25 March 2023
The biggest controversy in this year’s national final season for the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool occurred in Poland. With claims of nepotism and rigged voting, Blanka Stajkow won ahead of the public’s favourite, Jaan. Lithuania had a few disgruntled fans when Ruta Mur finished second, Gustaph was a surprise winner in Belgium, particularly over Cherine, while Australia not even holding a national final upset much of the fan base. Of course, there were several countries that had some excellent songs that were unfortunate to be up against formidable opponents.
Jaan – Gladiator
The big outcry in Poland was the jury ranking Jaan only fourth behind Blanka in first. That meant with the public ranking Blanka second behind Jaan in first, Blanka won overall. Had the jury ranked Jaan second, then it would be a tie and the winner would be the public’s preference (Jaan). The nepotism angle is that Blanka had links with those on the jury, specifically the girlfriend of Allan Krupa, the son of the jury chairperson, Edyta Gorniak. To make matters worse, TVP, the Polish broadcaster, never released the individual votes of each of the judges. So that made the results all the more suspicious. Of course, the question still remains as to whether Gladiator was good enough to be a true national final injustice anyway. You be the judge!
Blanka – Solo
In showing Jaan’s performance, it would be remiss not to show Blanka performing her song, Solo.
Clearly evident is both Jaan and Blanka were poor vocally, and part of that looks like a technical problem.
Alicja – New Home
Alicja tried again for Eurovision after the 2020 event was cancelled. In finishing sixth of 10 with New Home, even she wasn’t to her usual vocal standard.
Cherine – Ca m’ennuie pas
Cherine, with her adorable uptempo pop classic, could only finished fourth at Belgium’s Eurosong 2023. She was a fan favourite going in, and even though only 10 points (278 to 268) separated the winner (Gustaph – Because Of You) and Cherine, fourth was still a surprising result. The somewhat garish, childish, staging was cited by many as the problem. Personally it’s ok, and the entry was definitely superior to all those ahead of it. The performance below is from an unofficial source so here’s Cherine’s music video in case it gets deleted.
Ruta Mur – So Low
Ruta finished second to Monika Linkyte and Stay. So Low is an interesting song. Not sure about the vocal style.
Beatrich – Like A Movie
I actually preferred Beatrich, who brought a fun, rock edge to her song. She finished third.
Portion Boys – Samaa Taivasta Katsotaan
This is one of those “only in Finland” entries, and not just because it’s in Finnish. The whole thing was crazy! Of course, Portion Boys were up against Käärijä with Cha Cha Cha at UMK 2023 and second was a good result.
Smash Into Pieces – Six Feet Under
No one had a chance against Loreen and Tattoo in Sweden. A shame because this was the best rock song ever seen at Melodifestivalen. The band finished a comfortable third.
Ollie – Venom
Classic rock in Estonia too! Second place for Ollie behind Alika with Bridges at Eesti Laul 2023. He would have won in most other years, so it was quite unfortunate to not only contend with Alika, there was also Bedwetters with Monsters in third place. They were another rock outfit, and probably took votes away from Ollie.
Eyjaa – I Was Gonna Marry Him
This Icelandic-Danish pair of sisters was my favourite from Dansk Melodi Grand Prix. Sadly they failed to make the super final (the top 3).
Dami Im – Collide
When Australia decided to pick their entry internally, much speculation and hope was for Dami Im to return after her second place in Stockholm in 2016. Could this have been her song? It was only released a day ago and is stunning.
Sweden: Loreen Wins Melodifestivalen 2023 With Tattoo – Review
Finland: Käärijä with Cha Cha Cha wins UMK 2023 – Review
Pingback: Liverpool 2023: My Top 37 – All Songs Reviewed | Mr Eurovision Australia·