The final of the competition, which was held in Liverpool, attracted an average of 9.9 million viewers, with a peak of 11 million. This represented a 63 per cent share of the audience overall.
The last ratings peak occurred in 2011 when an average of 9.5 million watched. Last year’s final was watched by an average of 8.9 million viewers.
✨ The Eurovision Song Contest 2023 Grand Final scores douze points for the BBC as it becomes the most watched Grand Final ever!
The final saw a 5 minute peak of 11 million, average of 9.9 million and share of 63%. pic.twitter.com/Zcbk8MfOB3
— BBC Press Office (@bbcpress) May 14, 2023
This year’s instalment of the contest took place in Liverpool. While Ukraine won last year and would normally host under the rules of the competition, the ongoing political conflict meant it was held in the UK, who were runners up last year with Sam Ryder.
However, the opening segment of the finale was dedicated to Ukraine, with their 2022 entry Kalush Orchestra opening the contest with an emotive rendition of their winning song, ‘Stefania’.
The opening also saw the band joined by musicians and famous figures from afar. During one segment of the song, it cut to a clip of Ryder playing guitar on the song from on top of Liverpool’s Liver Building.
Ryder then later returned to the stage after the finalists to perform his latest single ‘Mountain’ with Taylor making a surprise appearance on drums. Ryder last joined Queen on stage for a rendition of ‘Somebody To Love’ at the Foo Fighter’s Taylor Hawkins tribute concert.
Elsewhere, the show featured a segment where previous Eurovision contestants paid tribute to Liverpool’s music history during a song medley as well as a special video message from ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus who paid tribute to Eurovision and its importance in ABBA’s career.
Similarly, fans enjoyed comedian and host Mel Giedroyc’s ”incredible” turn as a Polish milkmaid in a reference to Poland’s 2014 much talked about entry ‘My Slowianie’ by Donatan and Cleo.
Sweden were crowned overall winners at the competition, with a win of 583 points. They were the bookies favourite to win ahead of the final in Liverpool, with Loreen’s song ‘Tattoo’ having odds of 4/9 on bet365 to win on the day of the grand final.
The win made Eurovision history, with Loreen becoming the first woman to win the competition twice, following her victory in 2012 with the track ‘Euphoria’. After the jury votes, Sweden stood in first place at 340 points. After the public vote, this increased at 583. Finland and Israel came in second and third place respectively.
Responding to her win afterwards, Loreen said: “This feels amazing. I’m started to melt! It was surreal in the beginning I’m like ‘what just happened?!’ …It’s sinking in, it’s so beautiful and I’m so thankful.”
The UK’s entry, Mae Martin, closed the finalist’s performances with her entry, ‘I Wrote A Song‘. The UK finished second from last with 24 points and Mae has since responded to the disappointing result with a statement.
Meanwhile, some fans were unhappy with Sweden winning, with many wanting Finland’s Käärijä to win with his dance-inspired song, ‘Cha Cha Cha’. You can check out more of the fan reaction to the results here.
Keep checking back on nme.com for more Eurovision updates