LIVEBLOG: First Semi-Final – Dress Rehearsal 2

Tonight from 8pm (UK time) onwards, Mr Phil will be giving you the Liverpool Lowdown as the fifteen acts hoping for one of ten available places in Saturday’s Grand Final go through their paces.

Running Order
R/OCountryArtistSongLanguage(s)
1NorwayAlessandra"Queen of Kings"English
2MaltaThe Busker"Dance (Our Own Party)"English
3SerbiaLuke Black"Samo mi se spava" (Само ми се спава)Serbian, English
4LatviaSudden Lights"Aijā"English
5PortugalMimicat"Ai coração"Portuguese
6IrelandWild Youth"We Are One"English
7CroatiaLet 3"Mama ŠČ!"Croatian
8SwitzerlandRemo Forrer"Watergun"English
9IsraelNoa Kirel"Unicorn"English
10MoldovaPasha Parfeni"Soarele și luna"Romanian
11SwedenLoreen"Tattoo"English
12AzerbaijanTuralTuranX"Tell Me More"English
13Czech RepublicVesna"My Sister's Crown"English, Ukrainian, Czech, Bulgarian
14NetherlandsMia Nicolai and Dion Cooper"Burning Daylight"English
15FinlandKäärijä"Cha Cha Cha"Finnish
May 8, 2023 20:15
ENDED
Latest update 11 months ago
21:23
And thats all for tonight

Thats your lot for this evening - in a weird turn of events, I'm going to be going home to MY OWN BED.   Remember if you want to comment, please do because I love to hear what you think.... most of the time. 

Until tomorrow......  So Long Europe!

Phil Colclough
21:21
Finland

And finally, Finland, a phrase you might be hearing a lot of  on Saturday night.  

This is all sorts of genius in the right and wrong ways - maybe its the free Bailey's cocktails that we are given in the press centre?  Maybe its a guilty pleasure that I dare not admit to. 

This is immaculately shambolic in all the right ways.  Kaarija knows how to sell this performance and he was only at gas mark 4 this afternoon but he has whacked it up to 9 tonight and is burning up his box - you can get a cream for that I am told.  

This shows that you dont need money to stage a banger - just some old pallets that you have lying about and some crafting ribbons and a human centipede!

I have this winning this Semi Final  because it is more televoting friendly than Sweden, which is more cerebral.  

Phil Colclough
21:17
The Netherlands

Now I need to declare an interest here - There are a lot of Dutch around me in the media centre so I should be quite complimentary about this song. 

Again, in a semi final where you only have to beat five you need to be standout but dont have to be that decent.  This has had its problems in the run up to the contest but the lower key seems to have worked but its all very nagatively stagesd in black - they are trying to be The Common Linnets on stage,  

There is either a mixing problem or the vocals really arent strong enough because there are some notes and harmonies that have made me wince on more than one occassion in the first couple of minutes.  what audience does this have? - Who is going to actively going to pick the phone up and give one of their 20 votes for this??

Its just a plodder.  

Phil Colclough
21:12
Czechia

This,is, Brilliant. 

No arguing at the back, they are definitely the queens of this semi final.  I have issues with lyrics being on screens but this seems to work really well and is giving me Manizha vibes with the performance - and despite what I think abour Russia, I still love that song. 

This is very powerful in an understated kind of way but is one of the best three performances of the show so far In my opinion.  Expect it to qualify. 

Phil Colclough
21:09
Azerbaijan

Ah yes - the YTS Beatles now come on stage. This is nice enough but, as I have said for 22 years, Nice doesn't win you Eurovision.  The start of this song reminds me of Say that you Love me by a woman who we don't know.   Answers on a postcard. 

They sound a bit half arsed to me on the feed here and we are so bored with this song we are wondering which one, if any of them, are raging poofs.  I reckon both of them because, well, its the game the whole family can play. 

Back to this song, it just passes my by and doesn't get me enthused to vote for it - Europe might well be the same after Loreen has been on stage.  First dodgy note of the evening alert here and thats a shame. 

Phil Colclough
21:04
Sweden

There isnt much to say that hasnt already been said.  The only thing that I notice is that the whole thing is, basically, a performance with some music thrown in.  An esteemed collegue says she was better this afternoon - I tend to agree.  

I still can see a path for this to win but its not as nailed on as OGAE would have you believe. 

Phil Colclough
20:57
Moldova

One of our number will be pleased - they showed Pasha in Sherwood Forest.  

This in contrast to Israel is a great little song that is staged perfectly for the subject matter - yes there are people that will think that people of short stature should not be on the Eurovision stage but I am not one of them.  

It looks cohesive and well thought out on the screens and is not too overblown which it could have been if TRM went full on Fulen with it.  They haven't - they have scaled everything back and it looks so effective. 

This should be Top 3 in this semi if there is any justice. 

Phil Colclough
20:53
Israel

To use the Ratners analogy again, here is some more Elizabeth Duke bling dressed up in a fancy frock. 

Of course the Israeli's are loving this and think that it can do no wrong.  As a song, it really isnt that bad but its not upto much  but in this bit, it doesn't need to be. 

I like the fact that they have stolen Surie's staging concept without the stage invader, clearly, but if your song is based on a dance break - you have a problem in my opinion. 

Do I want to see her dance? - Not really but I am forced to.  

Phil Colclough
20:49
Switzerland

In the same way that Ireland is deathly dull, this is equally dull.   Remo tries his best to lift this song to places that it really shouldnt be, and he is very good looking but, by Christ, it is hard on the ears.

It just looks dark on stage, mind you, that fits the theme of the song and, sadly, there is no water guns at all which might not have added to the song, but would have interested the poor television viewer who is going to get a sandwich at this point, come back and go " Is this thing still on?"

Phil Colclough
20:44
Croatia

From shit on a stick that is not qualifying, to shit on a stick that clearly is.  Croatia will be getting through this bit at the expense of something good and it will make me cry.  This is televote bait at the lowest denominator level.  Colourful, unintelligible nonsense which is like a unicorn has puked over the background.  Though I'm sure Noa will throw up as well.  

Phil Colclough
20:41
Ireland

I hate to say this - but I am going to - there is no chance in hell this is going to qualify,

It looks old and tired, your lead singer looks disinterested and, frankly, it just gives me "meh" vibes and I don't want to say that.   There is more gold here than in a branch of Ratners, and the quality of the song is just as high as that was.  

If Loreen mumbles, which she does, this is sung with the same intonation at the beginning of the song.  Connor just clomps about the stage in his ill fitting suit and they dont look like they want to be here.  It smacks of where Ireland currently are in their Eurovision journey....  and that's a shame - and even the fireworks don't help this. 

Nailed on not qualifying despite having to beat only 5.

Phil Colclough
20:34
Portugal

I was doubtful about this ones chances when it first qualified but, again, it doesnt half look good on stage.  Mimicat and her dancers are doing sterling work in a limited space in selling this song. 

The question is, though, what will the televoters see. I reckon its just the right side of foreign for them to pick the phone up.  The crowd in the arena seem to be liking this and Mimicat's alluring dancing.  For me, not so much!

Phil Colclough
20:30
Latvia

This is far better on stage than it is in video.  It looks and sounds excellent and not at all overplayed,  This is just a damn good song and they don't half perform it.  

There is a bit of business with Cheryl Baker tomorrow but for tonight, there is a woman with a Cheryl name tag!

Phil Colclough
20:24
Serbia

Luke is on his massive quaver on stage which he then cavorts all over.  

Again it has gone rather big in the hall which again is a good thing but I just think that it could be too.... "modern" to get through in a very high position.  The televote is going to struggle for this one I reckon. 

Phil Colclough
20:18
Malta

I hate everything about this song - but you cant deny that it gets the crowd going after Alesandra.  Perhaps its just the added crowd noise, perhaps they are actually loving the colourful stage, perhaps they want to go to Malta like I do!

This is in serious danger of qualifying now - the delegation should be scared witless. 

Phil Colclough
20:15
Norway

Norway are first up - as you would expect.  

Perhaps this is not a show opener but by christ this is a good song.  On the TV in the press centre there seems to be not much of Alesandra for my liking but you know by the time that it gets to the good bit, the light sabres and the choreo looks amazing.  

It seems to run out of steam towards the end which is a shame.  

Phil Colclough
19:41
Food update

For those that care I can confirm that the catering options in the press centre is ace.  Chicken Katsu Curry for 6.50!!

Phil Colclough
19:00
An Hour to gi

So with just an hour to go before the second dress rehearsal, it seems that the Eurovision gods have been listening... to delegations.   They tried the x-factor style reveal of qualifiers.  It looked hideous, so they changed it.   It is what rehearsals are all about.  

Phil Colclough
17:34
I'll be here from 8pm

So yes - after getting some sustenance, I shall be joining you at 8pm.  

Phil Colclough

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Maclaren
Maclaren
11 months ago

Bravo for describing Croatia for what it is – a horrible nightmare from 00’s. We need the jury in the semis to get rid of nonsense like that.