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Loreen of Sweden wins the Eurovision Song Contest

Loreen of Sweden performs during the Grand Final of the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool, England, on Saturday.
Martin Meissner
/
AP
Loreen of Sweden performs during the Grand Final of the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool, England, on Saturday.

Updated May 13, 2023 at 9:53 PM ET

Swedish singer Loreen was named the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest for her pop ballad "Tattoo," beating out 25 other nations at the event's final on Saturday night.

It's her second time winning over the hearts of the jury and public, having first won for Sweden in 2012.

The eclectic, extravagant event honored war-torn Ukraine's spirit of resiliency as it stuck to the 2023 contest's theme, "united by music," held at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, England. Traditionally, the host country is the winner of the previous year's event. But since last year's winner, Ukraine, is in the middle of a war, 2022 runner-up Britain is hosting this year's event on its behalf.

Loreen, sandwiched between illuminated platforms, reeled on stage as she belted the lyrics to her anthem — "You're stuck on me like a tattoo-hoo-hoo." The performance tended toward a more classic pop pick for a contest that has in recent years favored the bombastic and fantastical act.

Notable runners-up

Käärijä of Finland took second place with the industrial metal-meets-hyperpop banger "Cha Cha Cha." The song emerged as NPR's pop culture critic Glen Weldon's top pick. The "catchy-as-hell bop," Weldon wrote, "exists to get you up and moving; imagine a Crossfit instructor shouting at you in Finnish."

Another standout act, at least according to the American public, came from Austria, ending in 15th place. "Who the Hell is Edgar?" by Teya & Salena (a song about being possessed by the ghost of gothic horror writer Edgar Allen Poe, of course) started trending on Twitter in the U.S. shortly after the duo took the stage.

Representing Croatia, Let 3 performed "Mama ŠČ!," a hallucinogenic trip of a stage production bearing an anti-war message, not so thinly veiled with mustaches, drag and rockets — think deranged Sgt. Pepper.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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