Liverpool’s grand final breaks Eurovision viewing records

Liverpool’s Eurovision Song Contest was the most watched grand final in history.

The city hosted the competition’s final event at its M&S Bank Arena on Saturday night (13 May).

It was a lively affair, with plenty of memorable moments including a history-making victory from Sweden’s Loreen who became the second ever artist to win Eurovision twice, and a royal cameo from Kate Middleton.

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The live broadcast on BBC One saw an average of 9.9 million viewers, the BBC has said.

Viewing figures reached a peak during Loreen’s performance, with 11 million people tuning in to see the Swedish star sing her winning track “Tattoo”.

Saturday night’s (13 May) Eurovision broke the previous ratings record, which was achieved in 2011 when 9.5 million people watched UK entry Blue compete.

Last year’s contest – hosted in Turin, Italy after the 2021 event was won by Italian rockers Måneskin – was watched by 8.9 million people.

Sweden’s Loreen at Eurovision (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Sweden’s Loreen at Eurovision (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Speaking about this year’s record-breaking figures, BBC’s director of unscripted content Kate Phillips said: “What an incredible contest. It was unforgettable, unmissable event television on a scale never seen before, delivered by the BBC to viewers across the UK and millions more watching around the world.

“Sweden took home the trophy in spectacular style and 2022 winners Ukraine were at the heart of the show.”

The UK hosted Eurovision 2023 on behalf of last year’s winners, Ukraine, who were unable to do so due to the ongoing invasion of their country by Russia.

The UK’s Mae Muller at Eurovision (PA)
The UK’s Mae Muller at Eurovision (PA)

Phillips continued: “Liverpool welcomed the world’s biggest singing competition with open arms and embraced it beyond all of our expectations.

“The fact that so many millions of people tuned in reflects just how significant Eurovision has become and truly underlines the theme behind this year’s contest, United by Music. We really hope we did Ukraine proud.”

Sweden emerged victorious after a close race with Finland whose entry, Käärijä, finished in second place, with Israel’s Noa Kirel following behind in third place.

Finland’s Käärijä at Eurovision (Aaron Chown/PA Wire)
Finland’s Käärijä at Eurovision (Aaron Chown/PA Wire)

It was a less successful year for the host country, with the UK unable to replicate the 2022 success of Sam Ryder who finished in second place with his hit song “Rocket Man”.

North London singer-songwriter Mae Muller impressed viewers with her performance of “I Wrote A Song” but failed to clinch the points in the public and jury votes, coming in second-to-last place.

Muller has been flooded with messages of support following the competition, and has since addressed the disappointing results in a social media statement.