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ES Magazine’s epic guide to Eurovision 2023

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

It’s a beautiful spring day, the sun is shining, the birds are tweeting and flowers are blooming. [inhales deeply] Smell that? It’s Eurovision season and it’s officially taken over the UK!

Yes, you heard me…  the annual song contest is finally here and the live final is being hosted tomorrow by Liverpool on behalf of Ukraine.

Since it all kicked off in 1956, the world has witnessed some of the most (um?) colourful characters that Europe has to offer, and this year will be no different, with loads more wonderfully weird acts set to hit the stage.

Ahead of the big bonanza, ES Magazine has put together your own epic Eurovision guide. It’s time to get united in the madness…  let the games begin!

The ultimate, must drop names

Who’s the top of the top, the cream of the crop, the best under the sun? These are the acts everyone is talking about right now …

Loreen (Sweden)

You heard right! Loreen will grace the stage once again after already donning her Eurovision crown in 2012. But will she reach a second euphoria? Well, the pundits think so, her latest offering ‘Tattoo’ is set to win with over 40 million streams according to Party Delights. Looks like the stars might be aligning again for the Scandinavian pop star.

Mae Muller

Love or hate the competition, us Brits are patriotic to a fault and will gallantly cheer on whomever represents us each year (and be subsequently crushed when we inevitably lose). Though this year, it would seem the odds may just be in our favour as Mae Muller proudly waves the flags for Britain this Saturday. The 25-year-old Londoner’s leading song ‘I Wrote A Song’ became the first UK entry in ten years to make the Top 40 singles chart in its first week. So get the bubbly ready, she just might do the unthinkable.

Käärijä

Expect to cha cha the night away in your rhinestone hotpants with Finland’s entry Käärijä. The 29-year old hardcore rapper is hoping he’ll do a little better than last year’s attempts who came 21st out of the competing 25. And if his charm is anything to go by, he’s certainly a breath of fresh air and definitely one to keep an eye on.

The annual European Met gala

Whether you consider Eurovision a bit of a cultural cringe or you’re a firm fan, after running for 67 years, there’s no denying the spectacle has it’s share of (down-right strange), fashion-worthy moments.

Alessandra the loyal royal

King Charles could only dream of sparking a level of patriotism as great as Norway’s with Alessandra for entry. Never short of embellishments, her crowning glory was a big bling tiara and delicate lace gloves.

Alessandra, representative for Norway, attends the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)
Alessandra, representative for Norway, attends the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)

Wild child Theodor Andrei

Romania’s entry reminds us what it’s like to be young and have fun with fashion. Donning an outlandish trench coat and a pair of John Lennon-style sunglasses that he found at Liverpool souvenir shop, Theodor Andrei is responsible for our obsession with zebra print… not that we’re complaining.

Theodor Andrei, representative for Romania, attending the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)
Theodor Andrei, representative for Romania, attending the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)

Blanca Paloma

Weird and wondrous— need we say much more? An all white feathered fit and dangling strand dresses that dripped down like blood, conjured up scenes from Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria. Dakota Johnson writhes around the dancefloor in the film so Blanca Paloma could stomp the blue carpet.

Blanca Paloma, representative for Spain, attending the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)
Blanca Paloma, representative for Spain, attending the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)

Loreen

Back to snatch her second trophy, Loreen is not about to retreat from Eurovision’s limelight anytime soon. Far from shy, the pop-singer sported a sexy wolf-cut, a tight-fit boho nude slip and long french tipped-talons.

 (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)
(Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)

La Zarra

France’s leading entry almost had us falling down the rabbit hole with an Alice in Wonderland-inspired fit. La Zarra pulled off a whole new level of femininity with checker-box patterned voluminous dress and wide-brimmed monochromatic hat.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Mae Muller

Muller gave us permission to dress down. And we love her for it! Cloaked in a powdery lilac drape dress with hijab, the brit took a more understated approach to the often garish, gimmicky costuming of the contest.

Mae Muller, representative for The United Kingdom, attending the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)
Mae Muller, representative for The United Kingdom, attending the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)

Tvorchi

In a poignant tribute to their home country, Ukraine’s pop duo wore red and black suits bearing the names and weights of babies born prematurely during the war. Using fashion as a tool for change, they hope to raise funds for young children.

Tvorchi, representatives for Ukraine, attending the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)
Tvorchi, representatives for Ukraine, attending the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)

We wish it could be Eurovision everyday! The bops! The bangers! The ultimate playlist!

Eurovision is everyone’s favourite holiday after Christmas and just like Christmas it’s full of cheesy one hit wonders you’ll still be cranking in your car months later.

Here’s our top 5 anthems to kick off the festivities…

ABBA— Waterloo

Coming in at no 1, (deep breath please) ABBA. (No way!) I mean, did you really expect anyone else? You can’t mention Eurovision without ABBA also being said in the same breath and for good reason. The Scandinavian pop group represented Sweden in 1974 with this chart topping hit, that’s quite literally still the best that can’t be beaten.

Måneskin— Zitti e Buoni

Sexy, sweat-slicked and always silly. After winning the song contest in 2016, they officially put Italy on the map with their entry hit Zitti e Buoni. Rocking like bastards, they were and continue to be a goddamn revelation. Listen to the opening riff of the glam rock ballad, to experience rebirth.

Salvador Sobral — Amar Pelos Dois

The 33-year -old singer-songwriter stole the show with this spiritually healing number, reaching a landslide victory with 758 points winning both the jury and televote. It’s a touching ballad-bop and a tribute to his sister *tear slowly streams down face*. When you play it for the first time *whimpers dramatically*, you’ll reach a new era of your life.

Buck’s Fizz— Making Your mind Up

We’ve made our mind up on this one and it’s definitely going to Buck’s Fizz at number four. Gee whizz, really? Buck’s fizz? Yes, they’re more than the Btec ABBA stereotype that precedes them, the iconic 80s pop band, which first formed specifically for the contest, wowed the world in 1981 with this show-stopper, catapulting them into greatness.

Conchita— Rise Like A Phoenix

You’ll likely remember when a bearded lady ascended from the ashes into victory, lifting the Eurovision trophy for Austria. That was Conchita back in 2014— Thomas Neuwirth— who’s dynamic single and smooth, silky vocals dared us to be different. Avante-garde, progressive she did things on her own terms, taking the genre of Europop ballad genre to the top of the charts.

How to survive the scousers … your own personal dictionary

A massive good luck to all Europeans experiencing the scouse accent for the first time this week. It’s unique and very identifiable.

Casually drop these classic sayings into convo and prove you’re not a “wool”! (someone from outside of Liverpool, see also “plazzy Scouser”)

If you want to express something positive say “Go ed, nice one lad” “Sound” “Boss”

Example: “Our entry this year is proper sound, Mae Muller is gonna be boss on Saturday.”

If you want to express something negative it’s “proper doin’ me head in” or “arlarse”

Example: “Everyone’s saying we’re not gonna win and it’s proper doin’ me head in!”

Somewhere busy is “chocka block” 

Example: “Went down the docks before, it was chocka — took us ages to get into the arena, we were gutted.”

To avoid something is to “swerve it” 

Example: “Swerve the docks, me mate just said it was chocka block today”

A pint is a “bevvie” “ale”

Example: “Get the ale in lad, it’s Eurovision season!”

If you’re disappointed, you are “devoed” “gutted” 

Example: “Proper devoed Ireland didn’t qualify this year, it’s arlarse on them.”

Someone or something fake is “plassy” “jarg” “blag”

Example:“Got some proper jarg trainees in town.”

The biggest insult? “you’re a divvy” “muppet” “meff” “nit” “ming”

Example: “You don’t like Eurovision? You’re a meff you mate.”

We asked Londoners, who do you wish was representing the UK at Eurovision?

“I would really like to see Joe Lycett do Eurovision this year. I think he’s a national treasure and he’d just be brilliant at it really.” Bob, Waltham Forest

“I would like to see RuPaul represent the UK. I know he’s not from the UK, but he’s fabulous so we’ll make an exception.” Cornelius, Brick Lane

“I wanted Rina Sawayama to be the UK’s Eurovision contestant. I heard all the rumours and got really excited, she makes great music.” Coryn, North London