The “jury” rehearsal of the Eurovision 2023 Second 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.
Tonight, in addition to the 16 participating countries of the Second Semi-Final, we will also see the United Kingdom, Spain and last year’s winner Ukraine perform their entries.
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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 11th, at 21:00 CEST.
A spoken word piece opens the Second Semi-Final talking through the history of the Eurovision Song Contest.
The hosts, Alesha Dixon, Hannah Waddingham and Julia Sanina welcome us and remind us that the competition is taking place in the UK because of the war in Ukraine. We see the 16 competing artists in the led wall behind the presenters and the voting numbers appear.
The Competing Countries – LIVE COMMENTARY
Denmark – Breaking My Heart
Reiley, the TikTok star from the Faroe Islands, is dressed in pink, inside an elaborate pink prop that looks like a house and rotates to reveal different rooms. Later, Reiley walks to the second stage and the led wall becomes blue and then green. Sadly, it is vocally weak and rather annoying, something that will probably prevent him from reaching the Grand Final.
Armenia – Future Lover
Brunette delivers one of the most impressive performances visually, standing on a curved platform with pink projections on her, and later intense black and white lights. The added dance break is definetely eye-catching and Brunette is a great performer, that will undoubtedly qualify for Saturday’s final and is aiming high.
Romania – D.G.T.(On and Off)
Theodor is a good vocalist but sadly the entire performance and staging, with distasteful led content and awkward choreography from Theodor and his dancer, seems very amateurish. Romania will be lucky if they avoid the absolute last place of this Semi-Final.
Estonia – Bridges
Alika, the talented singer from Estonia, brings a slightly elevated version of her Eesti Laul performance with pretty blue leds and her characteristic piano that plays by itself. It’s an act that will suffer due to the absence of juries from the Semi-Finals, as the televoters could easily find it dull and forget it. It’s qualification feels very uncertain.
Belgium – Because Of You
Gustaph gives the show some much needed energy, with his 90s themed song. The staging is very similar to the one from Belgium’s national final, with an added staircase, a dancer and loads of voguing. Vocally great as always, but will it be enough for Gustaph to make it through? I’m leaning towards yes but I’m not certain.
Cyprus – Break a Broken Heart
The Australian born Greek-Cypriot singer Andrew Lambrou delivers a great live of his power ballad. The staging is a bit static, with repeated shots of a waterfall but nevertheless professional. The final minute of the song is filled with huge fire jets. A very decent performance that doesn’t scream winner but will easily earn its place in the Grand Final.
Iceland – Power
Next up, we have the energetic Dilja from Iceland. She is very good vocally but the performance feels completely all over the place, with the young singer doing unnecessary acrobatics and coming off rather aggresive. The camera shots aren’t great, making the viewer feel dizzy and overall quite bored, if not annoyed. Iceland’s journey in Eurovision 2023 ends tomorrow.
Greece – What They Say
16-year old Victor from Greece has visibly improved vocally, compared to his previous rehearsals. The beginning of the performance, with him laying on the floor is very interesting visually but the rest of the staging feels quite messy. Victor’s bouncing a lot and looks nervous, but maybe he could get just enough points to sneak into the Final.
Poland – Solo
Coming next, the big surprise of the rehearsals, Blanka from Poland. From certain non-qualifier, Poland now has a guaranteed spot in the Grand Final, thanks to the visually extremely entertaining show and the much improved vocals of Blanka, who looks stunning. Maybe too many effects, but obviously too much is never enough for the iconic “Bejba”.
Slovenia – Carpe Diem
Joker Out, the charismatic Slovenian band, transfer us to their concert, as they own the stage, delivering tons of energy and fun. The lead singer is vocally great and the tone of his voice elevates the song a lot. After 3 years, Slovenia is returning to the Final of the Eurovision Song Contest.
Georgia – Echo
Iru looks stunning in her white dress and sounds pitch perfect. The performance is pretty, with nice lighting and led content, but quite static and overall dated. This would’t be out of place in a 2011 Eurovision National Final. However, it would be a big surprise if Georgia didn’t make it through, as it’s definetely one of the stronger acts in a weak Semi-Final. Georgia will return to the Grand Final, after 7 years, but will struggle to escape the last places once it gets there.
San Marino – Like An Animal
Probably the biggest underdogs of the competition, Piqued Jacks from San Marino, deliver a well crafted show, vocally and visually decent. However, the professional staging with black and red pop-art led content isn’t enough to elevate a very weak composition, musically and lyrically. The landlocked microstate won’t escape the bottom two of this Semi-Final.
Austria – Who the hell is Edgar?
Teya and Salena grace the Eurovision stage with one of the most clever and funny songs of the year. Their stage show is very polished but perheps not fun enough. The red, black and white leds with the dancers are nice but quite repetitive, and it feels like the act doesn’t have a clear purpose and lacks energy. Vocally decent, with some weak moments, the female duo from Austria will obviously qualify but I’m not so sure that they can win the Semi Final. Once they get to the Final, I expect them to significantly underperform.
Albania – Duje
The very likable family from Albania give us a stereotypical Albanian act, full of powerful vocals, red, black and orange visuals and lots of fire. This definetely stands out as the only ethnic song and is performed professionaly but perhaps has a very limited audience. The noticable absence of countries with Albanian diaspora from this Semi-Final means Albania’s qualification is far from certain.
Lithuania – Stay
Monika Linkyte delivers a vocally powerful and visually pleasing, warm performance, accompanied by her backing vocalists. They manage to create a beautiful atmosphere that the audience seems to enjoy. This song really shines near the end of the Second Semi Final, making Lithuania’s qualification a certainty.
Australia – Promise
Voyager, the progressive metal band from Australia, are obviously very experienced performers and close the show with a bang. Excellent staging with 80s vaporwave vibes and a car on stage. The arena loves them, as they deliver an excellent performance, full of energy, that is guaranteed to qualify tomorrow night.
Ukrainian singers Mariya Yaremchuk, Otoy and Zlata Dziunka perform a medley of Ukrainian songs. Then we watch another recap and get ready for lines to close.
Three drag queens take the place of the presenters and perform “Be Who You Wanna Be”.
Mans Zelmerlow and Filomena return with the “game” of guessing which countries they have or have not qualified in the past.
Big 5 and Ukraine
Blanca Paloma transferred her Benidorm performance to the Liverpool stage, with minor improvements. Vocally impeccable and visually captivating, this entry will be greatly appreciated by jurors but maybe also by the European audience. There is quite nothing like it in the competition and viewers will certainly not forget it.
Ukrainians show once again that they are the masters of staging at Eurovision. TVORVHI probably have the most sleek, stylish and modern performance of the year. It starts a bit low energy but that is quickly fixed, when pyro jets join the show. Great act but the song is probably a bit forgettable. Of course, Ukraine’s result is maybe the biggest mystery of the year, as we don’t know how the sympathy and diaspora votes will impact their score.
Mae Muller will close Saturday’s Grand Final with a fun and upbeat number, staged cleverly with colorful pop art vibes. Her vocals however are perhaps the worst in this year’s contest and completely destroy the act. She’s struggling to hit the notes and looks uncomfortable, which means United Kingdom could be returning to the bottom of the scoreboard.
Martin Osterdahl executive producer of Eurovision Song Contest 2022, declares that he is happy to see that we now have a valid result!
The ten countries that (virtually) qualified for the purposes of the rehearsal were the following:
San Marino, Lithuania, Belgium, Armenia, Cyprus, Estonia, Romania, Austria, Poland, Slovenia
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