All 37 songs competing in Eurovision 2023, ranked from lame to life-changing
INSTEAD I WROTE A SONG
I can’t believe it’s finally here – but it’s time. Eurovision 2023 has kicked off in Liverpool, and tonight the first semi-final will take place and the first dump of songs from the 37 competing to win will be booted out. I honestly never thought I’d see the day in which one of the highlights of the calendar year (gay Christmas, honestly) would take place not only in my country but in a city I’ve lived in for eight years – the atmosphere is electric to put it lightly. 37 songs, varying in vibe, quality, and campness are here, but which is best? Here are all 37 songs from Eurovision 2023 ranked from the lame to the life-changing.
37. Watergun by Remo Forrer (Switzerland)
A completely on the nose anti-war anthem that just hits my ear wrong with its generic and lifeless crooning of “I don’t wanna be a soldier” with some “oooo”s that sound like they’re taken from The Greatest Showman. Avoid.
36. We Are One by Wild Youth (Ireland)
The bare faced cheek of this group to call themselves wild when this is the most generic, soulless fodder I’ve ever heard. Justice for last year’s Ireland entry, the amazing That’s Rich by Brooke that got absolutely SNUBBED. This sounds like Fun. but worse.
35. What They Say by Victor Vernicos (Greece)
Genuinely can’t tell if his cursive vocals here are intentionally a funny parody or if he earnestly is trying to give Janet Devlin, Halsey and Diana Vickers a run for their money?
34. Blood and Glitter by Lord of the Lost (Germany)
The lowest of all the Big Five Eurovision 2023 songs ranked here, and with good reason. Lordi this is not. A truly horrible vocal, feels immensely pastiche and I resent that we have to endure this on Saturday’s final no matter what. Nil poi.
33. DGT by Theodor Andrei (Romania)
“Don’t you want to sit right next to me” Theodor declares: I honestly could not for the life of me think of anything worse.
32. Tell Me More by TuralTuranX (Azerbaijan)
It was all going so well until they start doing the worst white boy rapping you’ve heard since Jack Harlow’s last album.
31. Echo by Iru (Georgia)
Iru’s Echo is exactly the kind of song you think of when you imagine a melodramatic Eurovision entry. But its drama feels inauthentic – just a middle of the road and forgettable saga of faux-drama that out of all the entries sounds the absolute worst when you stream it on Spotify. Whoever mastered this song needs firing.
30. Duje by Albina and Familja Kelmendi (Albania)
It’s all just a bit intense this one, but perhaps feel like it goes over my head. They’re giving it some Albanian welly, make no mistake – but I don’t connect much with it.
29. Like an Animal by Piqued Jacks (San Marino)
I used to work in River Island for seven years of my life and this is the exact kind of radio friendly indie music I’d have shoved into my ears without consent for nine hours a day.
28. Mama ŠČ by Let 3 (Croatia)
Eurovision 2023 annual completely bizarre off the wall weird entry for your consideration – of all the songs ranked here it’s just a racket, but wouldn’t be the ESC without stuff like this bewildering us all.
27. Ai Coração by Mimicat (Portgual)
Not the slay it ought to be, and I’m not sure why. It’s like a blend of the Spain and France entries but worse than both of them.
26. Carpe Diem by Joker Out (Slovenia)
Completely middle of the pack. Does nothing wrong but not much special either. The instrumentation sometimes rings similar to the Bond theme and that’s all I have to say here.
25. Aijā by Sudden Lights (Latvia)
I actually think I’ve been a bit harsh on this one when getting Eurovision 2023 songs ranked, so by Saturday this could climb up in my favour. The production is weird and interesting, but the lyrics and vocals are a bit nondescript. The best bit is how it opens.
24. Soarele si Luna by Pasha Parfeni (Moldova)
Dramatic! Intense! Danceable! Probably the first on this list that I genuinely enjoy – it feels folky and traditional but with a club beat. Like a tepid Shum by Go_A, but even a tepid Shum bangs.
23. Dance (Our Own Party) by The Busker (Malta)
Streets are saying this is apparently not in favour with fans or critics – I don’t get why? I think it’s a charming little bop, even if “I feel better in my sweater” is one of the most laughable lyrics I’ve heard in a long time. It’s fun! Everyone cheer up!
22. Due Vite by Marco Mengoni (Italy)
Takes the “sexiest fella in the contest” prize with ease, and despite being a huge sensation in his native Italy his song plays it pretty safe. It’s nice, though – well sang, just not got that wow factor to get it in the top 10. Second worst of the Big Five.
21. Stay by Monika Linkytè (Lithuania)
It’s nice in a Disney Channel Original Movie sort of way. A ballad you feel like you’ve heard before, but one objectively very well sang and Monika seems very likeable.
20. Break a Broken Heart by Andrew Lambrou (Cyprus)
Against all odds, I quite like this one. Generic male pop star stuff, but a tune that has echoes of the kind of midtempo pop Years and Years might release.
19. Future Lover by Brunette (Armenia)
It’s all a bit twee and romance novel for it to get my full stanning, but I love Brunette’s delicate vocal as she pens a song for a lover she’s never met. It’s quite haunting, I love the strings.
18. EAEA by Blanca Paloma (Spain)
Sounding like a track off ROSALÍA’s second album, Blanca Paloma gives you electro flamenca and is absolutely hypnotic in her conviction to it. It’s hard not to wow.
17. My Sister’s Crown by Vesna (Czechia)
A ludicrous feminist bop with chants of “We are not your dolls” with the girlies look like a particularly annoying table of quirky east Londoners you might find yourself stuck next to in a pub, it’s hard to not bop along to its riotous and infectious silliness that might make Czechia (FKA Czech Republic) actually thrive this year in the ESC for once.
16. Unicorn by Noa Kirel (Israel)
After a rare flop year for Israel last year, they’ve stormed back to the 2023 Eurovision contest with one of the most ludicrous songs ranked here, but one that clearly is riding high on the main pop girl front. I HATE that we’re singing about unicorns and I do think we need to grow up, but the “femininal” nonsense is quite hard to resist. Noa is HUGE in Israel and apparently they announced her participation before she even confirmed it, which is a bit of a lol.
15. Burning Daylight by Mia Nicolai and Dion Cooper (Netherlands)
Against all odds, I love this one. Written by Duncan Laurence, who won Eurovision with Arcade for the Netherlands – it brings together two artists for an impassioned duet with a chorus melody that is instantly memorable and in my opinion quite hard to resist. Quite gorgeous.
14. Because of You by Gustaph (Belgium)
Like a 90s thumping gay club in three minutes, Gustaph does it for the older Steps gays with a banger that sounds a bit Scissor Sisters meets Mel C meets Kylie. It’s good vibes. Nothing revolutionary but it is euphoric, and if it comes on in Liverpool gay town when we’re out celebrating this week I won’t go out for a cig.
13. Solo by BLANKA (Poland)
The most generic pop girly fodder you’ve ever heard, so naturally – I fucking love it. If her vocals are as naff on finale night as they have been in the performances we’ve seen so far, even better. So uncamp that it’s become very camp. Love it.
12. Breaking My Heart by Reiley (Denmark)
Denmark dived right into the Conan Gray lake and the Troye Sivan rivers for this year’s twink anthem. Got some controversy because it got performed live before ESC, which is a rule break. And they made an exception, because here’s Reiley doing it anyway! It’s so much fun that I don’t even care. Great production, digestable pop, sugary and catchy. I wish this rebel well.
11. Who the Hell Is Edgar? by TEYA and SALENA (Austria)
The best song you’ve ever heard about gothic writer Edgar Allen Poe’s ghost possessing pop stars to make them write songs that will make them rich. So inventive and bizarre you have to just marvel at it. I want to hate it but it has possessed me.
10. Queen of Kings by Alessandra (Norway)
Like Kings and Queens by Ava Max but a bit shitter, Queen of Kings is Norway’s maximalist pop bop that reminds me of Keiino. Like a song you’d hear from a bard playing Skyrim if it decided to take some MDMA. A chaotic but fun way to kick off my top 10 Eurovision 2023 songs ranked, and you can’t deny that
9. Samo Mi Se Spava by Luke Black (Serbia)
Almost as spooky as the viral dancing Serbian woman all over TikTok – but not quite. Some may cry this is too cool for Eurovision, but they just have no taste. Exciting production, atmospheric vocals, lives in the inbetween of a video game soundtrack and a Billie Eilish tune. Loving it.
8. Cha Cha Cha by Käärijä (Finland)
This one’s been pretty inescapable thanks to its singer’s memorable outfit and how batshit chaos it is – but Cha Cha Cha is worth the hype, worth the insanity and well produced and chaotic enough to justify the headache it gives you. Kind of what this whole thing is all about.
7. POWER by Diljá(Iceland)
Synthy power pop that airs on the generic side but is saved by Diljá’s amazing vocals and a UK garage beat that kicks in from nowhere and ascends it out of the realm of mediocrity into one that quickly has found itself on repeat with me.
6. Heart of Steel by TVORCHI (Ukraine)
A lot of Ukrainian entries have thrived with folklore tunes in years gone by, so it’s cool to see Ukraine take on a new sound after they won last year. It’s Ukraine’s party in Liverpool’s house, and this track has a breezy, The Weeknd-esque coolness to it that sounds defiant and modern whilst having a left field Gothic drama to it at the same time. Really loving it.
5. Bridges by ALIKA (Estonia)
Kicking off the top five Eurovision 2023 songs ranked with a quietly devastating ballad, it’s the underrated Alika doing it for Estonia with her moving ballad that sees her building a world of bridges. This is the second best vocal in the whole competition. The way she holds back at the start and builds it up with her passion is amazing.
4. Promise by Voyager (Australia)
One for the dads, it’s Duran Duran meets the odd twang of death metal for Australia this year and I love every second. If you told me this was Simon Le Bon on lead vocals I wouldn’t doubt you. Great guitar, even greater twinkly synth that makes you feel like you’re levelling up in a vintage video game. Great stuff!
3. Évidemment by La Zarra
How does one say serving cunt en français? Like this, baby! What a chic and strut-worthy bop this is, as inviting as it is untouchably chic! Sounds classic and modern at the same time. It’s wonderful. If this places anywhere else but top three it will be a travesty.
2. I Wrote a Song by Mae Muller (UK)
The best UK Eurovision entry of my lifetime. Bar none. A masterpiece. The fact some Eurovision gays had the cheek to say this was shit when it came out is beyond belief. This is pop perfection to me – fresh, cheeky, camp, catchy. It helps tenfold that Mae is so likeable, smart and engaging as a pop star with her social media presence that you buy into everything she’s selling perfectly. The Latin tinged production, the petty lyricism… just magnificent.
1. Tattoo by Loreen (Sweden)
Oh, she’s taking it. If I was literally all the other Eurovision 2023 songs ranked here and I found out I’d be competing against THEE Loreen, as in the mother who already won the whole thing with a little song called Euphoria just over 10 years ago, I’d give up and go home. How can anyone touch this? It is truly a masterclass in music. It’s almost as good as Euphoria, and Euphoria is a once in a decade kind of song. Lightning literally is striking twice with Tattoo in front of our very eyes. I’m bowing down.