Eurovision Song Contest has given us some great global stars over the years, like Celine Dion, ABBA, and Maneskin. The over-the-top competition is back in action this year, with an incredible slate of new songs indicating some tough competition. This week’s two semi-final airings whittled things down from 37 to 25 countries, who will participate in the May 13th showdown in Liverpool. Though Ukraine won last year’s ESC, the country could not host in Kyiv given the Russian invasion. For the fifth time in ESC history, the UK took over hosting duties for the previous year’s winner. There were also some slight adjustments to the voting rules, with the the semi-finals being determined through televoting. Saturday’s finals will be the same combination of jury votes and televoting that it has been in previous years.
Over the past couple years, there has been a renewed fervor and interest in the widely watched Song Contest, thanks to young fans and the viral sensation of 2021’s winners Maneskin. Could this year’s competition create another huge global sensation? Ahead of the finals, here are our top five songs competing in Eurovision this year.
Sweden: Loreen, “Tattoo”
Loreen took home the top prize for Sweden back in 2012. If she wins again this year, she’ll be the first woman to win Eurovision twice. It helps that her latest entry, “Tattoo,” a soaring ballad that explores what it would be like to say goodbye to a lover, has an exceedingly high chance of helping Loreen make history. Her powerhouse vocals take centerstage on this cinematic and larger-than-life track.
Finland: Käärijä, “Cha Cha Cha”
Eurovision is known for bringing maximum weirdness and fun to the world stage; it’s always a delight when the songs that provide the silliness are also seriously awesome. Finland’s pop-metal entry by Käärijä is a celebration of partying after a long week. It’s boisterous and thrilling, with a stage presence to match.
Ukraine: TVORCHI, “Heart of Steel”
Ukraine is one-to-watch this year, after taking home the top prize at 2022’s contest. Because they won last year, they are automatically entered into the finals, but luckily TVORCHI is competing on the country’s behalf with a powerful and pertinent warning about the dangers of nuclear warfare.
United Kingdom: Mae Muller, “I Wrote a Song”
The UK is one of the “Big Five” countries in the Song Contest that are automatically entered into the final due to their broadcasters making the biggest financial contribution to the Contest. This has led to some big ups and downs for UK’s entries. After placing last at 2021’s Eurovision, the UK had a major comeback last year with runner-up Sam Ryder. Mae Muller could keep the hot streak going, thanks to her bubbly pop anthem about choosing a bop over violence after getting your heart ripped to shreds.
Belgium: Gustaph, “Because of You”
This is actually the third Song Contest Gustaph has sung in, having provided backing vocals for entries Hooverphonic and Sennek in years past. This year, he’s representing Belgium front and center with an inspiring LGBTQ+ pride anthem that could bring ballroom to the Eurovision stage. His style and stage presence has garnered major comparisons to the icon Boy George from Eurovision’s viewers.