🇺🇦 Ukraine • 🇪🇸 Spain • 🇮🇹 Italy • 🇩🇪 Germany • 🇫🇷 France • 🇬🇧 United Kingdom
• Selected entrant: Fatima Zahra Hafdi, known professionally as La Zarra, is a Canadian singer and songwriter based in France. She is set to represent France in the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 in Liverpool, United Kingdom, with the song “Évidemment”.
Biography. Hafdi was born in Montreal, Canada, to Francophone Canadian parents of Moroccan descent. During her childhood, she lived between Montreal and Longueuil, where her family finally settled. She rose to prominence in 2016, when she released her debut single “Printemps blanc”, in collaboration with French rapper Niro.
In 2021, she increased her fame with the single “Tu t’en iras”, which was regularly broadcast on radio and televisions. The single was certified platinum by Syndicat National de l’Édition Phonographique (SNEP). In the same year, La Zarra was nominated for the NRJ Music Awards, the leading French music awards, as Francophone revelation of the year, boosted in part by the success of her debut album Traîtrise.
On 12 January 2023, she was chosen by France Télévisions to represent France at the Eurovision Song Contest 2023, becoming the second Canadian singer to represent the country after Natasha St-Pier in 2001.
|Title||EP details||Peak chart positions|
As lead artist.
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Certifications||Album|
|“À l’ammoniaque/Mon dieu”||2020||—||Non-album singles|
|“Tirer un trait”||—|
|“Tu t’en iras”||75||
|“Santa Baby”||—||Non-album singles|
As featured artist
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Certifications||Album|
(Niro featuring La Zarra)
|“Les amants de la colline”
(Slimane featuring La Zarra)
Awards and nominations.
|2021||23rd NRJ Music Awards||Francophone Female Artist of the Year||Herself||Nominated||–|
|2022||44th Félix Awards||Revelation of the Year||Nominated||–|
|33rd SOCAN Awards||Revelation of the Year||Won||–|
• Selected song: “Évidemment” (Evidently) is a song by Canadian singer La Zarra, released on 19 February 2023. The song is set to represent France in the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 after La Zarra was internally selected by France Télévisions, the French broadcaster for the Eurovision Song Contest.
Eurovision Song Contest.
Internal selection. On 13 January 2023, France Télévisions officially announced that the broadcaster had internally selected La Zarra to represent France in the Eurovision Song Contest 2023, with the song officially released on 19 February 2023. According to La Zarra, the song she had created was made specifically for the Eurovision Song Contest.
On 16 February, La Zarra officially announced that the title of her song for the contest was “Évidemment”.
At Eurovision. According to Eurovision rules, all nations with the exceptions of the host country and the “Big Five” (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) are required to qualify from one of two semi-finals in order to compete in the final; the top ten countries from each semi-final progress to the final. As a member of the “Big Five”, France automatically qualified to compete in the final on 13 May 2023. In addition to its participation in the final, France was also required to broadcast and vote in one of the two semi-finals. This was decided via a draw held during the semi-final allocation draw on 31 January 2023, when it was announced that France would be voting in the first semi-final.
• Selected entrant: Lord of the Lost is a German industrial metal band from Hamburg, formed by singer and frontman Chris Harms. They are set to represent Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 with the song “Blood & Glitter”.
History. Lord of the Lost was founded in mid-2007 by Chris Harms as a solo project. While working on the initial songs and publishing them on MySpace, Harms received a lot of positive reception and realized that he would require a full band to play them live. He recruited other musicians from his friends in the Hamburg music scene to form the band and begin working on the first album. Harms originally called the project Lord, but changed the name of the band to Lord of the Lost to avoid possible name disputes with Lordi and The Lords. Before Lord of the Lost, Harms was a singer and guitarist of the rock band Philiae (1999–2004), a guitarist and second singer with the glam metal band The Pleasures (2004–2007), as well as a musician on various projects like Big Boy and Unterart.
The debut single Dry the Rain was released in 2009 and the debut album Fears was released in 2010 with the independent label Out of Line. While recording the second album Antagony Lord of the Lost went on an extended tour through 2010 which included international shows and festivals such as the Wave-Gotik-Treffen, the Wacken Open Air and the M’era Luna Festival.
In spring 2011, the band released Sex on Legs as the first single from their second album, Antagony. The album, considered their first concept album, was released shortly thereafter. Lord of the Lost toured in support of the album with the band Mono Inc. on their Viva Hades tour.
In summer 2012, Lord of the Lost released their third album Die Tomorrow. Just before the release, the band began working on their fourth album From the Flame into the Fire. In October 2012, Lord of the Lost opened for Letzte Instanz on their Ewig-Tour. Lord of the Lost started touring again in the spring of 2013 co-headlining on the Darkness Kills tour with Unzucht, and in September kicked off the We Are the Lost tour together with Lost Area. In October 2013, Lord of the Lost appeared as part of the Gothic Meets Klassik at the Leipzig Gewandhaus with the Zielona Gòra Symphony Orchestra.
In February 2014, drummer Christian Schellhorn left the band and was replaced by Tobias Mertens. In March 2014, the band played their first US tour, which was financed by crowdfunding. Within two months fans and sponsors raised US $12,775, surpassing the original goal of US $10,000.
In March 2015, Lord of the Lost released the pure acoustic album Swan Songs, which reached number 34 on the GfK Entertainment Charts. The live performances for the album took place on the Out of Line Weekender in Berlin in the same month.
In 2015, Lord of the Lost released the EP Full Metal Whore. The tour for the album used the motto “Make Love Make War” and was supported by the bands Darkhaus, Eyes Shut Tight, Vlad in Tears, and Erdling. In December 2015, they released A Night to Remember – Live Acoustic in Hamburg, the DVD and live CD from the acoustic tour during the previous spring.
The first single “The Love of God” from the album Empyrean was released in May 2016. This was followed by the band’s first major European tour Make Europe Great Again (M.E.G.A.) with Combichrist, Filter, and (at the German concerts) Rabia Sorda. Empyrean was published at the end of July 2016 and is the second concept album from the band.
The band followed Empyrean with their open air concert premiere as The Lord of the Lost Ensemble, an acoustic-classical band supported by classical musicians and the former drummer Christian “Disco” Schellhorn.
In December 2016, guitarist Bo Six announced that he would be leaving the band for professional and private reasons. In early January 2017, the band announced their new guitarist π (Pi).
In July 2017, Tobias Mertens announced that, for private and professional reasons, he would be taking a time-out from Lord of the Lost. Niklas Kahl has stepped in as drummer for live performances.
Lord of the Lost performed with KMFDM on the United Kingdom leg of KMFDM’s “Hell Yeah” tour with Inertia during September 2017. The band planned to join KMFDM on the United States portion of the “Hell Yeah” tour with ohGr starting in October 2017. Chris Harms and π were to be playing guitar on stage with KMFDM during the tour, in addition to their Lord of the Lost set. Lord of the Lost was forced to withdraw from KMFDM’s United States tour when they were not issued visas by the U.S. government.
Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris personally picked Lord of the Lost to support Iron Maiden on their 2020 European leg of the Legacy of the Beast World Tour but due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the tour had to be cancelled. The tour was rescheduled and in 2022, Lord of the Lost played as a support act in 17 European cities on Iron Maiden’s Legacy of the Beast world tour and gained much recognition. Iron Maiden subsequently renewed this successful collaboration for the European leg of the 2023 The Future Past world tour.
In December 2022, Lord of the Lost surprised their fans by releasing their new studio album “Blood and Glitter” months before it was scheduled to be released. The album, in spite of the last to the minute release and lack of pre-promotion, managed to hit Nr. 1 on the official German Music Charts.
With the song “Blood and Glitter”, Lord of the Lost won Unser Lied für Liverpool, and will thus represent Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest 2023.
Musical style and influences. Lord of the Lost produces music across several genres including heavy metal and glam rock-influenced dark rock, industrial music, and classical music. In interviews with the magazine Orkus and the website Subexistance, Chris Harms has cited bands and musicians such as Rammstein, Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson and Lady Gaga as some of the many performers that he listens to and is influenced by.
Reception. Although it has not always been received as highly innovative, the debut album Fears received an overall positive critique by the music press. The music Magazine Sonic Seducer praised not only the “pleasant deep promising vocals” but also the “dark, melodramatic moments” and described the album as “dark mélange of music styles which give the album a fresh and great variety”. In Zillo the debut has been described as “not really original or ground-breaking” but it has been praised for its “hard and unconditional songs”. Orkus, however, wrote that they have waited a long time for an album “so interesting and rich in variety”. Metal.de described the album as “absolutely okay” but suggested to listen to some songs before buying the album because it might be “too hard for some, and too soft for others”.
Members. Members of the band often, but not always, adopt stage names which appear in the credits for the band. If known, the artist’s given name is listed after the stage name in parenthesis.
- Chris “The Lord” Harms – vocals, guitar, cello (2007–present)
- Class Grenayde (Klaas Helmecke) – bass (2008–present)
- Gared Dirge (Gerrit Heinemann) – piano, synthesizer, percussion, guitar, theremin (2010–present)
- π (Pi Stoffers) – guitar (2016–present)
- Niklas Kahl – drums (2017–present)
- Sensai (Stefan Ehrhardt) – guitar (2008–2010)
- Sebsta Lindström (Sebastian Makowski) – guitar (2008–2011)
- Any Wayst (Anika) – drums (2008–2011)
- Bo Six (Borislav Crnogorac) – guitar (2009–2016)
- Disco (Christian Schellhorn) – drums (2012–2014)
- Tobias Mertens – drums (2014–2017)
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|From the Flame Into the Fire||
|Blood & Glitter||
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|
Instrumental Soundtrack Version
|Swan Song II||
|Swan Song III||
|Swan Song III
Instrumental Soundtrack Version
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|We Give Our Hearts – Live Auf St. Pauli||
|A Night To Remember – Live & Acoustic in Hamburg||
|Confession – Live At Christuskirche||
|Festival of Love (Stream Concert)||
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|Till Death Us Do Part: The Best of||
|Till Death Us Do Part: Rarities & Remixes||
|Beside & Beyond||
|Full Metal Whore||
|Eisheilige Nacht 2016
(with Subway to Sally)
|Swan Songs III – Piano EP||
- 2009: “Dry the Rain”
- 2011: “Sex On Legs”
- 2012: “Die Tomorrow”
- 2013: “See You Soon” incl. “Von Anfang an” (with Holly Loose of Letzte Instanz)
- 2014: “Afterlife”
- 2014: “La Bomba”
- 2014: “Six Feet Underground”
- 2016: “The Love of God”
- 2017: “Waiting for You to Die”
- 2017: “Lighthouse”
- 2017: “The Broken Ones”
- 2018: “On This Rock I Will Build My Church”
- 2018: “Morgana”
- 2019: “Loreley”
- 2019: “Voodoo Doll”
- 2020: “A One Ton Heart”
- 2020: “A Splintered Mind”
- 2020: “Dying On the Moon” (feat. Joy Frost)
- 2021: “The Death of All Colours”
- 2021: “Priest”
- 2021: “For They Know Not What They Do”
- 2022: “Not My Enemy”
- 2022: “The Heartbeat of the Devil”
- 2022: “Blood & Glitter”
- 2023: “Absolute Attitude”
- 2012: Black to the Roots
- 2014: One Night – Lord of the Lost & The Zielona Góra Symphony Orchestra – Live in Leipzig
- 2015: A Night to Remember – Live Acoustic in Hamburg
Exclusive sampler contributions.
- 2011: “Do You Wanna Die Without a Scar” (on the Sonic Seducer sampler Cold Hands Seduction Vol. 117)
- 2011: “Death Doesn’t Kill You But I Do” (on the Out of Line sampler Awake the Machines, Vol. 7)
Remixes and recordings with other artists.
- 2011: “Temple of Love” with Latexxx Teens
- 2012: “Kannst du mich seh’n” (Remix) for Staubkind
- 2012: “Deine Zeit Läuft Ab” (St. Pauli Symphonic Version by Lord of the Lost) for Unzucht
- 2012: “Eye M the Blacksheep” (Remix by Chris Harms and Corvin Bahn) for Rabia Sorda
- 2012: “Eisblumen” on the Anniversary Sampler for the 20th anniversary of Subway to Sally
- 2012: “Deep Inside” (Remix) for Fragile Child
- 2013: “Perfect Day” with A Life Divided
- 2013: “Bitte Schlag Mich” (shattered by Lord of the Lost) for Ost+Front
- 2013: “Pandora’s Box” (Cover) for Solitary Experiments
- 2013: “In My Darkest Hour” with Mono Inc. on their Nimmermehr tour album
- 2014: “Für Immer” Remix for Subway to Sally (on the Sonic Seducer Sampler Medieval Special Vol. XII Issue 03/2014)
- 2014: “Krieger” with Blutengel on their Black Symphonies (An Orchestral Journey) Ltd. Edition
- 2014: “Die Erde Brennt” Remix Joachim Witt on the Neumond Ltd. Edition
- 2014: “Sonne, Mond & Todesstern” (Remix by Lord of the Lost) for Ost+Front
- 2015: “Der Zeitdieb” Remix for Tanzwut
- 2015: “Der Luftschiffharpunist” Remix for Coppelius
- 2015: “Satans Fall” cover for Saltatio Mortis
- 2015: “All the Things You Say” Remix for Solar Fake
- 2015: “This Misery” with Meinhard
- 2016: “Devil or Angel” with Rocksin
- 2016: “Ein Wort fliegt wie ein Stein” with Unzucht on their “Neuntöter” deluxe edition
- 2016: “MRS. Strong” with 5th Avenue
- 2016: “Freak Parade” with Hell Boulevard”
- 2016: “Sexschuss” remix for Heldmaschine
- 2016: “Children of the Dark” with Tilo Wolff, Joachim Witt and Mono Inc.
- 2018: “1000 Seelen” with Joachim Witt
- 2018: “I Love the Way You Say My Name” with Scarlet Dorn
- 2019: “Europa” with Oomph!
- 2019: “Island” with Subway to Sally
- 2019: “We’re All Dead” with Lolita KompleX
- 2019: “Magst du Mittelalter?” With Vogelfrey
- 2020: “Modern Prometheus” with Pyogenesis
- 2021: “Kiss of the Cobra King” with Powerwolf on their Call of the Wild Ltd. Edition
- 2022: “In Einsamkeit” with Joachim Witt
- 2022: “Mortals” with Sündenrausch
- 2022: “Holding On” with Auger
- 2022: “Die Sonne scheint” with Reliquiae
- 2022: “Childhood” with Dawn of Destiny
- 2022: “Take Me Back” with Psycholies
- 2022: “Never Love” with Corlyx
- 2009: “Dry the Rain” (director: Nikola Stahl)
- 2010: “Last Words” (director: Nikola Stahl)
- 2011: “Sex On Legs” (director: Nikola Stahl)
- 2011: “Prison” (director: Chris Harms)
- 2012: “Beyond Beautiful” (director: Moritz Krebs)
- 2012: “Die Tomorrow” (director: Katya Tsyganova)
- 2013: “See You Soon” (director: Jasmin Kreft)
- 2013: “Credo” (director: Christian Beer)
- 2014: “Afterlife” (director: Matteo Fabbiani & Chiara Cerami)
- 2014: “La Bomba” (director: Michel Briegel)
- 2014: “Six Feet Underground” (director: Matteo Fabbiani & Chiara Cerami)
- 2014: “Kingdom Come” (director: Katya Tsyganova)
- 2015: “Lost in a Heartbeat” (director: Lisa Morgenstern)
- 2015: “Full Metal Whore” (director: Matteo Fabbiani & Chiara Cerami)
- 2016: “The Love of God” (director: Harun Hazar)
- 2016: “Drag Me to Hell” (director: Michel Briegel)
- 2016: “In Silence” (director: Matteo Fabbiani & Chiara Cerami)
- 2017: “Raining Stars” (director: Matteo Fabbiani & Chiara Cerami)
- 2017: “Waiting for You to Die” (director: Matteo Fabbiani & Chiara Cerami)
- 2017: “Lighthouse” (director: Matteo Fabbiani & Chiara Cerami)
- 2017: “The Broken Ones” (director: Matteo Fabbiani & Chiara Cerami)
- 2017: “My Better Me” (director: Matteo Fabbiani & Chiara Cerami)
- 2018: “On This Rock I Will Build My Church” (director: Matteo Fabbiani & Chiara Cerami)
- 2018: “Morgana” (director: Matteo Fabbiani & Chiara Cerami)
- 2018: “Haythor” (director: Matteo Fabbiani & Chiara Cerami)
- 2018: “Black Halo” (director: Matteo Fabbiani & Chiara Cerami)
- 2019: “Loreley” (director: Matteo Fabbiani & Chiara Cerami)
- 2019: “Voodoo Doll” (director: Matteo Fabbiani & Chiara Cerami)
- 2019: “Till Death Us Do Part” (director: Matteo Fabbiani & Chiara Cerami)
- 2019: “Ruins” (director: Andrés Villa)
- 2020: “Under the Sun” (director: Matteo Fabbiani & Chiara Cera
- 2020: “A One Ton Heart” (director: Chris Harms)
- 2021: “The Death of All Colours” (director: VDPictures)
- 2021: “Priest” (director: VDPictures)
- 2021: “For They Know Not What They Do” (director: VDPictures)
- 2021: “The Gospel Of Judas” (director: Matteo Fabbiani & Chiara Cerami)
- 2021: “Born With A Broken Heart” (director: Life)
- 2021: “Viva Vendetta” (director: Matteo Fabbiani & Chiara Cerami)
- 2021: “My Constellation” (director: Matteo Fabbiani & Chiara Cerami)
- 2022: “The Heartbeat Of The Devil” (director: Matteo Fabbiani & Chiara Cerami)
- 2022: “Blood & Glitter” (director: Matteo Fabbiani & Chiara Cerami)
- 2023: “Leave Your Hate In The Comments” (director: Lennard Schmitt)
- 2023: “Leaving The Planet Earth” (director: Matteo Fabbiani & Chiara Cerami)
- 2023: “Absolute Attitude” (director: Martin Fischer)
• Selected song: “Blood & Glitter” is a song by German gothic metal band Lord of the Lost. It was released on 24 December 2022, through Napalm. The song is currently scheduled to represent Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 in Liverpool, United Kingdom after winning Unser Lied für Liverpool, Germany’s national final.
Background. The dark rock song was released as the lead single from their eleventh studio album Blood & Glitter (2022). Lead singer Chris Harms revealed that the band had actually applied to represent Germany for many years leading up to their win in 2023. Starting on 24 February 2023, fans were able to vote for their favourite entry online. The performance was described as a “fiery glam rock show”, somewhere between “dark” and “gothic metal”. The band eventually won the contest, having earned 189 points consisting of 146 from fans and viewers and 43 points the international juries.
Eurovision Song Contest.
At Eurovision. For their performance in Liverpool, Harms plans a glamorous rock show for the band, wanting to include red pyrotechnic rain to reflect the message of the song.
• Selected entrant: Marco Mengoni (born 25 December 1988) is an Italian pop singer-songwriter who rose to fame in 2009, after winning the third season of Italian talent show X Factor. Since that he has sold over 2.8 million records in Italy, peaking the Italian albums chart seven consecutive times and entering the Top 10 Italian Singles Chart fifteen times. He won the Sanremo Music Festival in 2013 and again in 2023, therefore representing Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest in both years, respectively.
His 2009 debut extended play, Dove si vola, was preceded by the single with the same title, which reached the top spot of the Italian Top Digital Downloads chart and also served as his coronation song. In February 2010, Mengoni competed in the 60th Sanremo Music Festival with the song “Credimi ancora”, placing third in a field of fifteen. The song was included in his second extended play, Re matto, which debuted at number one in Italy. The EP was promoted through an Italian tour, which yielded the live album Re matto live. Mengoni’s first full-length studio album, Solo 2.0, was released in September 2010 and was certified gold by the Federation of the Italian Music Industry.
In 2013, Mengoni won the 63rd Sanremo Music Festival with his song “L’essenziale”. Mengoni was then internally selected by RAI to represent Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 in Malmö with “L’essenziale”. The song also became the lead single of the album Prontoacorrere, which became his fourth number-one on the Italian albums chart. In 2015, Mengoni released the albums Parole in circolo and Le cose che non ho, which were part of the same artistic project, also including the live record Marco Mengoni Live, all of them reaching the number one of Italian albums chart. After the 2017 collaboration “Come neve” with Italian singer Giorgia, he published his seventh consecutive number-one album Atlantico in 2018. In 2023, ten years after his first triumph, he won the 73rd Sanremo Music Festival with “Due vite”, earning him the right to represent Italy again in the Eurovision Song Contest this time in Liverpool.
During his career, Mengoni has received several awards, including two TRL Awards, nine Wind Music Awards, nine MTV Italian Music Awards and a Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards. In 2010 and 2015, he won the MTV Europe Music Award for Best European Act, becoming the first Italian artist to win that prize. In 2013, he also won the MTV European Music Award for Best Southern European Act.
Early life. Marco Mengoni was born on 25 December 1988 in Ronciglione, a comune in the province of Viterbo in central Italy, where he also spent his youth. He is the only child of Nadia Ferrari and Maurizio Mengoni. At the age of 14, while studying industrial design at secondary school, he started to take singing lessons. Mengoni later started to perform as a member of a five-piece vocal group. After leaving school, he moved to Rome, where he enrolled on a degree in Languages. During his studies, he occasionally worked as a barman and he performed in piano bars and during weddings. During the same years, he had his first experience in the recorded music business, working as a sound mixer and as a music programmer.
2009: X Factor and Dove si vola. Mengoni auditioned for the third series of the Italian talent-show X Factor in 2009, performing a cover of Eduardo De Crescenzo’s “Uomini semplici”. The category he was part of, “16–24s”, was mentored by Morgan, who chose Mengoni as one of his top four contestants that progressed to the live shows. During the live shows, he performed songs from a wide range of genres, receiving the congratulations and admiration of popular Italian singers such as Mina, Giorgia, Elisa, and Adriano Celentano. On 2 December 2009, Mengoni was announced the winner of the competition, receiving a recording contract with a stated value of €300,000 and being automatically selected as one of the participants to the Sanremo Music Festival 2010.
Mengoni’s winning single, “Dove si vola”, debuted at number one on the Italian Top Digital Downloads chart, and it was included in the extended play with the same title, released on 4 December 2009. The EP, also including the original song “Lontanissimo da te” and five studio recordings of covers he had previously performed during the TV show, peaked at number nine on the Italian albums chart and was certified platinum by the Federation of the Italian Music Industry.
|X Factor series 3 performances and results|
|Episode||Theme||Song choice||Original artist||R/O||Result|
|Audition||Auditioner’s Choice||“Uomini semplici”||Eduardo De Crescenzo||—||Advanced|
|Bootcamp||“La luce dell’est”||Lucio Battisti|
|“We Can Work It Out”||The Beatles|
|“(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”||Aretha Franklin|
|“I’m Outta Love”||Anastacia|
|Live Show 1||Mentor’s Choice||“Man in the Mirror”||Michael Jackson||5||Safe|
|Live Show 2||“L’amore si odia”||Noemi feat. Fiorella Mannoia||2|
|Live Show 3||1980s in music||“Notorious”||Duran Duran||1|
|Live Show 4||Mentor’s Choice||“Psycho Killer”||Talking Heads||6|
|Live Show 5||“My Baby Just Cares for Me”||Nina Simone||4|
|Live Show 6||“Ashes to Ashes”||David Bowie||5|
|Live Show 7||“Helter Skelter”||The Beatles||3|
|Live Show 8||“Insieme a te sto bene”||Lucio Battisti||2|
|Acappella Songs||“L’appuntamento”||Ornella Vanoni||12|
|Live Show 9||Sanremo Music Festival||“Almeno tu nell’universo”||Mia Martini||6|
|Live Show 10||Italian-language Songs||“Onda su onda”||Bruno Lauzi||1|
|Michael Jackson||“Billie Jean”||Michael Jackson||11|
|Live Show 11||Mentor’s Choice||“Kiss”||Prince and The Revolution||5|
|“Il nostro concerto”||Umberto Bindi||6|
|Live Show 12||“Back in Black”||AC/DC||4|
|Acappella Songs||“Senza fine”||Gino Paoli||5|
|Winner’s Song||“Dove si vola”||Marco Mengoni||12|
|Final||Celebrity Duets||“Oggi sono io” (with Alex Britti)||Alex Britti||3|
|Mentor’s Choice||“Amore assurdo”||Morgan||5|
|Winner’s Song||“Dove si vola”||Marco Mengoni||7|
|Medley||“Psycho Killer”, “My Baby Just Cares for Me”, “Almeno tu nell’universo”||Talking Heads, Nina Simone, Mia Martini||10||Winner|
|Acappella Song||“The Fool on the Hill”||The Beatles||12|
2010: Sanremo Music Festival and Re matto. In February 2010, Mengoni competed in the Big Artists section of the 60th Sanremo Music Festival, placing third with the song “Credimi ancora”. After being released as a single, “Credimi ancora” peaked at number three in Italy, and it was certified platinum by the Federation of the Italian Music Industry. The song was also included in Mengoni’s second EP, Re matto, released on 17 February 2010. The EP held the top spot of the Italian Albums Chart for four consecutive weeks, and it also spawned the singles “Stanco (Deeper Inside)” and “In un giorno qualunque”.
The EP was also promoted through Mengoni’s first concert tour, Re matto live, which debuted in Milan on 3 May 2010 and consisted of 56 two-hours shows, including choreographies by Luca Tommassini and featuring songs from his previous studio records, as well as covers such as “Live and Let Die”, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”, “Mad World”, “Proud Mary” and “Tears in Heaven”. A live album and video album was recorded during the tour. Titled Re matto live, it was released on 19 October 2010, and it debuted and peaked atop the Italian Albums Chart, later being certified platinum by the Federation of the Italian Music Industry.
During the same year, Mengoni received the TRL award for Man of the Year. After being voted Best Italian Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2010, he also won the award for Best European Act, becoming the first Italian artist to receive the prize.
2011–2012: Solo 2.0. On 2 September 2011 Mengoni released the single “Solo (Vuelta al ruedo)”, preceding his first full-length studio album, Solo 2.0. Mengoni co-wrote most of the songs on the album, working with composers including Italian singers-songwriters Neffa and Dente. Influenced by electronic and rock music, the album also includes tracks featuring the Italian a cappella group Cluster and the orchestra directed by Fabio Gurian. Released on 27 September 2011, Solo 2.0 debuted at number one on the Italian Albums Chart, and it was certified gold for domestic sales exceeding 30,000 units. On 21 October 2011, “Tanto il resto cambia” was released as the album’s second single, while the third single, “Dall’inferno”, was released to Italian radio stations on 27 January 2013.
In 2011, Mengoni also appeared on Lucio Dalla’s compilation album Questo amore, duetting with him on a new version of the hit “Meri Luis”, and on Renato Zero’s video album Sei Zero, performing “Per non essere così”. To promote his first full-length album, Mengoni embarked on an Italian tour, the Solo tour 2.0, which debuted on 26 November 2011 in Milan. In April 2012, a second leg of the tour started. Taking place in Italian theatres, it was created by Mengoni with Andrea Rigonat and Italian singer Elisa.
2013–2014: Sanremo Music Festival, #prontoacorrere and Eurovision Song Contest. Mengoni presenting the song he performed in the Eurovision Song Contest 2013
After moving to Milan, in February 2013 Mengoni competed in the 63rd Sanremo Music Festival with the songs “L’essenziale” and “Bellissimo”, the latter written by Gianna Nannini. On 12 February 2013, “L’essenziale” won against “Bellissimo” as the song to be performed by Mengoni during the next stages of the competition. During the fourth night, he also performed a cover of Luigi Tenco’s “Ciao amore ciao”. On 16 February 2013, Mengoni was announced the winner of the competition. During the same night, an internal jury also chose Mengoni among the other participants to the competition as the Italian entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 2013.
A shortened version of “L’essenziale” was later chosen as the song to be performed during the Eurovision Song Contest. As part of the “Big Five”, Mengoni automatically qualified for the final of the competition, held in Malmö, Sweden, on 18 May 2013. Mengoni finished seventh in a field of 26, receiving 126 points.
After being released as a single, “L’essenziale” debuted at number one on the Italian Digital Downloads chart, holding the top spot for a total of eight consecutive weeks and being certified multi-platinum. Both “L’essenziale” and “Bellissimo” were included in Mengoni’s second studio album, #prontoacorrere, produced by Michele Canova and released in Italy on 19 March 2013. The album, which features songs written by artists such as Mark Owen, Gianna Nannini, Ivano Fossati and Cesare Cremonini, debuted at number one in Italy, and it was certified platinum by the Federation of the Italian Music Industry. The following singles from the album, “Pronto a correre” and “Non passerai”, were released in Italy on 19 April and on 23 August 2013, respectively, and they both entered the top-ten in Mengoni’s home country.
In July 2014, Mengoni said that his Eurovision experience left him “a little astonished” and that he would compete again “without a second thought.”
2015–2016: Parole in circolo and Le cose che non ho. In January 2015, Mengoni released his third studio album, Parole in circolo, the first part of a “two-chapters” project. The album was preceded by the single “Guerriero”, released in November 2014. The second part of this project, which consisted in the album Le cose che non ho, was released in December 2015.
After being voted Best Italian Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2015, he also won the award for Best European Act for the second time. The closing part of this artistic project was the live album Marco Mengoni Live, released in October 2016. The album also featured six studio tracks, including the single “Sai che” and a duet with English singer Paloma Faith, which recorded the track “Ad occhi chiusi (Light in You)”.
2018–present: Atlantico, Materia trilogy, return to Sanremo and Eurovision. On 19 October 2018, Mengoni published “Voglio” and “Buona Vita” singles at the same time, which anticipated the fifth studio album Atlantico, published on 30 November. On 30 November released the third single “Hola (I Say)”, in collaboration with Tom Walker. On 5 April 2019, he released the fourth single “Muhammad Ali”. The album is available in both Italian and Spanish.
In early 2021, Mengoni returned with “Venere e Marte”, a song featuring Takagi & Ketra and Frah Quintale. In the summer of that year he presented the new single “Ma stasera”, produced by Purple Disco Machine. The single preceded the sixth studio album Materia (Terra), which was released in December 2021. The album is designed as a trilogy, with the second part Materia (Pelle) released in October 2022. He participated in and won the Sanremo Music Festival 2023 with the song “Due vite”, earning him the right to represent Italy again in the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 in Liverpool. In an interview on TG1 following his win, Mengoni stated that he may choose a different song other than “Due vite” to compete in Eurovision; the song was later confirmed to remain as Mengoni’s Eurovision 2023 entry.
Musical style and influences. Primarily a pop singer, according to Il Corriere della Sera’s Luca Benedetti, Mengoni has a typically soul voice, with pop rock tones. His tone was also described by Maurizio Porro as “a sort of captivating meow”.
In October 2009 he defined his musical style as “British/black”. In several interviews, Mengoni has claimed that one of his most relevant influences is The Beatles. Mengoni also cited David Bowie, Michael Jackson and Renato Zero among his most relevant influences.
- Solo 2.0 (2011)
- #prontoacorrere (2013)
- Parole in circolo (2015)
- Le cose che non ho (2015)
- Atlantico (2018)
- Materia (Terra) (2021)
- Materia (Pelle) (2022)
- 2010: Re matto tour
- 2011: Solo tour 2.0
- 2012: Tour teatrale
- 2013: L’Essenziale Tour
- 2015, 2016, 2019, 2022: #MengoniLive
- 2022–2023: Marco negli stadi
Awards and nominations.
|2010||TRL Awards||MTV Man of the Year||Himself||Won|
|My TRL Best Video||Credimi ancora||Nominated|
|MTV Europe Music Awards||Best Italian Act||Himself||Won|
|Best European Act||Won|
|Wind Music Awards||Platinum Album Award||Dove si vola||Won|
|Platinum Album Award||Re matto||Won|
|2011||TRL Awards||Best Talent Show Artist||Himself||Nominated|
|Wind Music Awards||Platinum Album Award||Re matto live||Won|
|Platinum Digital Single Award||“Credimi ancora”||Won|
|Platinum Digital Single Award||“In un giorno qualunque”||Won|
|2012||TRL Awards||Best Look||Himself||Nominated|
|Onstage Awards||Best Video||“Dall’inferno”||Nominated|
|2013||Wind Music Awards||Multi-platinum Digital Single Award||“L’essenziale”||Won|
|Platinum Album Award||#prontoacorrere||Won|
|MTV Italian Music Awards||Superman Award||Himself||Won|
|MTV Europe Music Awards||Best Italian Act||Won|
|Best Southern European Act||Won|
|Best Worldwide Act||Nominated|
|2014||Kids’ Choice Awards||Best Italian Singer||Won|
|MTV Italian Music Awards||Best Look||Won|
|2015||Wind Music Awards||Multi-platinum Album Award||Parole in circolo||Won|
|Multi-platinum Single Award||“Guerriero”||Won|
|MTV Italian Music Awards||Superman Award||Himself||Won|
|Best Performance||“Io ti aspetto”||Won|
|MTV Europe Music Awards||Best Italian Act||Himself||Won|
|Best European Act||Won|
|2016||Onstage Awards||Best Italian Tour||#MengoniLive2015||Nominated|
|Live Anthem||“Esseri umani”||Nominated|
|MTV Italian Music Awards||Best Italian Male||Himself||Won|
|Best Tormentone||“Ti ho voluto bene veramente”||Nominated|
|2017||MTV Italian Music Awards||Best Italian Male||Himself||Won|
|2021||RTL 102.5 Power Hits Estate||Power Hits Estate||“Ma Stasera”||Won|
|The Lorax||2012||Onceler (voice)||Italian dub
Leggio d’oro – Special Award for Revelation Voice Actor in a Cartoon
|The Lion King||2019||Simba (voice)||Italian dub|
|Klaus||Jesper (voice)||Italian dub; Netflix Original Movie|
• Selected song: “Due vite” (Two lives) is a song by Italian singer Marco Mengoni, released by Sony Music on 8 February 2023. It was written by Mengoni with Davide Petrella and Davide Simonetta. Simonetta also produced the track together with E.D.D. The song was Mengoni’s winning entry for the Sanremo Music Festival 2023, the 73rd edition of the Italian musical festival, which doubled as the selection of the Italian act for the Eurovision Song Contest 2023.
Background and composition. Mengoni spoke about the meaning of the song: “It is my never-ending story because it is the story of a relationship between the ratio and the unconscious. I am devoting a lot of hours a week to my thoughts with a professional and I am realising that my unconscious gives me more realistic input than everyday life. In the song I told this double life: the life of the night and dreams that becomes more real than the dreams themselves, and the life I live every day. […] I am a sinner, I am one who makes mistakes. There are slaps and you have to go on in life. There are moments of boredom and downsides that are needed like all things: for me, “Due vite” is this.”
Mengoni dwelt on the inspiration for the song, found in the figure of Italian singer-songwriter Lucio Dalla, explaining that: “It is a song full of words, a continuous tension that never seems to explode until the moment I leave my vocal cords there, at Sanremo. It wasn’t easy to tackle this piece, but the great thing is that we got carried away by Lucio Dalla, letting him inspire us, remembering him. I approached singing in this way: little breath, lots of words and a lot of tension to then explode.”
The song also marks the singer’s third participation at the Sanremo Music Festival after “Credimi ancora” in 2010 and “L’essenziale”, winner of the Sanremo Music Festival 2013, with which he represented Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest 2013.
Reception. The song was mostly well received by Italian critics. In its review of the Sanremo 2023 songs, Corriere della Sera gave “Due vite” an 8/10, describing the song as a “classic ballad” that “doses melody and rhythm well”, where “thoughts chase each other”. Also Valentina Colosimo from Vanity Fair states that the song “allows Mengoni to show off all his singing skills”, bringing the viewer “a ton of feelings”. Fabio Fiume from All Music Italia rated the song 7.5/10, writing the song is a “modern piece that respects both its vocal beauty and its best prerogatives to be personal”. The Panorama critic Gabriele Antonucci gave the song a 8.5 rating, he praised Mengoni’s performance as “masterful”, with a perfect combination of “voice, words and arrangement”. Less enthusiastic was the review by Francesco Prisco of Il Sole 24 Ore, assigning a score of 6-/10, writing that “Mengoni does Mengoni: the thing he does best”, suggesting a lack of originality compared to his previous works.
Music video. The music video for the song was directed by Roberto Ortu. The filming took place on the dunes of Piscinas in Sardinia.
|Global 200 (Billboard)||80|
|San Marino (Radio San Marino RTV)||1|
|Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)||2|
|Italy (FIMI)||2× Platinum||200,000|
|Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.|
• Selected entrant: Blanca Paloma Ramos Baeza (born 9 June 1989), also known by her given name of Blanca Paloma, is a Spanish singer, set designer and costume designer. She is scheduled to represent Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 with the song “Eaea”.
Early life and education. She was born and raised in Elche. After graduating from Miguel Hernández University of Elche with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, Ramos moved to Madrid to pursue a career in theatre in 2013.
Career. On 10 December 2021, it was announced that she would participate in Benidorm Fest 2022 with her song “Secreto de agua”. She participated in the first semi-final and qualified to the final, in 3rd place with 79 points. In the final, she came in 5th place with 61 points.
The following year, she participated in Benidorm Fest 2023 with the song “Eaea”. She performed in the second semi final and qualified to the final. In the final, she came in first place with 169 points (94 points from the juries, 40 points from the televote and 35 points from the demoscopic juries), and thus she will represent Spain at the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.
|“Secreto de agua”||2021||Lucía en la telaraña|
|“Niña de fuego (canción del fuego fatuo medley)”||2022||Non-album single|
• Selected song: “Eaea” is a song by Spanish singer Blanca Paloma, released on 20 December 2022. The song is scheduled to represent Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 after winning Benidorm Fest 2023, Spain’s national final for that year’s Eurovision Song Contest.
Composition. In an analysis from Eurovision fansite Wiwibloggs by writer Luis Fuster, the song represents a “chant to her late grandmother”, who had inspired much of Blanca Paloma’s music. According to Fuster, the song features a celebration of female ancestors’ power and strength.
Eurovision Song Contest.
Benidorm Fest 2023. Benidorm Fest 2023 was the national final for Spain to select their entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2023. The competition consists of two semi-finals and one final. In total, 18 candidate songs compete divided between the two semifinals, with nine competing in each one. In each semifinal, the four songs with the most votes among the professional juries (50%), the demographic panel (25%) and the televote (25%), go directly to the final. During the final, the eight qualified songs perform again, with the same voting system as in the semi-finals.”Eaea” competed in the second semi-final, proceeding to win the semi-final with 167 points.
In the final, “Eaea” was considered a favorite to win Benidorm Fest 2023 in numerous Eurovision fan polls, including ones on Wiwibloggs and ESCUnited. “Eaea” was competing for the triumph of the Festival with the other great favorite by the public, the song “Quiero arder” by the Canarian singer Agoney. “Eaea” would earn a combined total of 169 points in the final, winning by a margin of 24 points, earning the Spanish spot for the Eurovision Song Contest 2023.
At Eurovision. According to Eurovision rules, all nations with the exceptions of the host country and the “Big Five” (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) are required to qualify from one of two semi-finals in order to compete for the final; the top ten countries from each semi-final progress to the final. As a member of the “Big Five”, Spain has automatically qualified to compete in the final.
• Selected entrant: Tvorchi (stylised in all caps TVORCHI) are a Ukrainian electronic music duo from Ternopil, formed in 2018 by producer Andrii Hutsuliak and vocalist Jimoh Augustus Kehinde (alias Jeffrey Kenny). They have released four studio albums: The Parts (2018), Disco Lights (2019), 13 Waves (2020) and Road (2020). They are set to represent Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 with the song “Heart of Steel”.
History. Andrii Viktorovych Hutsuliak (Андрій Вікторович Гуцуляк; born 21 February 1996 in Vilkhovets, Chortkiv Raion) and Jimoh Augustus Kehinde (born 30 September 1997 in Nigeria) met while they were students at the Faculty of Pharmacy of Ternopil National Medical University. On 30 May 2017, the duo released their first single, “Slow”. On 4 September, their second single “You” was released.
On 2 February 2018, Tvorchi released their debut album, The Parts. On 20 September 2018, the duo released a video for the song “Molodist”. On 14 February 2019, the second album named Disco Lights was released. On 21 February, the duo released a video for the song “Believe”. According to the duo, the shooting budget was $100. Within a few days, the video garnered 400,000 views on YouTube, and the song ranked 9th in Google Play charts in Ukraine.
In the summer of that year, the duo performed at music festivals Faine Misto (Ternopil), Atlas Weekend (Kyiv) and Ukrainian Song Project (Lviv). On 9 September, the duo released the single “Ne tantsiuiu”. In February 2020, Tvorchi entered Vidbir with the song “Bonfire”, placing fourth in the final.
The music video for the song “Mova tila” from the second studio album Disco Lights premiered on 7 May on the duo’s YouTube channel and on the M1 television show Premier. The video, directed by Andrii Lahutin, was shot in the fall of 2019 in Kyiv. On 25 September 2020, the music video for the lead single from the album 13 Waves, “Living My Life”, was released.
In September 2020, Tvorchi released their third album, 13 Waves, which was recorded remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The album was played more than two million times on music platforms in the first week since its release. On 19 December 2020, the duo won the online music award “Culture Ukraine” in two categories: ‘Best New Artist’, and ‘Best English-language single’ for “Bonfire”. The duo was also nominated for the YUNA 2021 Music Awards in four categories, including ‘Album of the Year’.
In December 2022, they entered Vidbir 2023 and won the competition with the song “Heart of Steel”, coming second in the jury vote and first in the public vote, and will thus represent Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest 2023.
|“Molodist”||2018||The Parts||Morris Ternevich|
|“Believe”||2019||Disco Lights||Andrii Obolonchyk|
|“Ne tantsiuiu”||Non-album singles||Kyrylo Sulyha|
|“Mova tila”||Disco Lights||Andrii Lahutin|
|“Living My Life”||13 Waves||Dmytro Dorosh|
|“Vich-na-vich”||2021||Non-album single||Kyrylo Sulyha|
|“Boremosia”||2022||Non-album singles||Oleksiy Bondar|
|“Heart of Steel”||Ruslan Makhov|
• Selected song: “Heart of Steel” is a song by Ukrainian electronic duo Tvorchi. The song is scheduled to represent Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 after winning Vidbir 2023, Ukraine’s national selection.
Background and composition. According to the duo, the song warns about the dangers of nuclear warfare. In an interview, the duo alluded to the purpose of the Eurovision Song Contest’s creation as one of the inspirations for the song, saying that “we looked into the past of this contest. [The Eurovision Song Contest] was created after the Second World War to unite Europe. Today, while some are playing with nuclear threats, our people with steel hearts are protecting all of Europe.” The song has a message of not giving up in the face of adversity, with a powerful beginning to symbolize the message. In the official music video for the song, a portal between reality and an afterlife is prominently featured, with the band saying that humanity chooses what awaits them for the future.
Production. Tvorchi member Andrii Hutsuliak started writing “Heart of Steel” in 2022, during the siege of Mariupol. After watching videos of the Ukrainian army defending the Azovstal Iron and Steel Works, he was inspired to write a song based on the determination of not giving up the area.
Eurovision Song Contest.
Vidbir 2023. Vidbir 2023 was the seventh edition of Vidbir, the competition that determines the Ukrainian entry for the Eurovision Song Contest. The competition took place in the Maidan Nezalezhnosti metro station in Kyiv, and consisted of a final on 17 December 2022. Ten entries competed and the winner was selected through the combination of votes from a public televote and an expert jury. Ties would be decided in favour of the entries that received higher scores from the public televote.
At Vidbir, the song performed last out of the ten competing songs. Both members were dressed in costumes similar to hazmat suits, with Hutsuliak wearing a black suit and Kehinde wearing a yellow suit. A video screen behind them showed the dangers of nuclear warfare, and two background dancers also appeared, both wearing gas masks.
At Eurovision. According to Eurovision rules, all nations with the exceptions of the host country and the “Big Five” (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) are required to qualify from one of two semi-finals in order to compete for the final; the top ten countries from each semi-final progress to the final. As the winning country of the 2022 contest, Ukraine automatically qualifies for the final.
|Chart (2023)||Peak position|
|Ukraine Airplay (TopHit)||81|
• Selected entrant: Holly Mae Muller (born 26 August 1997) is an English singer and songwriter. She first received mainstream recognition after releasing the single “Better Days” in 2021, a collaboration with Swedish music collective Neiked and American rapper Polo G, which went on to chart in the top 40 in both the United Kingdom and United States. She will represent the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 on homesoil in Liverpool, with the song “I Wrote a Song”, which became the first UK Eurovision entry in over a decade to debut on the UK Singles Chart’s top 40.
Early life. Muller was raised in a Jewish family in Kentish Town, London to parents Matt Muller and Nicola Jackson, who separated when she was six. She has an older full-brother, Sam, and three younger brothers from her parents’ subsequent relationships. Her grandfather Robert Muller is a Holocaust survivor who escaped to Britain from Germany at age 12, and moved to Wales. She is also of Austrian ancestry.
Muller first began writing her own music at the age of eight and attended Fine Arts College in Belsize Park, north London. In 2007, as a child, she appeared in the music video for “Grace Kelly” by Mika.
Career. While working at American Apparel and in a pub in Kentish Town, Muller began publicly performing. Muller asked a friend who knew how to use Logic to produce a few demos in exchange for a bottle of wine. She uploaded them to SoundCloud in 2017, and after sharing a video of her singing onto Instagram, Muller was discovered and signed by her manager. Her debut extended play, After Hours, was released in February 2018, and After Hours was followed by the release of her second EP, Frankly, in September 2018. Muller signed to Capitol Records UK in the same year.
On 5 April 2019, Muller released her debut studio album, Chapter 1. She then supported Little Mix on their 2019 LM5: The Tour. Following the tour, she released a single titled “Therapist”, which she had performed on the tour. Alongside the release of “Therapist”, Muller also announced her first national tour, visiting five cities across the United Kingdom. In September 2020, she announced that her third EP would be released on 6 November 2020. The EP, titled No One Else, Not Even You, was supported by a headline tour across the United Kingdom and Europe.
In 2021, Muller appeared as guest vocalist on “When You’re Out” with Billen Ted. She then joined the Swedish artist collective Neiked and the American rapper Polo G on the single “Better Days”, a song which was a new entry at number 57 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart of 30 October, later peaking at number 23. “Better Days” scored a Top 10 US Pop Airplay and also charted on the UK Singles Chart, reaching a peak position of number 32.
On 3 March 2023, Muller released a collaboration with Sigala, Caity Baser and Stefflon Don, titled “Feels This Good”. On 9 March 2023, she was announced as the UK’s entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 in Liverpool. Her entry, “I Wrote a Song”, was released on the same day, accompanied by a music video. Her entry became the first UK Eurovision in over a decade to debut on the UK Singles Chart’s top 40.
Artistry. Muller lists Gwen Stefani, Lily Allen, and Florence and the Machine, amongst her musical influences. She grew up listening to her mother’s favourite artists, including The Chicks, and sixties touchstone Simon & Garfunkel. Muller described hearing Lily Allen’s debut album, Alright, Still, as a pivotal moment for her.
|No One Else, Not Even You||
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Certifications||Album|
|“The Hoodie Song”||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|“Leave It Out”||2019||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|“I Don’t Want Your Money”||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|“So Annoying”||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||No One Else, Not Even You|
(with Neiked and Polo G)
(with Marshmello and Trippie Redd)
|“I Just Came to Dance”||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|“Feels This Good”
(with Sigala and Caity Baser featuring Stefflon Don)
|“I Wrote a Song”||30||—||—||—||—||—||—||Non-album single|
|“—” denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
• Selected song: “I Wrote a Song” is a song by English singer and songwriter Mae Muller, who co-wrote the song with Karen Poole and Lewis Thompson. It was released as a single on 9 March 2023. The song will represent the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 after being internally selected through TaP Music and the BBC, the British broadcaster for the Eurovision Song Contest.
Muller is scheduled to perform in the second half of the Eurovision final, at position 26.
Background and release. On 9 March 2023, Muller was announced as the UK’s entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 in Liverpool, during The Radio 2 Breakfast Show with Zoe Ball and studio guest Rylan Clark. Muller is the first woman to represent the UK at the contest since SuRie, in 2018. Her contest entry “I Wrote a Song” was released on the same day, accompanied by a music video which premiered on the Eurovision Song Contest’s official YouTube channel. It was also released on major streaming platforms on the same day.
Muller co-wrote “I Wrote a Song” with songwriters Karen Poole and Lewis Thompson with production from Alfred Parx (L Devine). It was written in 2022, when she was going through a hard time and wanted to feel empowered about relationships. In an interview for Music Week she added: “Not to toot my own horn, but I think it’s a great pop song. You can dance to it and it’s also a heartbreak anthem, but it’s more than that: it’s about lifting yourself back up, empowering yourself, believing in your self worth and working through negative emotions to come out the other side. And I think that aligns with Eurovision.”
Critical response. “I Wrote a Song” was met with positive reviews from critics. Alexis Petridis from The Guardian gave it a three-star rating out of five, commenting that “it was better than most of our entries in previous years but failed to stand out compared to last year’s entry ‘Space Man'”. He also drew comparisons to “Dua Lipa-esque electronic pop, underpinned by a rhythm track influenced by the sound of Robin S.’s 90s house hit ‘Show Me Love’, with its uptempo waltzing rhythm is also a Europop trope, reminiscent of Mediterranean holiday hits such as ‘Mr. Saxobeat’.”
Writing for the Daily Telegraph, James Hall described it as “a clever, sassy, precision-tooled banger” with a four-star rating out of five. He commented how “Muller sings the first verse over this before a bouncy bassline kicks in and we have a flamenco guitar-tinged middle eight that sounds like a chorus. The song is perfectly calibrated. It combines the lemon zing of revenge with a sprinkle of inner city smarts, a dollop of campness and some club ready beats.” He gave praise to the organisers for picking a wise risk.
The Official Charts Company described it as “a synth-pop stomper, all about Mae funneling her anger at the betrayal of an ex-partner.” They added “how it’s the freshest sounding UK Eurovision entry for countless years, sounding like something that actually belongs on radio rotation and your new music playlists.”
Chart performance. In its release week, “I Wrote a Song” reached number three on the Official Big Top 40. On the UK Singles Chart, “I Wrote a Song” debuted at number 30, making it Muller’s first top 40 entry as a solo artist, and her highest peaking single. It became the first Eurovision UK entry in over a decade to debut inside the Official Top 40 in its first week, since Blue in 2011 with “I Can”.
Promotion. Following the annoucement that Muller would be representing the UK in Liverpool, she appeared in a special programme later that evening on BBC One, called Eurovision 2023: Meet the UK Act, where she was interviewed by Scott Mills which was followed by the first full televisied broadcast of the song’s music video. The show was watched by an audience of over 2.76 million, becoming the second most-watched television programme in the UK that day.
The song received it debut performance in Barcelona, during a Eurovision pre party.
Eurovision Song Contest.
Selection. The British entry for the 2023 contest was internally selected by the BBC in collaboration with TaP Music. The selection process was confirmed on 8 September 2022, following the successful result for the United Kingdom at the 2022 contest. Rachel Ashdown, Commissioning Editor for the BBC, stated: “We are thrilled that Ben Mawson and Ed Millett plus the team at TaP will once again bring their unrivalled expertise to work with the BBC and BBC Studios to find an act and song to represent the UK at Eurovision. I hope we can find another artist who will not only be a brilliant ambassador for Eurovision but like Sam will sing their head off with a stand out song.”
On 31 January 2023, it was reported that four acts were left in the running to represent the United Kingdom at the 2023 contest. Among the rumoured candidates were Rina Sawayama, with Radio Times stating that she would represent the UK at the 2023 contest, though this was later denied by Sawayama’s management; and Mimi Webb.
On 9 March 2023, Mae Muller was announced as the chosen entrant with her song “I Wrote a Song”.
At Eurovision. The Eurovision Song Contest 2023 will take place at the Liverpool Arena in Liverpool. According to Eurovision rules, all nations with the exceptions of the host country and the “Big Five” (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) are required to qualify from one of two semi-finals in order to compete for the final; the top ten countries from each semi-final progress to the final. As such, the United Kingdom will automatically qualify to compete in the final as both the host country and a member of the “Big Five”. During the semi-final allocation draw on 31 January 2023, the UK was drawn to vote in the second semi-final on 11 May 2023. On 13 March 2023, during the Heads of Delegation meeting, the UK was drawn to perform in position 26.
Both semi-finals will be broadcast on BBC One and BBC iPlayer, with the commentary team consisting of Scott Mills and Rylan Clark. This will mark the first time ever that the semi-finals will be broadcast on BBC One. The final will be broadcast on BBC One’s regional variations across the UK with commentary by Mel Giedroyc and Graham Norton, the latter of whom will also co-host the show, and on BBC Radio Merseyside with commentary by Claire Sweeney alongside a member of the public, to be chosen as part of the station’s “The Voice of Eurovision” talent search campaign.
|Chart (2023)||Peak position|
|UK Singles (OCC)||30|
|UK Singles Downloads (OCC)||3|