PREVIEW: Eurovision Song Contest 2023 Semi-Final 1

Date: May 9, 2023

Time: 9 pm CEST (3 pm EDT)

Location: Liverpool Arena (also called the M&S Bank Arena)

Number of Countries competing: 15 (with France, Germany, and Italy voting)

This marks the first of three shows for Eurovision 2023. The individual rehearsals are done, the opening ceremony came and went, and the 15 countries (plus the three automatic qualifiers randomly selected to vote in the semi) had their three run-through rehearsals. Now, it is time to watch the show and pick out the 10 qualifiers for Saturday’s grand final. Before we do that, I’ll take a look at each country’s chances of qualifying and what I think about their performances based on the photos of the rehearsals released by the European Broadcasting Union

1 Norway: Alessandra — Queen of Kings

It’s kind of the same as the national final. She obviously has the stage presence and her voice is amazing. I still have her in my top 10 and I have no doubt that she will perform well soon

Chance of qualifying: 100%

2 Malta: The Busker — Dance (Our Own Party)

This one is also in my personal top 10 and I really want this to qualify. You might catch the cardboard cutouts of past Maltese Eurovision contestants like Destiny Chukunyere and Ira Losco. You might see the graphics they put up like from the national final. The boys got the busking down (hence the name), but we’ll see how it goes

Chance of qualifying: 50%

3 Serbia: Luke Black — Samo Mi Se Spava

I like playing video games sometimes. I get the thrill of fighting the final boss. This one kept the same theme as in the national final, which also gives Salvador Dali a run for the money with the lobster phone. I would put this in the final if I were you.

Chance of qualifying: 80%

4 Latvia: Sudden Lights — Aijā

I’m not sure what to make of this one. I understood it’s based on a Latvian lullaby but I think it’s doing just that for me. Still, the opening beat is just perfection.

Chance of qualifying: 40%

5 Portugal: Mimicat — Ai Coração

Keeping the cabaret vibe going (without the red couch from the national final), Mimicat’s 30-second rehearsal clip actually left me mesmerized. I don’t think there’s anything else to say other than put this in the final

Chance of qualifying: 90%

6 Ireland: Wild Youth — We Are One

Wild Youth frontman Conor O’Donoghue is the king of sequin this year. His outfit is giving Elvis but in gold. However, as much as they made changes to their song, I still think they will either miss the final altogether or squeeze on by (we won’t know for sure until after the grand final)

Chance of qualifying: 30%

7 Croatia: Let 3 — Mama ŠČ

The whole performance might be one big WTF (and it still is). The best thing to know about it is that the tractor is used as a metaphor. Other than that, it might be hard to understand unless you speak Croatian.

Chance of qualifying: 20% (and it’s because similar songs have passed through before)

8 Switzerland: Remo Forrer — Watergun

Great job, EBU, for putting two anti-war songs in a row, and just like with Croatia’s song, the watergun used for Switzerland’s entry is a metaphor. Remo has a deep baritone voice and I think that will carry him through to the final

Chance of qualifying: 85%

9 Israel: Noa Kirel — Unicorn

Um… we need this in the final? Like, it’s gonna be phenomenal (or however she says it) based on the rehearsal clip. The dance break at the end is giving Chanel. I’m sorry, but we need Israel in the final this year. No questions asked

Chance of qualifying: 90%

10 Moldova: Pasha Parfeni — Soarele și Luna

You take the moon and you take the sun. Just kidding, but Pasha did just that. He took the moon and the sun and put them in a Eurovision package. Pasha’s been in the final before and I’m sure he can do it again

Chance of qualifying: 80%

11 Sweden: Loreen — Tattoo

Should I say something about Loreen’s performance? She went all the way in 2012, and 11 years later, it’s clear she still got it. Considering that we have three hot favorites to win from this semi alone (Norway, Sweden, and Finland), this might be an uphill battle, but who knows really?

Chance of qualifying: 100%

12 Azerbaijan: TuralTuranX — Tell Me More

This song is way too boring for me, but songs of this caliber have made it through, so it’s probably not gonna be a problem for the twins. I’m just saying

Chance of qualifying: 70%

13 Czechia: Vesna — My Sister’s Crown

I need this to go through to the final. It’s in 4 languages (the verses in English, the intro and outro in Czech, the rap part in Bulgarian, and the chorus in Ukrainian), the girls hail from 4 different countries (Czech Republic, Russia, Bulgaria, and Slovakia)… it’s already a cultural melting pot. The international viewers teamed up with the Czech viewers to get them to Liverpool so now we have to get them through to the final (without Czech viewers because you can’t vote for your own country)

Chance of qualifying: 85%

14 Netherlands: Mia Nicolai & Dion Cooper — Burning Daylight

Mia and Dion are the greatest of friends. Their song had Duncan Lawrence’s fingerprints on it. I still feel like they are playing it safe, tho. Probably because the staging doesn’t need to be a big production, but I think this could be a shock non-qualifier

Chance of qualifying: Probably hovering around 45%

15 Finland: Käärijä — Cha Cha Cha

It’s crazy. It’s party. It’s energetic. People, we’re putting Finland through to the final. You can’t tell me they cannot qualify. You can’t tell me he can’t win. To me, this is just pure perfection.

Chance of qualifying: 100%

My actual top

  1. Finland
  2. Czech Republic
  3. Sweden
  4. Serbia
  5. Moldova
  6. Malta
  7. Norway
  8. Portugal
  9. Switzerland
  10. Israel
  11. Netherlands
  12. Latvia
  13. Ireland
  14. Croatia
  15. Azerbaijan

My final prediction

  • Norway
  • Serbia
  • Portugal
  • Switzerland
  • Israel
  • Moldova
  • Sweden
  • Azerbaijan
  • Czech Republic
  • Finland


That’s it from me. I’ll be back tomorrow for a review of the first semi-final


Author: dezbee2008

33-year-old math enthusiast, Pokemon fan, Eurovision fan, Bingo player, anti-MLM watcher, meme consumer, YTP watcher, stans news reporters when no one else wants to, inconsistent in real life, a complete human mess, and professional social media lurker

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