Eurovision 2023, three first evenings on Rai: where and when

Next stop Liverpool. The BBC will host the 67th edition of the competition on behalf of UA:PBC, the Ukrainian public service

Next stop Liverpool. After the success of the Turin 2022 edition organized by Rai, thanks to the victory of the Måneskin, Eurovision Song Contest 2023 moves to the UK and the BBC will host the 67th edition of the competition on behalf of UA:PBC, the Ukrainian public service, unable to host the event at home due to the Russian military invasion. Ukraine – present in Turin despite the difficulties with the Kalush Orchestra and the song “Stefania” – had won the Turin edition thanks to the very large success in televoting.

Scheduled from 9 to 13 May at the Liverpool Arena, the Eurovision Song Contest will see representatives from 37 countries competing. The 20 songs qualified from the two semi-finals will join the 6 qualified by right in the final: Italy, France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom – the so-called “big 5” – and reigning champion Ukraine. The two semi-finals on 9 and 11 May will be broadcast in prime time on Rai 2, the Grand final on 13 May on Rai 1. The simulcast commentary of the three evenings will be broadcast on Rai Radio 2. ESC 2023 will also be broadcast on RaiPlay.

L’Italy will be represented for the second time by Marco Mengoni who, after a 13-year career, 7 studio albums, 69 platinum records, over 1.8 billion audio/video streams and 9 live tours, triumphed at the 73rd edition of the Sanremo Festival. Ten years after his victory with “L’essenziale” – a song certified four times platinum – and from his first participation in the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö in 2013, the singer-songwriter declared: «I can’t wait to be in Liverpool and I am proud to represent my country, undertaking this new adventure with the same spirit with which I decided to face Sanremo: I want to have fun, I want to bring all of myself to that stage». And the English city has already brought him luck: in the evening of the covers on the Ariston stage he was in fact ranked first performing “Let It Be”, the timeless hymn by the Beatles, together with the international choir The Kingdom Choir.

Of the more than forty artists or groups that represented Italy in the 48 editions of the Eurovision Song Contest in which we participated, Marco Mengoni is the eighth artist to return to the competition: before him Domenico Modugno (three times), Claudio Villa, Gigliola Cinquetti, Massimo Ranieri, Al Bano and Romina Power, Mia Martini and Mahmood (twice). Among the other Italians in the competition, Gianni Morandi, Toto Cutugno, Alice and Franco Battiato, Umberto Tozzi and Raf and, in recent years, Il Volo, Francesca Michielin, Francesco Gabbani, Ermal Meta, Fabrizio Moro, the Måneskin and Blanco (with Mahmood ). And Mengoni is ready to challenge other nations to bring the “show of records” back to our country once again.

In addition to Marco Mengoni, two other countries will entrust their flag to Italian artists. Our neighbors in San Marino will present “Like An Animal”, by the Piqued Jacks, a rock-funk vocal and instrumental group that despite the English language are from Pistoia, from Buggiano. The Piqued Jacks have surprisingly won the competition “A voice for San Marino”, which determines the right to fly the Titan flag at Eurovision. Norway will be represented by Alessandra Mele, from Savona from Cesano sul Neva, who moved to her mother’s country after her studies: she made herself noticed with a fleeting passage in The voice of Norway, and, as a semi-unknown, she overturned all predictions by triumphing in the Melodi Gran Prix, the Norwegian “Sanremo”. Her song is among the most listened to, and many point to her success.

This year’s super favorite is Sweden: Loreen, the winner of Eurovision 2012 with the European hit “Euphoria” is back in the competition with a song, “Tattoo” which is igniting the enthusiasm of fans and critics. The final of Melodifestivalen, the Swedish song festival, is scheduled for 11 March. Loreen, considered favorite, is required to win to confirm the predictions. Only one artist, Irishman Johnny Logan, has won the Eurovision Song Contest 2 times.

Behind the Scandinavians, who also aim to reach Ireland with 7 Eurovisual victories, today in the betting table there are Ukraine, once again with a difficult, contemporary, violent and intense song, Norway and Finland, with a techno-rap entitled “Cha cha cha” entrusted to the histrionic Käärijä. The United Kingdom, France and Spain are also credited for a good placement: the home team has not yet announced its song, France relies on the contemporary exoticism of the French-Moroccan La Zarra, Spain, with the singer-songwriter Blanca Paloma, re-proposes the flamenco tradition after 33 years.

Presenting the international show a year after Laura Pausini, Alessandro Cattelan and Mika are Graham Norton, one of the best-known British radio and TV hosts, the actress Hannah Waddingham and the singers Alisha Dixon, English, and Jula Sanina, Ukrainian.