Singing about war may bring Eurovision victory
Croats could win the Eurovision Song Contest with Mama SC, a song mocking the relationship between Russia and Belarus. More than half of the votes on a website dedicated to news and odds regarding the contest were cast for the Croatian performer, so it's easy to imagine that, similar to last year's Eurovision contest, the winner will be decided on political grounds. Besides the Croat band called Let 3, the Ukrainian group also stands a good chance of winning the title.
Croatian song enjoys 54-percent support
The winning performance in Croatia’s national final has shocked the general public. The five-strong rock band Let 3 packed the stage with military uniforms, moustaches reminiscent of that of the Belarusian president, men in lipstick and snarling Leninist nonsense, just to amaze the audience. Their song is a mockery of the relationship between Russia and Belarus, portraying the Russians as Putin worshippers and the Russian president as an idiot.
The song has caused quite some outrage on social media. While some consider it a “brave stand”, many would exclude the production from the competition because it is too politically charged. Commentators have called the song a tasteless, a disgusting farce, while lovers of traditional, romantic Croatian melodies have expressed their utter disappointment.
However, the highly polticised song could bring victory to the Croats. Although a significant number of countries participating in Eurovision have not yet selected their contestants, the websites covering the competition are already searching for the best. The site called wiwibloggs.com has launched a poll entitled “Who is your favourite Eurovision 2023 act so far?” With 30,000 votes cast, the Croatian team stood at 54 per cent, which is 16 and a half thousand votes.
“Heart of steel” Ukrainians in the lead at betting agencies
You can also follow the big favourites at the betting agencies. According to a table published on eurovisionworld.com, the Croatian contestant is not in the lead (for now), but the political basis for the final ranking is also clear here. The smallest odds, an average of 2.5, is currently set for Ukraine. As some of the national entries have not been selected, putting the odds at 25 per cent is a rather strong statement.
This year, Ukraine will be represented by TVORCHI, an electric duo founded in 2018. The two members are Andrii Hutsuliak from Ukraine, and Jimoh Augustus Kehinde from Nigeria (who will take centre stage at the Eurovision contest as the singer). The duo says their song dubbed Heart of Steel warns of the dangers of nuclear warfare.
“Today, while some people are playing with nuclear threats, our people with hearts of steel are protecting Europe,” they say.
The lyrics was written during the siege of the Azovstal steel factory, so the men of “heart of steel” directly represent those holding out in the factory, and those defending the country in a broader sense. The song is an ode to both personal and national endurance, according to wiwibloggs. Put in other words, using the “recipe” for last year’s victory, the Ukrainians sing about the war, and they are confident that they can win the contest once again by taking advantage of Western Europe’s sympathy.
The plan was that Eurovision 2023 will be hosted by Ukraine, but due to the war, the United Kingdom – ranking second in last years contest – took over as the event’s organiser. The contest will take place in Liverpool between 9 and 13 May, and it is already clear that generating sympathy for Ukraine is an integral part of the concept. The stage was designed to represent a wide hug to Ukraine. “Ukraine was a central part of my inspiration” and the stage was meant to symbolise the world as it’s opening its arms to last year’s victor, Ukraine, stage designer Julio Himede said.
The only question is whether the audience will be able to focus on the songs in this artificially created milieu, or whether they will once again feel that it is their “duty” to support a politicised performance.