How Loreen Won Eurovision (Again)

From the moment when Loreen was announced for her participation in Melodifestivalen in 2023, the fandom’s expectations for the 2012 winner skyrocketed. It took twenty-seven songs before the song “Tattoo” was finally revealed at the fourth heat, at which the expectations were fulfilled with a sleek pop song and a compelling performance.

Soon enough, Loreen won Melodifestivalen, and represented Sweden for the second time ever. And with that, she rocketed up to the top of the betting odds, assumed to be the favorite to win it all. However, with a stronger set of songs than in 2012, winning wasn’t a certainty.

So, how did she manage to do it?

Commercial success

From the outset, Loreen won the streaming wars at a canter. Alessandra’s “Queen of Kings” was the initial frontrunner thanks to TikTok virality. Over the pre-season, however, Tattoo remained consistent in terms of commercial success in the spring; by the time of the first semi-final, it had over 50 million streams on Spotify.

After the contest, it hasn’t stopped. 91 days after its release, Tattoo reached 100 million streams on Spotify—a new record, thanks to familiarity towards Loreen’s work and the hype surrounding her.

And it is very much deserved. “Tattoo” has an atmospheric soundscape, with a slick production throughout. But how did that translate on stage?

An acoustic version of Loreen’s Tattoo.

Maintaining the same staging

A lot of drama played into Loreen’s staging, beyond the desert-inspired landscapes she created. The infamous “panini press”, which played the role of the sky, also had the disadvantage of weighing too much for Liverpool’s stadium. After questions of how the staging would be readjusted, or even changed, the screen was downsized for the actual performance, and Loreen ended up performing on a smaller box.

Loreen performed Tattoo for Sweden at the Grand Final at Liverpool Arena. Photo credit: Sarah Louise Bennett

Thanks to the work of the camera angles and little tweaks, the same atmospheric vibe was replicated in Liverpool, and it garnered high scores from both the juries and televoters. While Loreen came in second in the public vote to Kaarija’s “Cha Cha Cha”, her televote score was more than his jury score, which was enough to win.

Loreen’s energy

While a demo was sent to Loreen several months ago, in the end, it was Loreen’s stage presence which brought it to life. Initially, she hesitated about going back to the contest, but she said she goes “where the energy is light and where it flows. And whenever I said, “No, I don’t think I’m gonna do it…” there was dense energy around me. But whenever I said, “Maybe I’ll do it…” something changed. The energy lit up!”

And it translated into every single part of her performance.

Not just the natural aspects of the landscape, but also in the way she moved and sung “Tattoo”. She brought on the importance of love in the lyrics, both in how she wrote them and emoted them in the empty space. Working on her performance for months, that showed in the professional staging and overall ambience.

The legend of Loreen added another accolade to her crown–that of a double Eurovision winner.

Published by Elda Mengisto

Frequent writer, aspiring scholar, occasional fencer. I'm a lover of all things beautiful and light.

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