Thu. Apr 18th, 2024
Eurovision 2023 UK UkraineEurovision 2023 UK Ukraine

Can you believe it? Just weeks to go! Already a lot of pre-Contest concerts have taken place and there are more to come. Already OGAE members are placing votes and some of the OGAE’s have already announced their results, and there’s more results to come. Already, Liverpool is getting the stage all set up for the big event at the Echo Arena. Already the acts are getting their performances fine tuned and choreographed for their big night. Already we are listening to the entries and making our own favorites charts and predictions. And already my last blog of reviews!I saved my blog of the host nations for last. Why two host nations? Last year, Ukraine won for “Stefania.” Some claim it was the ‘sympathy vote, because of the war. I found it a deserving winner and the one entry that best fit the description ‘on fire.’ The UK was runner-up with “Space Man” by Sam Ryder. Also an excellent song in its own right. Anyways the norm is that the winning nation would host next year. Ukraine could not host because the war continued and conditions did not look safe for it to host. Even now the war is still happening and Ukraine still does not look safe enough to host Eurovision.

This will be the first Eurovision not hosted by the previous year’s winning nation since 1980. Second-place finishers UK agreed to host Eurovision. That has been the case before where a nation would earn the right to host by winning but can’t. Either for financial issues, political issues or even a religious holiday falling over that time. This will make it the ninth time the UK will have hosted Eurovision. The Ukrainian broadcaster UA: PBC, the Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine, agreed to allow the BBC to broadcast on their behalf. Liverpool has been decided to be the host city. Despite the UK and BBC hosting, there will be a strong Ukrainian presence as one of the four hosts is Ukrainian Julia Sanina. In addition, there will be numerous Ukrainian performers during the interval acts of all shows. Interesting that the two host nations are the last two Eurovision nations in alphabetical order! Did you notice that?

Just like the Big Five entries, host nation entries are intriguing in their own way too. I’m sure most of us have no problem with the host nation entries having the privilege of automatically being in the Grand Final. They’re the hosts, right? Some host entries may do something experimental like sing in an obscure national language or national dialect. Some will feature a culture known to few outside of the country. Some will be experimental in genre or style. Or some will send a dud in hopes that they don’t have to host twice in a row. Yes, hosting Eurovision is that expensive! Or some can even send a gem like Italy last year, Azerbaijan in 2012 and Serbia in 2008. 

Without further ado, here’s my look at the two host entries of Liverpool:

Performer: Mae Muller
Song: “I Wrote A Song”

For many years, the UK seemed like a nation whose Eurovision legacy was a thing of the past and didn’t seem to get it about the new era of Eurovision. That all changed last year when Sam Ryder blew the crowds away with “Space Man.” The second-place finish of the song made it the UK’s first Top 3 finish in twenty years and first Top 10 finish since 2009! Enter Mae Muller, who was internally selected. She delivers a song that is very catchy. It’s an empowering song one can dance to. Even now, there’s no shortage of love as it’s charting and right in the middle of totaling the OGAE points, finds itself in the Top 10 currently.

ESC Chances: Yes, people are hooked to its empowering message and danceable beats. I’m hooked too. With almost three weeks to go until the Grand Final, the buzz of the song risks dying out. Especially as other songs with lower ranks can step their game up. Many great Eurovision songs have suffered on Contest night because of a bad stage show. It’s sad but it’s a fact. Look at how many UK songs from the 2010’s that had the potential for a good Eurovision finish fell flat because of their bad staging or boring show. Staging will either make or break this song too. Let’s hope there are some good choices!

Listen to Mae Muller’s Eurovision 2023 song:

Eurovision 2023 United Kingdom: Mae Muller – “I Wrote A Song”

Performer: Tvorchi
Song: “Heart Of Steel”

In every Eurovision they’ve performed in since their debut in 2003, Ukraine has never missed a Grand Final. Those who’ve seen their past entries know why. This year’s entry Tvorchi won’t disappoint. This is a great song with attention-grabbing music and great musicianship. The lyrics will surprise you as the vocals may be soulful, but it’s about rebellion in the face of war. Instead of a song about sadness during war, it’s about strength and refusing to back down. Just like the Ukrainian people have been during the war. Also excellent they added in some lyrics in Ukrainian.

ESC Chances: Ukraine is known for delivering the good stuff when they don’t host. The two previous times they hosted, they delivered songs that could be labeled either “experimental” or a “dud,” depending on your tastes. This is a song that’s something and I just hope the juries and the crowds see it too. Betting odds have them third most likely to win. Despite the possibility of the “sympathy vote” from last year, there may be a lot of sympathy voters again this year, but not as many. Nevertheless I’m confident this song can at least finish in the Top 10.

Listen to Tvorchi’s Eurovision 2023 song:

Eurovision 2023 Ukraine: Tvorchi – “Heart of Steel”

And there you go. Those are my reviews of the host network nations at Eurovision 2023. Now that I’m all done reviewing all the songs, it’s time to wait for the Contest to begin. May the best song win!

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