Eurovision hits UK as its stars warm up in front of UK crowd ahead of Liverpool spectacular | Ents & Arts News

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While the main event is still a few weeks away, the Eurovision circus landed in London – bringing with it the loud costumes, odd props and colourful characters.

But they’re not in the UK to compete – instead it was part of an unofficial (but widely endorsed), whistle-stop tour of the continent where the acts get a chance to test out their songs in front of real audiences full of Eurovision fans in an effort to get their campaigns under way.

The London Eurovision Party was headlined by, of course, the UK act Mae Muller, with performances by artists from this year, as well as years gone by.

And it will be all eyes on Loreen in Liverpool in May – she won the contest for Sweden in 2012 with Euphoria, which is one of the most popular Eurovision tracks in history.

She’s back with new song Tattoo, and while bookies have her at odds-on favourite to win, she told Sky News the only pressure she feels is a creative one.

“I so badly want to create something that matters,” she said, adding: “It’s more pressure to create something as a performance.

“I never thought that this was going to be my path. What happened was the song came to me… I instantly felt when I got that, that I knew that there is something that’s going to happen to me with this song, and then a week or two later, they pop the question [to do Eurovision again] I’m like, ‘no, no, wait, wait, you can’t be serious’.”

If Loreen does do the business and take home the trophy, and nothing is for certain in Eurovision, she would become the first woman to win the contest more than once (Johnny Logan for Ireland holds the official record for the most individual wins as a performer and writer, in case you wondered).

Hot on the heels of Loreen is Finnish act Käärijä, with his Euro-hyper pop tune Cha Cha Cha.

Spotted a mile off at the party, he is famed for his neon green sleeves-only puffer jacket and unique haircut.

AMSTERDAM - Kaarlja from Finland during the annual Eurovision in Concert Eurovision party takes place at AFAS Live.

15 Apr 2023
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Finland’s Käärijä in Amsterdam. Pic: Hollandse Hoogte/Shutterstock

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Describing the track he hopes to win with, he told Sky News: “It’s very much power and energy and fire, and it’s the freedom for me in the story.

“Eurovision, it’s a… funny thing, and it makes people happy when they are watching. And what happens is many artists doing funny things and creating great songs.”

The Scandi-star added he was looking forward to maybe fitting in a game at Anfield too when he gets to Liverpool, adding Mo Salah is his favourite player.

But as well as the front-runners, Eurovision is built on its memorable songs and this year Austria provides the goods.

Austria's entry at Eurovision
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Austria’s entry at Eurovision

Teya and Salena will perform their (and this is real) ode to the American writer Edgar Allan Poe.

The pair explained to Sky News that the idea to perform a song about the ghost of Poe came in a pretty unconventional way, with Teya saying they simply improvised the opening lines to the track at a writing session – but the song wasn’t even their first pitch for the contest.

“We just wanted to make people laugh at the listening session because we had like an hour left, and we just were like, ‘Oh, let’s just do another song just for funsies’ – and it turned out to not be just funsies.

“And Edgar Allan Poe, he’s the epitome of the struggling artist, which we know a lot about, and we just put our experiences into the song and that’s how it happened.”

AMSTERDAM - Voyager from Australia during the annual Eurovision in Concert Eurovision party takes place at AFAS Live.

15 Apr 2023
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Australia’s Voyager during the Amsterdam Eurovision party. Pic: Hollandse Hoogte/Shutterstock

Australia’s act, Voyager, were also soaking up at the atmosphere in London, having previously done the Madrid and Amsterdam Eurovision parties.

The veteran prog-metal group said their song is “synth-sational” and “Duran Duran but heavy” – and it comes complete with screamed choruses and a guitar solo.

And their message to those who question why the country is part of the show?

“Australia is a nation built up of immigrants really, and we’ve got a lot of European people living in Australia.

“It kind of just makes sense to have Australia be a part of the Eurovision Song Contest.”

The show is being hosted in Liverpool, but of course Ukraine won the last contest – but with the ongoing war there the organisers deemed it unsafe to stage it on Ukrainian soil, so the BBC stepped in to host in its place after the UK’s Sam Ryder came second in last year’s event.

The week (yes, an entire week) kicks off on 9 May with the first semi-final, and the second two days later, followed by the grand final on 13 May, and will be hosted by Hannah Waddingham, Alesha Dixon, Julia Sanina and Graham Norton.

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