Eurovision 2023: How song contest changed lives of Loreen, Netta and Duncan Laurence

By November 22, 2022Entertainment

What do you get when you put 15 Eurovision winners on one stage? A great big party, that's what.
Six months before Liverpool hosts the song contest on behalf of Ukraine, about 15,000 fans travelled to Amsterdam's Ziggo Dome to see acts from competitions gone by perform.
Granted, some songs have stood the test of time more than others, but Loreen's 2012 hit Euphoria had the crowd bouncing 10 years later.
"It was needed then, and it's needed now," she tells BBC News backstage at Het Grote Songfestivalfeest (The Big Songfestival Party).
"Euphoria has some sort of deepness to it that touches people on a real level," she says. "Some songs just connect."
The 39-year-old is often credited with changing the direction of Eurovision after her success, and there are rumours she could be trying to represent Sweden again in 2023.
Eurovision-related events outside of May, when the contest is held, was something Israel's winner Netta had no idea about when she competed four years ago.
"There wasn't any career before that. I was singing in bars and just trying to make a living in a very modest way, trying to sing back-up, singing covers at weddings," she tells BBC News.
"I went from anonymity to stardom, and everything changed for a girl who'd calculate the amount of money – 'What do I buy, milk or beer?', to people from Amsterdam calling me saying, 'We want to fly you here, how many people do you need?'."
She admits, though, it's "a challenge" to get fans to like her non-Eurovision material, but says she's working in America with music producers to try to change that.
It can be tricky, after performing in front of 160 million viewers, to get people around the world to listen to future releases after Eurovision.
In recent years, acts like Måneskin, Rosa Linn and Duncan Laurence have all managed to have huge success in the US, largely down to TikTok.
"To me it was always a dream to be known as a musician on a global scale," Dutch singer Laurence explains. "The biggest moment was when we hit the one billion streams on all platforms, and I got this award on stage in Rotterdam at Eurovision that I brought to The Netherlands."
"You have to explain it's not X Factor, it's not The Voice, it's way bigger. Once it's in their head, they're like: 'I want to watch this'."
The 28-year-old says American audiences see him as a new singer-songwriter, who are largely unaware of the world's largest live music event, but he's proud to be part of the three acts "finally" getting Eurovision songs to chart in America.
As well as Loreen, Netta and Laurence, the Netherlands gig allowed fans to see two winning Ukrainian acts, including this year's Kalush Orchestra.
The crowd roared every time an act shouted "Slava Ukraini" (glory to Ukraine).
Jamala, who won in 2016 for her song about the 1944 deportation of Crimean Tatars, was dressed in the country's flag of yellow and blue for her performance.
"I know there are many people here tonight with light in their heart," she said on stage.
"Please share it with my country and stand with Ukraine."
Standing with Eurovision fans is something Ireland's Johnny Logan will always do, telling the crowd: "Thank you for my life".
"The people out there that love Eurovision opened up the whole world to me," the 68-year-old tells BBC News.
"These days I sell out everywhere I work. A lot of people have to ask the question, 'If he's still around, why?' – and I can still deliver.
"When you stand up in the middle of this, I'm very humbled when I step back from the microphone and let the crowd take over the chorus".
Like Loreen, Logan is a Eurovision legend – and not just with fans, with fellow winners too.
Alexander Rybak, 2009's winner for Norway, interrupts our interview to say goodbye to Logan.
"I just had to hug," he says. "Johnny Logan is not just my favourite Eurovision singer, but my favourite heart-warming singer. He has heart.
"A lot of artists use music to promote their talent but Johnny uses his talent to promote music."
Planning for next year's competition in Liverpool is already under way, but it'll be a while yet before it's known which act will be representing the United Kingdom.
Sam Ryder, after his success coming second this year, has already ruled himself out. He became one of the UK's best ambassadors for the competition in Turin, constantly talking about the love and togetherness it brings.
Loreen ends the night by agreeing with the Space Man singer, telling the BBC: "It has opened up my career and I've met so many wonderful people.
"I have been able to do what I love the most, and it's thanks to Eurovision."
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