It is the final day of 2022, as we head into 2023 and a new year, let’s first take another look back at Turin’s Eurovision in May, and say au revoir to the kinetic sun. This year’s contest seemed to be a return to mostly business as usual, with fewer covid restrictions in place as life got back to some normality.
Italy’s Sound of Beauty
The hosting of the contest returned to Italy for the first time since the iconic 1991 contest. This time the city of Turin would be the setting. Beauty was certainly what Italy brought us this year, Italian music is some of my favourite at Eurovision and I was not disappointed with the return of Diodato and Il Volo during the Semi-Finals. Italy’s winners Måneskin, despite Damiano’s hurt ankle, and Gigliola Cinquetti were back in on Stage during the final. It had been 58 years since Gigliola scored Italy’s first victory at Eurovision.
Very nice to meet you, Laura!
Mika, Laura Pausini and Alessandro Cattelan were the three hosts that led us through the three shows. Mika is already a familiar name throughout Europe, with a string of hits and TV talent judging roles on the continent. Alessandro is a successful TV personality in Italy. Laura Pausini is already one of the most successful singers from Italy with a Grammy, a Golden Globe and four Latin Grammys under her belt; so it was a great score for RAI that she agreed to host.
This year’s hosts were multi-functioning not only presenting but featuring in opening and interval acts throughout the week. They even took the time to teach the rest of Europe the different hand gestures that Italians often do mean. A lowlight but funny moment may be having to deal politely with an excessively show-off Michael Ben David during Semi-Final 2, so awkward! Alessandro showed us how to do everything the ‘Italian way’. Laura and Mika showed us their incredible talent. A highlight of this year’s interval in the final was Mika’s phenomenal performance.
One of the key things that I got from this year’s Eurovision was discovering Laura Pausini, after the terrific melody that opened the final. I didn’t know of Laura prior to her announcement as host of Eurovision 2022. After Eurovision, I was inspired to delve into her amazing back catalogue and I can now say she is my favourite artist.
631 points including 33 sets of 12 points
Ukraine’s win at Eurovision 2022 was certain when we got all the points. After coming 4th with Europe’s juries, their score in the televote was commanding. Kalash Orchestra had been chosen to represent Ukraine after Vidbir winner Alina Pash was disqualified. Their song ‘Stefania’ a hip-hop/folk style song is a tribute to band member Oleh Psiuk’s mother. Ukraine won the first semi-final and in the final scored 192 points from the juries with 5 sets of 12 points, but absolutely dominated the public vote with an unprecedented 439 points and an outstanding 28 sets of 12 points.
Events away from the contest dominate our thoughts, in February Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine. Prior to the contest, Russia was removed from participating in the contest, and subsequently, the Russian broadcaster left the EBU.
Since their win for Ukraine, Kalush Orchestra has gone on to enjoy more success in 2022. After the contest, the band went on to perform across Europe and raise funds for Ukrainian Army. They have appeared at Glastonbury and MTV EMAs. We look forward I am sure to see them in Liverpool.
There’s Nothing but Space Maaaaan!
Last year the United Kingdom scored the absolute nul points with not a single point from either the juries or the public. What could we expect from them in 2022, it couldn’t have gotten any worse. Faith was placed in TAP music to change the fortunes of the UK. And that’s just what they went and did, picking raising TikTok star Sam Ryder to perform for the UK was a masterstroke from the BBC. His self-penned song was Space Man.
The UK topped the jury vote and come second to Ukraine overall. This was the 16th time the UK had finished 2nd, the last time being in 1998. The leap from 26th (last place) to 2nd place meant it was the biggest leap on the scoreboard for a country at Eurovision from one year to the next.
Since the contest, Sam has been kept busy performing gigs around Europe and a string of UK TV appearances, including two incredible performances at Strictly Come Dancing’s Blackpool Special. His debut album went straight to number 1. On New Year his TV Special will be the lead into 2023 on the BBC in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. I can’t wait to go see his gig in Glasgow in March 2023.
Snapping one, two. Give that Wolf a Banana.
This year’s contest featured a ton of brilliant songs. Despite only finishing 20th Armenia’s Rosa Linn had huge success with ‘Snap’. Being the most streamed song from this year’s contest and entering the charts in America following wide use on TikTok. Her staging at Eurovision was the most impressive to me, changing the setting completely before a reveal.
Norway decided to send two wolves from the moon and Space DJ to the contest. If you are a fan of Grandma’s and Bananas, you would have loved this. Serbia opted to send Konstrakta whose staging and mention of Meghan Markle’s hair grabbed the attention of Europe and gave Serbia a top 5 result.
This year Latvia’s plea for Europe to give up meat for P**** did not help them progress to the final. Sad times for cat lovers. A mechanical bull couldn’t bring luck for San Marino as they failed to advance for the first time since 2018.
Zdob și Zdub were back for their third outing for Moldova this time joined by Advahov Brothers. They scored another top-ten result and even placed 2nd in the public vote. The Czech Republic mesmerised us with their lighting show, Amanda from Greece was on stage alone but had a seat for everyone.
Chanel’s sultry and fast-paced performance for Spain caught the eye and imagination of Europe. Chanel managed to bring Spain back into contention after a few years at the lower end of the scoreboard with ‘SloMo’. It’s exactly everything we wanted from Spain and was rewarded with a 3rd place finish.
My personal favourite from this year’s contest finished 4th. I’ve been hooked on this song and I cheered for joy when Cornelia Jakobs won through Melodifestivalen in March. She took the stage in Turin with bare feet and a giant green spinning circle for ‘Hold Me Closer’.
This year’s contest was another outstanding spectacle with many highlights, it truly showed off the best of Italy and had Italian flavour throughout its heart. All of the participating broadcasters brought wonderful stage shows and we had really great set of entries. Eurovision continues to provide something for everybody. In May we got to see excellent and exciting shows, thank you to RAI and EBU for this and all the people that made this possible.
As we enter into 2023 all eyes will be on Liverpool, there are changes afoot and we know already that it going to be a unique show as the UK host on behalf of Ukraine.
What were your favourite moments from 2022? What can we look forward to in 2023? As always, please let us know what you think by commenting below. Be sure to follow ‘THAT Eurovision Site’ on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
News Source: That Eurovision Site
Photo Source: EBU/Corinne Cumming