Eurovision 2023: “Jury” Rehearsal of the 1st Semi Final – Live Commentary! (Updated Live)
The “jury” rehearsal of the Eurovision 2023 First Semi Final has just started and the the Liverpool Arena is filled with eurofans! Even though the Semi-Final results wil be determined 100% by the televote, national juries will watch and score today’s rehearsals and their votes will count in case a country’s televote fails to produce a valid result. Earlier today we saw the First Dress Rehearsal and you can read our commentary here.
This article gets updated in real-time, all you need to do is hit the refresh button on your browser!
So stay tuned to this article as we update it with all details, preparing you for what you will see in the Semi-Final tomorrow May 9th, at 21:00 CEST.
The show opens with a video of a young Liverpudlian boy traveling across the city telling his family, friends, neighbours (and some special guests!) that Eurovision is in Liverpool. The young boy dances yogether with a young girl on the Eurovision stage.
Julia Sanina performs “Mayak” by The Hardkiss. Translating from the Ukrainian for Lighthouse, the performance: “symbolises in many ways how the UK is United by Music with Ukraine through the hosting the 2023 Contest on behalf of the 2022 winners.”
Spice Girl Mel C‘ voice introduces to the stage the hosts of the contest to viewers across the globe. The hosts of the show are the female trio of superstars Julia Sanina of The Hardkiss, Hannah Waddingham, and Alesha Dixon.
The Competing Countries – LIVE COMMENTARY
Norway: Alessandra – Queen of Kings
The jury rehearsal starts with an energetic show by Alessandra. The young singer looks confident and sounds great, with the exeption of small vocal instabilities. She nails the whistle note as usual but right after it, it seems she loses her breath a bit as she “talks” a few phrases instead of singing. A minor problem that she handled well. Norway will probably finish top-5 in the semi.
Malta: The Busker – Dance (Our Own Party)
Next up, a quirky, colorful fun but also a bit awkward and messy performance from The Busker, that gets the crowd cheering! Big applause in the Liverpool Arena but I doubt this will translate to many televote points for the small island nation.
Serbia: Luke Black – Samo Mi Se Spava
Luke Black looks more comfortable than ever, performing his unique number, full of strobing lights, clever camera cuts and video game referances. The crowd absolutely loves the crazy show he puts on, making sure that Serbia is sailing to the Grand Final.
Latvia: Sudden Lights – Aijā
The Latvian band manages to create a unique atmosphere on the Eurovision stage with their beautiful lightshow and masterful vocal performance. Definetely an entry that will be hurt by the absence of juries in the semi finals, as their qualification based on the televote alone seems very doubtful.
Portugal: Mimicat – Ai Coração
Mimicat is very much improved vocally compared to her previous rehearsal today. She delivers loads of energy and sassy choreography, that is almost enough to fill the rather empty stage. Excellent performance but will Portugal qualify, based solely on the singer’s charisma? It remains to be seen but I’m leaning towards yes.
Ireland: Wild Youth – We Are One
It feels like Wild Youth are almost performing at home soil, as the Liverpool audience welcomes them with the warmest applause. Sadly, they deliver their worst performance so far, as the singer looks uncomfortable, avoids singing parts of the song and sounds very off, making Ireland a strong candidate for the last place of the Semi-Final.
Croatia: Let 3 – Mama ŠČ!
The infamous Croatian band give us yet another wacky show that you either love or hate, but can certainly not forget. Even though it’s completely crazy and off-putting, it’s executed very professionally in terms of staging and vocal performance. They will probably make it to Saturday’s final!
Switzerland: Remo Forrer – Watergun
Remo is perhaps not very charismatic but is the stronger male vocalist of the Semi Final and presents a very well crafted show, staged by Sacha Jean Baptiste, in her trademark red and black colors and quick camera cuts. The “fireworks” falling from the ceiling and the interpretive dancers give this a special feeling, making its qualification very likely, but not certain.
Israel: Noa Kirel – Unicorn
The Israeli superstar has improved vocally from her previous rehearsal and looks stunning as always. An extremely polished and impressive MTV-award show-like performance with intense choreography, but perhaps not fun or engaging enough to smash its competition in the Grand Final, where it will be for sure.
Moldova: Pasha Parfeni – Soarele şi Luna
Up next, a very engaging mystical performance from Eurovision returnee Pasha, who seems to experience some audio technical difficulties in the beginning but quickly overcomes them. The unique feeling of the entry, with the horn-wearing back-up dancers and singers and the flute-playing dwarf, as well as the charisma of the singer make Moldova’s qualification pretty much certain.
Sweden: Loreen – Tattoo
The Eurovision legend herself, Loreen, delivers a winning performance. She and her expert swedish team have managed to create a show as good as the one in Melodifestivalen, perfecting the camera angles and colors, making sure it still feels grand, cinematic and epic. Vocally strong and emotional as ever, Loreen is ready to be crowned as the first woman who wins Eurovision twice.
Azerbaijan: TuralTuranX – Tell Me More
The Azeri twins give us another cute performance of their vintage sounding song, that is sweet but sadly very forgettable and gets lost among stronger entries. Their qualification looks impossible.
Czechia: Vesna – My Sister’s Crown
The “slavic sisters” are amazing on stage and vocally on point. They manage to convey the message of their multi-layered song, giving strong female-empowerment vibes and filling the stage with their presence. A song and staging that stands out and will lead Czechia to their second qualification in a row.
Netherlands: Mia Nicolai & Dion Cooper – Burning Daylight
The Dutch duo give an atmospheric performance of their ambient song that stands out with its simplicity but aren’t at their best vocally. They have improved from their pre-party lives but still struggle a bit to connect with each other and with the audience. It’s highly likely that the qualification streak of the Netherlands will break this year.
Finland: Käärijä – Cha Cha Cha
The unique Finish performer manages to make the crowd go crazy with his uplifting show, but struggles vocally and relies heavily on the pre-recorded backing vocals. The impactful fun energy will give him many televote points but the juries will probably punish his weak vocals, making his winning chances rather slim. Qualification of course is more than certain for Käärijä and his Cha Cha Cha dancers.
Alyosha (Ukraine 2010) and Rebecca Fergusson perform together a cover of “Ordinary World”. Wordwide superstar Rita Ora performs a medley of her hits, as well as a world premiere of ‘Praising You’.
Then a video with a good dose of British humour shows us the most characteristic Ukrainian and British entries. In the video the one and only Graham Norton does the voice over! Then a game starring Måns Zelmerlöw (Sweden 2015) and Filomena Cautela (Presenter in 2018) follows, where they try to guess if some earlier entries qualified for the Final or not.
BIG 5 Performances
France: La Zarra – Évidemment
This entry oozes class and French glamor, with La Zarra being more and more confident and improving vocally. Her dress reveal is very impressive, while the last minute of the act looks spectacular. A performance that the crowd certainly enjoyed.
Germany: Lord of The Lost – Blood & Glitter
The members of the glam rock German band are back in their characteristic shiny leather outfits. The lead singer is one of the most consistent, pitch-perfect performers of Eurovision 2023 and never fails to transfer the vibe of “Blood and Glitter”.
Italy: Marco Mengoni – Due Vite
The audience of the Liverpool Arena loves the talented and charismatic Italian singer, who delivers yet another wonderful performance of his emotional ballad wearing a sparkly top. In the backdrop, the full moon and two male dancers falling from a staircase to a trampoline and back up again, creating a nice atmosphere.
Martin Osterdahl executive producer of Eurovision Song Contest 2022, declares that he is happy to see that we now have a valid result!
In the previous rehearsal, we saw a different method of announcing the qualifiers, with the contestants being brought to the stage but this has been scrapped and we’re back to the original announcement segment in the green room.
The ten countries that (virtually) qualified for the purposes of the rehearsal were the following:
Azerbaijan, Ireland, Swtzerland, Czechia, Malta, Israel, Netherlands, Croatia, Portugal and Norway
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