Vidbir 2023 jumpstarts Eurovision national selection competition season on December 17

Ukraine Eurovision Icon

Ukraine’s Vidbir 2023 will officially kick off the Eurovision Song Contest individual country competition season this month. The December 17 event will see 10 Ukrainian artists compete to represent the embattled country at Eurovision 2023. 

Every country has a different system for selecting its Eurovision representative. Seventeen of the 37 countries have confirmed they’ll have a contest to choose their champion. Nine have opted for an internal selection process. Eleven are currently up in the air. If you’re in the US trying to understand, think about how every state gets to decide how they run elections. It’s like that – except for choosing a pop artist and not a President. 

As of today, four of the nine confirmed internal selection countries have announced representing artists or songwriters (meaning someone else might end up performing the song): Cyprus (Andrew Lambrou), Isreal (Noa Kirel), the Netherlands (Mia Nicolai & Dion Cooper) and Slovenia (Joker Out).  

Five of the countries confirmed as hosting national song contests have released artists and song titles but not the songs: Albania, Belgium, Croatia, Malta, and Sweden.

Two have released artists, song titles, and (most) songs: Ukraine and Estonia.

My goal for Eurovision 2023 is to observe as many of these national contests as I can. As a Eurovision newbie, I’m curious how well I can select who will go on to represent at Eurovision and, eventually, win the whole shebang. I’ll write about as many as I can but, obviously, that’s a lot of music. I have a full-time job and a book to write. I’m going to miss a few. So it goes.

In order to prepare I’ve created a Eurovision national contest calendar. I’ll share it here in case anyone is interested. We’re still waiting for several date confirmations, so it is incomplete.

I’m also building Tidal playlists. This allows me to listen to the songs objectively as they aren’t tied to a video or live performance. My plan for ranking is to judge the song on its musical merits and run it through my very limited knowledge of what makes a good Eurovision competitor. Obviously, that isn’t solely how Eurovision is won. The song needs to be good (or at least compelling), sure, but much of what determines success at Eurovision is performance. 

Admittedly, this isn’t always easy because not every song is on Tidal. My backup is YouTube. Even that isn’t perfect because on rare occasions songs are country blocked. We’re still waiting for most countries to announce the song list, but I’ll share what I have so far. I note in the description if songs are missing.

Ukraine’s Vidbir 2023

Estonia’s Eesti Laul 2023

Once again I have a sloppy spreadsheet for 2023’s Eurovision Song Contest. This is where I’m trying to track everything.

You can read about my journey to creating a spreadsheet for Eurovision 2022 on my blog:

Finally, there’s no way I would be able to do this without two invaluable resources. Wiwibloggs is the workhorse of Eurovision capturing all of the minutiae and conducting artist interviews. 

EurovisionWorld is impressively organized with Eurovision’s history going back several years.

  • December 11, 2022