Eurovision Song Contest entrants must be checked out (2023)

MILAN —Eurovisionthe fever is in full swingItaly.

The European singing competition, which traditionally had a limited hold on the country, became a big thing after national music heroesMoonlightwon the competition last year and brought home the annual edition of the event along with the trophy.

As the championship also catapulted the rock band to international fame - taking them across the globe, from the stages ofAmerican Music AwardsandCoachellatoGuccibillboards — the Italian audience and local new artists began to see the event with new eyes, realizing that it offers a great platform for visibility and to achieve success.

The benefits of being the host country - in terms of tourist influx and all the resulting sales and promotion that trickled down to various industries - also helped to raise awareness of the competition, which was launched in 1956 and boosted other major international careers, including e.g. by Abba and Céline Dion, who won the competition in 1974 and 1988 respectively.

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Now the pressure is on the class of 2022, which gathered this week in Turin ahead ofEurovisiongrand final on Saturday. Italian participantsMahmoodand Blanco are tasked with hosting the event on national soil, and while they may be seen as among the favorites, they will face serious competition across all fields, from music tomodeand social influence.

Mode-wise, they will have an advantage, as both have a deep relationship with the industry. Mahmood has already appeared in campaigns for Burberry and most recently in the front row of several shows, from Vtmnts to Prada, which he chose to wearEurovisionsemi-final earlier this week.

Blanco, aka Riccardo Fabbriconi, is a long-time Valentino ambassador, with Pierpaolo Piccioli foreseeing his success by choosing the artist for the Boiler Room music project last year, before dressing him on many occasions, including the Sanremo music festival that saw him and Mahmood the golden ticket to Turin. Most recently, Blanco appeared inValentinos "Portrait of a Generation" advertising campaignphotographed in London, strategically released in the run-up to the competition. At the same time,Calvin Kleinmade his move Stateside, sharing on his social channels photos of the artist wearing the brand during his first trip to New York.

Eurovision Song Contest entrants must be checked out (3)

Fashion houses capitalize on the cross-generational appeal of both Mahmood and Blanco, their different approaches to masculinity and influence on social networks, starting with Instagram, where they have 1.6 million and 2.1 million followers respectively.

If the Eurovision trophy was handed out based on this number, it would be hard to beat them, but still not impossible, as Britain's entrant Sam Ryder alone has 3.7 million followers. His popularity on TikTok - where he has 12.4 million fans - further helped put him on the bookies' list of favorites to win on Saturday, promising a strong U-turn for the country - last year it scored zero points.

Eurovision Song Contest entrants must be checked out (4)

Since the main rule of the competition is that countries cannot vote for their own songs, the Italians might have looked to familiar faces for support, including Achille Lauro, another performer with long-standing ties to Gucci, competing under the flag of San Marino, or Emma Muscat, who has participated in a local talent show and is representing Malta at the competition. Yet they both failed to make it through to the semi-finals on Thursday, leaving the local crowd to direct its votes elsewhere.

Overall, more than pre-calculations, the immediate emotion evoked during the diverse spectrum of performances and their ability to surprise viewers with extravagant costumes, creative sets and lighting are the assets that truly set the Eurovision contest apart. Finland's The Rasmus, making a comeback to the European scene, may trigger nostalgia in Millennials; Poland's Ochman and his poignant lyrics can send shivers down your spine, while Moldova's Zdob şi Zdub & Advahov Brothers are set to leave audiences equally engaged and amazed with their folksy sound and colorful performance.

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Eurovision Song Contest entrants must be checked out (5)

Here, WWD rounds up the can't-miss shows:

1) Ukraine: Kalush Orchestra

It would be easy to point to the Ukrainian hip-hop band as a winner simply because of the global situation, but solidarity for a country affected by an ongoing war is only one reason to cast votes in favor of the Kalush Orchestra .

The band's entry, "Stefania", and its performance have all the ingredients to leave a mark on the competition. A mix of musical styles, from ethnic motifs to rap verses and a haunting chorus that sticks to the brain: checked. Folk costumes, one different from the other, from embroidered waistcoats, fuchsia bucket hats and blanket-like gatherings to musicians covered in colored fringes: the check. Breakdance interlude: controlled. Singing in the original language, which is not mandatory, but fully respects the original mission of the competition to celebrate diversity and honor its own culture: super controlled.

The band was named after the Ukrainian city of Kalush, and one of the group's members already appeared on the Eurovision stage last year with his other band, Go_A, which was one of the strongest entries in 2021. Talk about keeping traditions alive.

Eurovision Song Contest entrants must be checked out (6)

2) Greece: Amanda Georgiadi Tenfjord

Don't be fooled by Amanda Georgiadi Tenfjord's young age. The Greek contestant has a strong stage presence and killer vocals, even when he interprets the poetic "Die Together" song.

Born in 1997, after spending her early life in Greece, Georgiadi Tenfjord moved to Norway with her family, where she studies medicine along with focusing on her songwriting.

With its subdued lighting and subdued set made of empty chairs scattered across the stage, her performance will offer a reprieve from the flashy extravaganza the pageant is known for. Still, the singer's style will shine brightly as she is supported by the Greek fashion designerCelia Krithariotiin his Turin mission. The ethereal opalescent dress worn during the semi-final added to the magic of her performance, while offstage the artist and designer chose to make a bolder statement, with Georgiadi Tenfjord wearing a fuchsia strapless dress as she walked Eurovision's signature turquoise carpet at the event's opening night.

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3) Holland: S10

S10 is the moniker of Dutch singer Stien den Hollander, who has made a name for herself in the local alternative pop scene. She will represent her country with the ballad "De Diepte", which provides another touching song with its personal lyrics.

With her natural image and signature long blonde mane, S10 is ready to make a point also fashion-wise as she collaborates withfor the competition. Dutch designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren dressed her in a long tulle dress for press engagements; a statement pink floral number from their"Surreal Shoulder" Spring 2022 haute couture showfor the event's opening ceremony, and a black coat with an elongated tail and trousers from the same collection for her performance.

Eurovision Song Contest entrants must be checked out (8)

4) Spain: Chanel

Being in the so-called "Big Five" with France, Germany,Italyand the U.K., Spain is automatically in the grand final, with Chanel Terrero turning up the heat under the nation's flag.

The singer, dancer and actress was born in Havana but raised in the European country, which should score some points thanks to her fierce performance of "SloMo", rich in choreography - and also hair.

With more than a decade of musical theater experience, having appeared in productions of "The Lion King," "Flashdance," "The Bodyguard" and "Mamma Mia," as well as dancing on stage with Shakira at the 2010 MTV Europe Music Awards, Terrero will set focuses on her dancing skills alongside her vocals in her debut single, ready for the dance floor this summer.

In addition to the hit - which was composed by a team of songwriters who have collaborated with the likes of the Black Eyed Peas, Britney Spears and Ricky Martin - Terrero will stand out for his style. While on the turquoise carpet, she turned heads thanks to a fiery red ruffled tulle number by It-Spain, on stage she will wear a matador-inspired costume bejeweled with crystal motifs byGreat Spain.

Eurovision Song Contest entrants must be checked out (9)

5) Serbia: Construction

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This is how the beginning of the "In Corpore Sano" song by the Serbian artist Konstrakta - called Ana Đurić - translates into English.

Staged with a concept between an artistic performance and a beauty routine, Konstrakta's song may sound too quiet for those unfamiliar with the Serbian language, but it is actually steeped in irony and social commentary. Konstrakta sings while washing her hands, surrounded by five people who form her chorus, and tries to answer the initial question by analyzing different elements, starting from hydration, with a funny undertone, while her piercing blue eyes look directly into the camera . However, as the song progresses, the lyrics evolve into a critique of the Serbian healthcare system and a satire on the importance placed on the body over mental and emotional status.

The artist kept things light and engaging by introducing an insistent beat and clap in the chorus and a simple hand dance that could easily infiltrate TikTok for one of its fleeting trends.

Eurovision Song Contest entrants must be checked out (10)

6) France: Alvan and Ahez

Last year France'sBarbara Praviin second place with a sophisticated performance that epitomized a certain Frenchness, from the song's title, "Voilà," to her Christian Dior outfit. This year it's a completely different beat.

The country sent Alvan and Ahez on representation to show that there is more to France than just Parisian allure. Alvan, both hailing from the region of Brittany, is a multi-instrumentalist electro artist, while Ahez is a vocal group committed to celebrating its regional heritage by writing and singing in Breton.

They joined forces to mix these different musical genres in the Breton song "Fulenn", which they will interpret in a performance with a powerful staging rich in laser lights and pyrotechnic effects. Coordinated black looks with intricate golden embroidery and sequins will also play their part in the show.

Eurovision Song Contest entrants must be checked out (11)

7) Norway: Subwoofer

Norway's entry may not win the competition, but will certainly triumph in the meme arena. The band Subwoolfer consists of two performers in suits and ties and yellow masks in the shape of a cartoon wolf, in addition to DJ Astronaut playing the decks behind them on stage. Not amazed yet? Their song is titled "Give That Wolf a Banana" and comes with a catchy melody that can easily get lots of votes from the audience for fun, but is likely to find some resistance from technical juries. Still, the band is probably what everyone remembers from this year's edition.

Eurovision Song Contest entrants must be checked out (12)

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FAQs

What are the rules for Eurovision entrants? ›

The song cannot be a cover or sample another artist's work. The song must be original with regards to song writing and musical instrumentation. The singer/s must be 18 years or older. Composers and song writers may only submit one entry.

Can anyone enter the Eurovision Song Contest? ›

To take part in the Eurovision Song Contest, you need to win a national selection or be selected by one of the participating broadcasters. Everything starts with sending in your song! Note that most broadcasters set their deadlines to submit songs somewhere between September and December.

How are Eurovision contestants decided? ›

The song and artist can be selected through a televised national selection show (or shows), an internal process, or via any other means they decide.

Can a singer go to Eurovision twice? ›

A longer list of artists have notched up three Eurovision appearances, among them Sweden's Carola – who won the contest in Rome in 1991, also appearing in 1983 and 2006 – and Malta's Chiara, whose best result saw her finish second in Kyiv in 2005.

Who gets through automatically in Eurovision? ›

The UK, France, Spain, Germany, and Italy are known as The Big Five and automatically qualify for the final. These countries' broadcasters make the biggest financial contribution towards the contest, and so automatically get to compete.

How Eurovision voting works? ›

The most recent system was implemented in the 2023 contest, and sees each participating country award two sets of 12, 10, 8–1 points to their ten favourite songs: one set from their professional jury and the other from televoting, with only televoting used in the semi-finals, and both jury and televoting in the final.

Can Americans vote in Eurovision? ›

Americans can also vote for the very first time. People can vote for their favorite act using the dedicated app or online.

Do you have to be born in a country to represent them in Eurovision? ›

No rule has ever been implemented to limit the nationality or country of birth of the competing artists; many competing countries with a small population, such as Luxembourg and Monaco, were regularly represented by artists and composers from other countries, and several winning artists in the contest's history have ...

Why do some countries automatically qualify for Eurovision? ›

The Big Five (formerly Big Four) are the countries who make the biggest financial contribution to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). A rule was created in 2000, which meant the Big Five all automatically got a spot in the Eurovision final, regardless of previous performances.

Why are there no live instruments in Eurovision? ›

Until 1999, there used to be a live orchestra to accompany musicians through their performances but that was scrapped as a cost-cutting measure just before the millennium. Now musicians must sing along to a backing track. The official Eurovision rules state there must be no live, plugged in instruments played on stage.

Do Eurovision singers sing live? ›

Eurovision is known for its live music and quirky acts. The main vocals of the competing songs must be sung live on stage.

How are Eurovision juries chosen? ›

A Jury must be appointed by the broadcaster to vote in the semi finals and the final. It must consist of five members from the music industry (singer, DJ, composer, lyricist or producer) and must have a fair balance of age, gender and profession.

Do Eurovision contestants sing original songs? ›

Active members of the EBU and invited associate members are eligible to compete; as of 2023, 52 countries have participated at least once. Each participating broadcaster sends one original song of three minutes duration or less to be performed live by a singer or group of up to six people aged 16 or older.

Which artist has won Eurovision the most? ›

ABBA is the most successful Eurovision Song Contest winner. The Swedish pop band won the contest in 1974 and has enjoyed phenomenal success ever since, despite officially splitting up in 1983.

Who is the only singer to have won the Eurovision Song Contest twice? ›

Seán Patrick Michael Sherrard (born 13 May 1954), known professionally as Johnny Logan, is an Irish singer and musician. He is best known for being the first performer to win the Eurovision Song Contest as a lead singer twice.

Which countries pay the most for Eurovision? ›

The cost to enter Eurovision varies from country to country, but the countries known as the "Big Five" - the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain - pay the most to enter.

Why is Israel in Eurovision? ›

While many often think that a country needs to be part of Europe to take part in Eurovision, that is not the case. Israel has taken part in the Eurovision Song Contest every year since 1973 as the country has been represented by a national broadcaster which is part of the European Broadcasting Union since 1957.

How did Céline Dion get on Eurovision? ›

In 1990, she released her first English-language album, Unison. She was chosen to represent Switzerland at the Eurovision Song Contest 1988 in Dublin with the song Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi after sweeping away the competition in the Swiss national final.

Why can't the UK vote in Eurovision? ›

Why were voters in the UK not allowed to vote in the first Eurovision semi-finals? Traditionally in Eurovision, the countries who do not take part in the semi-finals are not allowed to vote. Voting is limited to only the countries that are taking part in that particular heat.

Why is there a big five in Eurovision? ›

Stories have said that the rule was developed at first to appease Germany, which had failed to qualify for the 1996 contest through the audio-only qualifying round (it would have been relegated due to a last-place finish in 1995). All five of these nations have won the contest at least twice.

Why are non European countries in Eurovision? ›

How non-European countries can join Eurovision. To participate, a country must have a broadcaster that is operating within Europe as part of the EBU. It is then up to that broadcaster to choose their performer either through a national, televised, selection process or via an internal selection.

Why can't the US be in Eurovision? ›

The obvious answer is that America isn't in Europe. But many nations outside of the continent take part. To participate, a country must have a broadcaster that is operating within Europe as part of the EBU.

Is Eurovision bigger than Super Bowl? ›

The United Kingdom is hosting Eurovision, the biggest, and strangest, live music event on the planet. More people watch the competition than watch the Super Bowl. This year's musical extravaganza is taking place in Liverpool, with a grand finale on Saturday.

Has an American ever won Eurovision? ›

1. Katrina Leskanich and Vince de la Cruz - UK (1997) Lead singer Katrina Leskanich and bandmate Vince de la Cruz are the only Americans to have ever won Eurovision - when they competed as part of their band Katrina and the Waves.

Can you sing in your own language in Eurovision? ›

The rules concerning the language of the entries have been changed several times. In the past, the contest's organisers have sometimes compelled countries to only sing in their own national languages, but since 1999 no such restriction has existed.

Do countries pay to be in Eurovision? ›

This is why we, along with the other four "Big" countries, don't have to go through qualifying and are automatically put through to the final each year. However, all 37 countries must pay a fee to enter, and the total for all entrants comes to around £5 million combined.

Why is Australia allowed in Eurovision? ›

The invitation was extended to them on the basis that they're huge fans of Eurovision in Australia, with the show having been broadcast on SBS there every year since 1983. As special guests in 2015, they were qualified directly to the final, and did rather well indeed.

Why don't Turkey participate in Eurovision? ›

TRT announced that it would not participate in the 2013 contest on 14 December 2012, citing dissatisfaction with the rules of the competition. TRT specifically cited changes to the voting system, in which a jury was introduced and the televote's influence was decreased to 50%.

What countries are not in Europe but in Eurovision? ›

Several countries geographically outside the boundaries of Europe have competed: Israel, Cyprus, and Armenia, in Western Asia, since 1973, 1981 and 2006 respectively; Morocco, in North Africa, in the 1980 competition alone; and Australia making a debut in the 2015 contest.

Why is Luxembourg not in Eurovision? ›

Following Luxembourg's twentieth place finish in 1993 and a string of bad results, the country was relegated from competing in 1994 according to the then Eurovision rules. However, RTL did not return in 1995 and officially withdrew from competing in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Does Eurovision use autotune? ›

Of course, the Eurovision Song Contest does not allow for Auto-Tune. That means that the MGP 2023 winner really does need to know how to sing.

What is banned on stage at Eurovision? ›

Ok, so what items are banned for anyone attending Eurovision? Items not allowed inside the M&S Liverpool Arena for this year's Eurovision Song Contest include: CDs (in case you still own one), flags, signs or banners (like, what?!), stink bombs (fair), umbrellas (unfair) and selfie sticks (a Facebook mum staple).

Can you win Eurovision twice in a row? ›

Luxembourg does the double

Luxembourg became the first country in the history of the competition to win the contest twice in a row. The winning performer, Anne-Marie David, tried her luck again in 1979 when she competed for France and came third.

Did ABBA actually sing live? ›

Usually ABBA performances on TV were lip-synched. However, there also are several special and interesting ones. ABBA pre-recorded several special arrangements with or without new vocal tracks for their TV performances and then mimed to them at the actual show, sometimes they also really sung live on stage.

Which artist became famous after singing in Eurovision? ›

Back in 1988, long before My Heart Will Go On, Celine Dion was a young 20-year-old singing on behalf of Switzerland. She won Eurovision by a single point and went on to become one of the best-selling female singers in the world.

Why did Celine Dion represent Switzerland? ›

How did Celine sing for Switzerland? Because the Swiss Eurovision committee invited her to represent Switzerland. In 1988, you did not have to be a national of the country you were representing.

How much does it cost to vote in Eurovision? ›

It costs 15p per call to vote in Eurovision on a mobile. If you call on a landline, you'll be charged 15p plus whatever your network access charge is. Voting isn't free on the app, either – as the app will take you to the shortened mobile number in order for you to cast your vote. So, you'll still have the 15p charge.

Can Russia vote in Eurovision 2023? ›

Eurovision 2023: Russia will not be able to vote in the “Rest of the World” category! An interesting change coming to Eurovision 2023 is the introduction of the “Rest of the World” category, which means that people from non-participating countries will be able to vote for their favorites in this year's contest.

Was Taylor Swift in Eurovision? ›

Taylor Swift is one of the biggest names to participate in the contest. She has participated in 3 editions, and participated 5 times.

What are the rules for Eurovision singers? ›

All vocals must be performed live. No more than 6 people can take part in the performance. The song must not have been publicly released before 1st September; it should not have been performed in public or officially published on any media including but not limited to radio, TV and the Internet*.

Can anyone enter Eurovision? ›

To take part in the Eurovision Song Contest, you need to win a national selection or be selected by one of the participating broadcasters. Everything starts with sending in your song! Note that most broadcasters set their deadlines to submit songs somewhere between September and December.

What is the biggest selling Eurovision song of all time? ›

The record-winning total still stands to this day in the contest. The song 'Save Your Kisses For Me' was the biggest-selling Eurovision song of all time selling a phenomenal five million records worldwide, topping the charts in 33 countries.

Has anyone become famous from Eurovision? ›

The most notable winners who have gone on to become international stars are ABBA, who won the 1974 contest for Sweden with their song "Waterloo", and Céline Dion, who won the 1988 contest for Switzerland with the song "Ne partez pas sans moi".

Which country has never won Eurovision the most? ›

Malta is not the only country to have never won the Eurovision contest, but it takes the cake for spending the most amount of years without a win.

Who did Celine represent in Eurovision? ›

The 1988 Eurovision Song Contest is best remembered for one most exciting voting sequences in the history of the contest. Switzerland's entry Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi performed by Céline Dion beat the runner-up, the United Kingdom's Scott Fitzgerald by just a single point.

Did Celine Dion get famous from Eurovision? ›

She gained international recognition by winning the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest, where she represented Switzerland with "Ne partez pas sans moi".

Which is the only country to have won 3 Eurovision Song Contest in a row? ›

Eurovision Song Contest

According to the competition's official website, the Emerald Isle has won the event on seven separate occasions and is the only nation to have won three years in a row. Ireland's last victory came when Eimear Quinn was crowned the winner with the song "The Voice" in 1996.

Why do 5 countries automatically qualify for Eurovision? ›

The five nations are lucky enough to avoid the dreaded semi-finals by making large financial contributions to the Eurovision Song Contest. The group first became formed in 2000 when a rule change saw the chance to pay to get to the grand final.

Do Eurovision contestants get paid? ›

Many of the countries pay hundreds of thousands to participate in Eurovision. However, it remains unknown how much it pays their performers, as this is at the country's discretion. In some countries, the entrants are expected to fund their own performances.

Can an American join Eurovision? ›

The Eurovision Song Contest has been broadcast in the America since 1971 and there are a lot of fans across the pond, but they have never participated in the yearly event. The obvious answer is that America isn't in Europe. But many nations outside of the continent take part.

Why does Monaco not participate in the Eurovision? ›

Monaco participated in the contest 21 times between its debut in 1959 and 1979. Afterwards the country withdrew from the contest for financial reasons and lack of interest.

Which country was banned from Eurovision? ›

Russia was banned from the Eurovision Song Contest following its invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Why doesn t britain have to qualify for Eurovision? ›

United Kingdom and the "Big Five"

In 1999, a rule change allowed the United Kingdom, along with France, Germany and Spain, to automatically qualify for the final (irrespective of their recent scores and without entering a semi-final), due to being the biggest financial contributors to the EBU.

Do performers sing live at Eurovision? ›

Eurovision is known for its live music and quirky acts. The main vocals of the competing songs must be sung live on stage. According to the Eurovision website, there is a comprehensive set of rules concerning participation that has evolved over the decades.

Why is Australia in Eurovision? ›

Australia joined Eurovision in 2015 to commemorate the competition's 60th anniversary. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and Austrian host broadcaster ORF allowed this given Eurovision's popularity in the country.

How many times can you vote for a country in Eurovision? ›

Fans can vote over the phone, by text or via the Eurovision app, with each person can vote up to 20 times but voters will be unable to select their own country's entry.

How is the Eurovision paid for? ›

As host broadcaster, the BBC will foot the bulk of the bill — an estimated $10 million to $21 million — while the U.K. government has said it will contribute $12 million. That budget is topped up by ticket sales, sponsorship deals and revenues from online platforms.

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