan to win the contest twice, and her victory puts Sweden level with Ireland as the most successful Eurovision countries.
Cyprus came 12th with Australian Cypriot Andrew Lambrou.
Australia’s Eurovision hopefuls Voyager have performed strongly at the song contest, placing ninth out of a tight field of just 26 acts in the grand final.
The synth metal rock band from Perth delivered a flawless performance of their track Promise, with lead singer Danny Estrin appearing in an 80s car flanked by other band members.
Australia landed a respectable 151 points, picking up 12 points from both Portugal and Iceland’s jury votes, and 21 points from the public vote.
The 67th edition of the musical festival was held in the “City of Pop” on behalf of Ukraine, last year’s winner, which was unable to host this year because of Russia’s invasion.
Organisers had to walk a tightrope between putting Ukraine centre stage and steering clear of any overt political messages, which are not allowed in the contest.
Kalush Orchestra, 2022’s winner, mixed video recorded in Ukraine with live performance in Liverpool in an opening sequence that included a cameo appearance from Britain’s Kate, Princess of Wales, playing the piano.
But as the contest was underway, Russian missiles hit the western Ukrainian city of Ternopil, which is home to the electro-pop duo Tvorchi, this year’s contestants from Ukraine.
Local authorities, writing on Telegram, said the strike had injured two people.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was barred from addressing worldwide viewers – who numbered 160 million last year – by contest organiser the European Broadcasting Union.
It said that granting his request, which was made with “laudable intentions”, would be against the non-political nature of the event and its rules prohibiting making political statements.