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ESC2023

Here comes the fun…

I hope you enjoyed the first semi-final. It looked great, didn’t it – and it was all very polished in terms of production and presentation. As always, the rehearsal period that started a week ago last Sunday delivered a fantastic Eurovision spectacle. More of that to come again tomorrow in SF2 (Thursday).

Fifteen songs were reduced to ten and they progress to the grand final. Did you think the right songs made it through? There are some raised eyebrows on the socials that Ireland didn’t progress. I would have liked it to, but I thought the performance I saw at the Monday night preview was a stronger vocal. Same for Malta going out – the reaction to them in the arena on Monday night made it look promising for them, but sadly they join Ireland, Azerbaijan, Latvia and The Netherlands in an early exit from ESC2023..

One of the factors in play this year might be that the professional juries do not split the vote 50/50 with the televote in the semi-finals (they will for the grand final on Saturday). Potentially Ireland might have suffered for that. I thought Serbia was a hot mess on stage (I quite like the song), but the slightly nonsensical staging clearly connected with the viewers. Hey, it’s all subjective at the end of the day, isn’t it. And as the late Terry Wogan used to say, we have to marvel at the glorious unpredictability of it all.

So, what did we learn from the first semi-final?

Alisha Dixon spit some bars (did some very good rapping) to raise the roof in the arena.

The Bucks Fizz standing by the phone box was a delightful surprise – they weren’t at the preview performance on Monday.

Portugal and Finland had the battle of the strictly come backing dancers. Finland won.

We thought that Ireland was tucking great.

Events beyond the ‘euro bubble’ are now at the heart of the ESC (with anti-war songs from Croatia and Switzerland).

According to Israel’s singer Noa, she “has got the power of a unicorn”. Not sure how that works when they don’t exist? 😀

Finland’s Käärijä was brilliantly bonkers, with a performance made “much better” with a few of Baga Chipz dance moves.

All in all – SF1 was sound!

We’re off to the preview final for SF2 tonight (Wednesday) where, in addition to the remaining 16 semi-finalists, we will see the full performance of Spain, Ukraine and The United Kingdom. Oh, and with the UK in mind, my colleague Michael Austin bumped into Mae Muller (the UK singer) and she sent us this message…

Yay Mae – she wrote a song, you know…

Right, more from me soon. Will SF2 solve the problem of “who the hell is Edgar?”…

До зустрічі

(see you soon)