Arts and Entertainment

Our Favorite Visionaries from Eurovision

Reading Time: 4 minutes

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By Amy Lei

Topic Sentence: Eurovision, also known as the “gay Olympics” for singing in Europe, had performances both outstanding and shocking. Here’s our take on songs from this year’s contest.

Every May, while we students are stressing over AP exams, Europeans are drinking, dancing, and living the life at the Eurovision Song Contest. For the uncultured readers: Eurovision is basically the “gay Olympics” for Europe (and a few select other countries), having created icons such as Céline Dion and ABBA. The contest is inextricably popular for several reasons: the zany songs, the bombast of the technical productions, and the occasional memes (for instance, Epic Sax Guy). This year, the contest took place in Lisbon, Portugal, with entries from 43 countries. While we definitely loved watching and listening to most of them, these are ten performances that particularly stood out to us.

“A Matter of Time”

Despite not qualifying for the final, “A Matter of Time” still remains one of the most polished and dramatic songs that competed this year. The song’s constantly changing tempo and Sennek’s soulful vocals captivates listeners, creating a mysterious and unique aura. It’s honestly a shame her presentation was quite frankly boring and seemed a bit disconnected to the audience on stage, as this James Bond-esque song was one of the more sophisticated and interesting ones this year.

Eleni Foureira

Eleni Foureira delivers a searing performance as the representative from the tiny island nation of Cyprus. With a squad of female dancers and powerful choreography, Foureira easily invokes thoughts of Beyoncé. Her strong vocals and red-tinged set complement the rest of her performance and launch her into a well-deserved second place finish. With a song that could potentially be heard on the radio, Foureira ultimately delivers one of the all-around best performances this year.

“Lie to Me”
Mikolas Josef

With a youthful presence, Mikolas Josef delivers a bright and upbeat pop song that landed him in sixth place. Donning a nerdy hipster outfit and backpack, Josef utilizes acrobatic backup dancers, contrasting with his compelling singing. Reminiscent of Ed Sheeran’s “Sing” and, strangely, the theme song of the “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” this catchy song will be stuck in your head for days. And even despite an injury preventing Josef from doing any of his dancers’ stunts himself, he still managed to be vibrant and energetic, especially with his brave, if not cringey, backpack dance.

“La forza”
Elina Nechaveya

Singing an opera song in Estonian at a contest dominated by pop music may be a questionable choice, but Estonia’s “La forza” manages to defy all expectations. Mixing pop tones with this classical opera song, Nechaveya clearly displays her capabilities as she effortlessly belts out and sustains high notes. Accompanied by the pastel colors and bright red flowers projected on her 52-square-meter-dress, she creates an ethereal performance, breathtaking both to watch and to listen to.

Saara Aalto

Perhaps one of the most famous singers heading into Eurovision due to her runner-up status on “The X Factor UK” two years ago, Saara Aalto had high expectations coming into Eurovision as the Finnish entry, and she definitely met those expectations with a song meant to be an LGBTQ+ anthem. Despite her lackluster placing as 25th overall, with an incredible voice and a technically innovative set that involved her being spun upside down on a wheel, Aalto clearly deserves some credit for her exciting performance.

Ryan O’Shaughnessy

Ireland has not had a great record in the Eurovision Song Contest in recent years, with “Together” being its first song to qualify for the final since 2013. Yet this song clearly deserves its placing—it’s a simple love ballad, yet O’Shaughnessy’s delicate and sweet vocals really make the song stand out. It’s not really creative or unique, yet the song manages to retell a love story in a fresh, relatable way. The heartwarming performance is especially notable for its inclusivity, focusing on a gay couple of two young dancing lovers.


This year’s utterly bizarre winner of Eurovision was from a country that’s not actually… in Europe. Israel is allowed to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest because it’s a member of the European Broadcasting Union—in fact, Netta Barzilai is the fourth Israeli winner of Eurovision. Replete with creative and eccentric chicken noises and Japanese imagery, Netta sings over an electronic dance beat about female empowerment. Her simple lyrics of “I’m not your toy / You stupid boy / I’ll take you down / I’ll make you watch me” make this humorous song easy to relate to. Thanks to Barzilai’s victory, Israel will host Eurovision next year, as is tradition for the country of the Eurovision victor.

“Non mi avete fatto niente”
Ermal Meta & Fabriazo Moro

In a time of political turmoil and fear, the message of “Non mi avete fatto niente” seems more important than ever. The fast-paced song describes the pointlessness and pain of war and terrorism, advocating for world peace instead. Though most of us probably lack the capability to comprehend the song’s Italian lyrics, anyone can hear the emotion and anger in Meta and Moro’s raspy, yet harmonious voices. In fact, the duo seems to focus on spreading their message more than winning, making Italy’s entry admirable and inspiring.

“My Lucky Day”

“My Lucky Day,” which bizarrely tells an ambiguous story of love triangles, affairs, and eventual threesomes, seems like a tacky pop song a few decades too late. And yet, DoReDoS still manages to spin their song into a carefree, fun experience. With their bright blue and red velvet suits and yellow daisy dress (the colors of the Moldovan flag), and a creative staging involving another trio of lookalikes popping in and out of doors and windows, DoReDoS turns this cheesy song into a guilty pleasure. This infectious song may not be as meaningful or emotional as others from this year, but it undoubtedly just screams “Eurovision.”


SuRie’s powerful voice made her a fan favorite heading into the competition, but lackluster song lyrics that were pathetically cliché sunk her performance into 24th place—only two away from last. Her performance was also hurt when a political activist stormed the stage during her performance, grabbed the microphone from her, and yelled, “Modern Nazis of the UK media, we demand freedom! War is not peace.” However, her ability to finish her performance in spite of being interrupted shows just how strong she is.