We are the winners of Eurovision!

As soon as it was announced that Eurovision 2023 would be hosted by the BBC, it was inevitable that Liverpool would throw its hat into the ring. As a city with such a great muscial pedigree, we were the obvious choice, right?

Maybe not. Even my most ardent Eurovision pals were sceptical of our bid. “It’ll be in Glasgow,” they all said, whenever I dared to dream of a Eurovision on the banks of the River Mersey. When the bids were narrowed down and Liverpool was in the final two, a lot of people seemed to be surprised that we had even made it that far.

And then, on Friday night, the final announcement came…

WE DID IT!

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Eurovision Wrong Contest

The FA Cup Final is today, but I am naturally more interested in the Gay FA Cup Final, namely Eurovision, which kicks off at 8pm tonight.

There’s lots of chatter about the UK’s entry this year. After several years of lacklustre performances, earning few points from either the jury or televote, the BBC has changed direction. This year, the UK has gone with an innovative, risky strategy of entering a decent song with a likeable performer. It seems to have paid off, as Space Man is actually being talked about as a possible winner. Sam Ryder immediately piqued my interest in his song by releasing a lyric video based on teletext, albeit fake teletext that was just unrealistic enough to annoy me.

But I don’t want to talk about the front-runners. No, I am far more interested in the poor artists who poured their heart and soul into their song and performance, only to get perfunctorily booted out at the semi-final stage. Let’s take a moment to acknowledge the performances that failed to get through because Europeans apparently wanted a load of tedious ballads instead.

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Love Shine a Light

On Saturday, the EBU presented Europe Shine a Light, a special show “honouring” the songs that would have appeared in the Eurovision Song Contest, had it not been cancelled.

I can’t stop thinking about the finale, where the would-be contestants all joined in singing Love Shine a Light, the UK’s winning song from 1997. Maybe it’s because recent events have left me feeling emotionally fragile, but the sight of a continent coming together like this moved me to tears. I’ve watched the video about 20 times in the past 48 hours.