Mae Muller has admitted her penultimate Eurovision Song Contest finish “wasn’t the result we hoped for” as the grand final in Liverpool became the most-watched in history.
The live broadcast was watched by an average of 9.9 million viewers in the UK, with a peak of 11 million tuning in to see London-born singer Muller take 25th place with ‘I Wrote A Song’, as evidenced by overnight ratings.
Germany was the only country to finish 18 points behind the United Kingdom.
In the early hours of Sunday, Müller, 25, tweeted: “I just want to say thank you, Uxi know, I joke a lot, but we’ve really given it our all over the past few months, but not the result we were hoping for .” I am so proud of everyone and what we have achieved on this journey.
“Congratulations to all countries, I will never forget this journey and I love you all.”
The disappointment comes just 12 months after Britain finished second to Ukraine as Sam Ryder delighted 8.9million viewers with his hit ‘Space Man’.
The BBC, which organized the competition in cooperation with the European Broadcasting Union, gave its approval.
The channel’s official Twitter account said: “Mae, we are so proud of you and all you achieved in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.”
At the end of the show, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak tweeted: “Liverpool you have made the UK and Ukraine proud.”
“What a fantastic celebration of #Eurovision2023. Congratulations @Loreen_Talhaoui. Sweden, it’s up to you.”
The live broadcast made ratings history on Saturday, beating the previous record of 9.5 million viewers who watched British contestant Blue compete in 2011 with the song ‘I Can’.
BBC director of the unscripted series Kate Phillips said: “What an incredible competition. It was unforgettable, unforgettable event television on an unprecedented scale, delivered by the BBC to viewers across the UK and millions more viewers around the world.
“Sweden took home the trophy in spectacular fashion and 2022 winners Ukraine were the center of the show. Liverpool welcomed the world’s largest singing competition with open arms and exceeded all of our expectations.
“The fact that so many millions tuned in reflects how important Eurovision has become and really underscores the theme of this year’s competition, United by Music. We really hope we made Ukraine proud.”
It was Sweden’s Loreen who stormed to victory that night, making history as the first woman and second person to win the singing competition twice after winning in 2012.
She scored a total of 583 points after adding the audience and jury votes, narrowly beating Finland’s Kaarija, who scored 526 points.
With the victory, their home country Sweden is also the nation with the most wins (seven each) with Ireland.
Loreen’s victory with ‘Tattoo’ also means Sweden will host the competition next year, on the 50th anniversary of Abba’s victory in the Eurovision Song Contest with her hit ‘Waterloo’.
After being announced the winner at the M&S Bank Arena, Loreen returned to the stage and received the trophy from last year’s winners, Kalush Orchestra of Ukraine.
She said: “This is overwhelming. I am so happy and so grateful.”
Her win equals the record held by Irish singer Johnny Logan, who won the competition in both 1980 and 1987.
The Ukrainian competitor, brooding electronic duo Tvorchi, scored 243 points and finished sixth.
Saturday night’s grand final featured a series of musical tributes to Ukraine, which would have hosted the competition this year had it not been for the Russian invasion.
The evening began with a pre-recorded video featuring the Kalush Orchestra, last year’s winners – and a surprise performance by the Princess of Wales on the piano.
They were joined by Ryder, who played guitar on the roof of the Liver Building on Liverpool seafront, and Andrew Lloyd Webber on piano.
Former Ukrainian contestants Go_A, Tina Karol and Jamala, who won for Ukraine in 2016, performed among this year’s hopefuls who came to the flag parade.
However, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky did not appear and was not allowed to speak at the event.