Sweden wins Eurovision for seventh time, matching Ireland’s record

Singer becomes second person to win competition twice, equalling Johnny Logan’s record

Loreen of Sweden has won the Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool, becoming the first woman, and only the second person, to do so twice.

The singer, who previously triumphed in 2012 with Euphoria, narrowly beat Finland’s Kaarija after the public and jury votes were combined.

She had performed her anthemic dance-pop song Tattoo for the international voting public, singing from an illuminated enclosed space on the stage.

Her win means she equals the record held by Irish singer Johnny Logan, who triumphed at the contest in 1980 and 1987. It also means that this year’s pre-contest favourites Sweden are now level with Ireland’s record seven Eurovision wins.


Ireland did not feature in Saturday’s final at the Liverpool Arena. Dublin band Wild Youth, with their song We Are One, fell short in the first semi-final of the song contest on Tuesday. Ireland has not made the final since 2018, while it has not lifted the overall title since 1996.

Loreen’s win means Sweden will host the Eurovision for the 50th anniversary of Abba’s 1974 win with Waterloo. Abba also won when the contest was staged in the UK. The event took place in Brighton as Luxembourg, having won in both 1972 and 1973, declined to host it for a second successive year due to the cost involved.

Speaking after coming off stage, Loreen said: “It feels crazy. This is so surreal, man, I’m happy and I’m thankful, I’m thankful to all you guys out there that voted for me.

After she was announced as the winner at the M&S Bank Arena, Loreen returned to the stage and was handed the trophy by last year’s winners, Kalush Orchestra of Ukraine.

She said: “This is overwhelming. I’m so happy and I’m so thankful.”

The Ukrainian entry, the brooding electronic duo Tvorchi, scored a total of 243 points and placed sixth in the rankings.

Ukrainian presenter Julia Sanina, who is lead singer of the band The Hardkiss, was hugged by her co-hosts, Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon and Ted Lasso star Hannah Waddingham, as the show came to a close. Dixon said this year’s contest was something “that will live in our hearts for a very long time”.

There was disappointment for the UK’s entrant Mae Muller, who finished second from last. Muller scored only 24 points despite an energetic performance of her track, I Wrote A Song. Below her on the leader board was only Germany’s heavy metal band Lord Of The Lost with 18. Muller had hoped to continue the success of last year’s UK entry Sam Ryder, who finished second behind Kalush Orchestra.

Commiserations came from the BBC, who organised the contest in partnership with the European Broadcasting Union. The broadcaster’s official Twitter account posted: “Mae, we’re so proud of you and everything you’ve achieved at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.”

As the show ended, the British prime minister Rishi Sunak tweeted: “Liverpool, you’ve done the United Kingdom and Ukraine proud.

“What a fantastic celebration for #Eurovision2023 Congratulations @Loreen_Talhaoui. Sweden it’s over to you.”

The grand final on Saturday night featured a series of musical tributes to Ukraine, who would have hosted the contest this year had it not been for the Russian invasion. The night opened with a pre-recorded video featuring last year’s winners Kalush Orchestra – and a surprise appearance from the Princess of Wales, playing the piano.

They were joined by 2022 runner-up Sam Ryder playing guitar on the top of the Liver Building on the Liverpool waterfront, with Andrew Lloyd Webber on piano.

Former Ukrainian contestants Go_A, Tina Karol and Jamala, who won for Ukraine in 2016, performed in between this year’s hopefuls arriving for the flag parade.

But there was no appearance from Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who was barred from addressing the event. On Thursday producers the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said they had declined Mr Zelenskiy’s request to speak on Saturday over fears it could politicise the contest.

The move prompted criticism from Mr Sunak and his predecessor Boris Johnson, among other figures.

Despite rumours of an appearance from Liverpool-raised Beatles Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Ringo Starr, neither materialised during the final. – PA