Monday 8 May 2023

Semi-final 1 - Monday evening dress rehearsal

Tonight I'm having the pleasure of watching and blogging about what we used to call  the jury rehearsal for semi-final one.

Of course this year the importance of this rehearsal is slightly less dramatic. But backup juries will still be watching and voting. Who knows, tomorrow the televote will fail dramatically all over Europe and what happens tonight will turn out to be very important!

Jonas already blogged about the afternoon rehearsal. In case you missed it, go read it, and also be aware that BBC and EBU already announced they're not sticking to the alternative way of announcing the qualifiers, with all of them on stage. So, if they're going to rehearse that part tonight, it will be different from this afternoon and more like what we're used to.

Also don't forget that Germany, France and Italy will perform tonight as well. We're kicking off at 21:00 ESC Nation time, which is 8.00 p.m. in Liverpool (and 19:00 Reykjavík time, just saying).


And we're off, right in time. BBC already posted the opening video on their channel so if you want a preview it's here:

The sound on this feed is extremely bad I must say, so it will be hard to judge how the artists are really sounding. The volume goes constantly up and down and the view is also very pixelated at times.

Julia, who doesn't know her, one of our hosts, is now singing in Ukrainian.

Not sure if it's the bad sound, but our hosts know how to shout. After saying the obligatory good night and good morning and some words in Ukrainian they explain why we're here and not in Ukraine.

Instead of the static list of countries with numbers we see pictures of all artists with flags. But it's all gone pretty quickly.

Oh, we still get to see the old-fashioned list with numbers later anyway. Hannah makes a joke about speaking French I didn't quite catch. Maybe tomorrow.

1. 🇳🇴 Norway
Alessandra sounds terrible! But so does everything so far. So it's probably not her fault and hopefully totally fixed tomorrow on tv. Having said that the high note's sound bad note can possibly not be blaimed on the stream. That was a bit off. Anyway nothing really surprising here visually. We've all seen this before I guess. Dark staging, lots of blue and gold towards the end.

2. 🇲🇹 Malta
First props of the night are cardboard Destiny, Fabrizio and Ira Losco. And there's a red car. They move from scene to scene through cardboard walls. Very Friend of A Friend in a way. Crowth loves it. It all looks a tiny bit messy, but also quite energetic. They're making the best of this I guess. There's also some text/animations on screen but they're not overdoing it.

3. 🇷🇸 Serbia
Starting off lying on the bed thing. The light is pretty bright and you can hardly see Luke. But it's fixed after the 'Hello?' part. I keep on pressing the volume up and down buttons because the stream changes volume every ten seconds, very annoying :-( Visually this is all not too different from the Serbian final. Halfway we're getting on screen gameplay animations. 

At the end of the Serbian entry we see the Latvian guys on screen standing by to enter the stage. 

4. 🇱🇻 Latvia
This starts off looking like a video with the big stage lights and quick shots. When the chorus kicks in it's more like a concert staging. Lots of cheers here as well from the audience. I may be biased as I'm a big fan of this song, but, apart from the bad sound, it looks pretty slick and it got a huge applause, best so far if the volume button is not deceiving me. Stage colours are mostly black and gold.

Small break after Latvia, indeed involving a rap part with references to Valentina Monetta and Måneskin and the rest passed me by a little. After the rap part a fake Cheryl Baker (let's call her Cheryl Faker) makes an appearance next to a typical British phone booth. It's not a very long break though.

yay, seems like they sort of fixed the sound a bit, fingers crossed

5. 🇵🇹 Portugal
I think Mimicat did a little Bettina Soriat after her first chorus. It's all very red. Halfway the song, during the slow break, Mimi walks down the catwalk which lights up in red, what else. They finish it altogether on the satellite stage. Again not too different from what we've seen before.

Again we see the next contestants waiting, but it seems to be a bit random when we get to see those.

There's a sudden promotion after the Irish postcards which looks unplanned. Did they break a camera again? Alesha handles it professionally though, as if it were planned. 

Oh, we're now getting a ESC history video. So still no Wild Youth. Instead we see Jedward,  La Foureira, Salvador Sobral, Scooch and others. Oh, there's Chanel at last!

6. 🇮🇪 Ireland
No postcard, since we already had it, so Alesha just shouts 'make some noise for Ireland' and they start. 
They're clearly having earpiece issues and the singer (sorry forgot his name) looks very nervous and scared. Tajci style he visits all band members while singing. Before heading to the satellite stage where there's some (attempts at) engagement with the audience. For the last chorus there's lot of pyro's. To be fair, it looks better than I (we all?) expected. Sound is terrible but that may not be a real issue, just the stream.

7. 🇭🇷 Croatia
It's a mess, but that's nothing new. The problem with this song I think is that it takes way too long to get to the strong part. I'm getting most of all Leto Svet vibes from this performance I'm afraid, whereas I always thought it was a surefire televote qualifier. Hardly any audience reaction either.

8. 🇨🇭 Switzerland
Nice classy staging with blue and white lights featuring prominently. Remo sells this not so spectacular song the best he can. Later we also get lots of red lights and white smoke. And some pyros falling on the ground, not sure if that was planned? I don't understand the Sertabereneresque ribbons, but they don't hurt the performance too much.

9. 🇮🇱 Israel
Despite the bad sound quality of the stream, I think there's nothing wrong with Noa's vocals. Oh, judged too soon, in the second chorus there are some serious glitches. But all in all this staging looks very well thought out. Visually spectacular. The dance part though looks a bit as if belonging to a different song. Then we suddenly get to learn we need corn and it's suddenly suddenly suddenly finished. But yeah, good performance I think.

10. 🇲🇩 Moldova
No eyeballs for Switzerland but there's a scary eye in the backdrop for Pasha. At least in the beginning. Flute player is alone on the satellite stage but later joined by Pasha and the two female dancers. At one moment the backdrop looks like we're back on the Turin stage with a broken sun. Hard to summarize this performance, more happening on stage than in the song.

We get another break by Julia and shouty Hannah. And we still don't know what kind of video we will get. So it's a blue screen here.

After that Alesha enthousiastically announces Sweden and we get to see Loreen waiting to get on stage before her postcard starts.

11. 🇸🇪 Sweden
Just like in MF / Baku it's all filmed like a (widescreen/lowscreen) music video. No shots of the surrounding of Loreen's grill at all. There was a camera error halway, but really a split second. Hard to judge her vocals but I think it's totally fine. And no glitches like with Noa. At one point Loreen gets oxymated a bit in the smoke. But maybe that's intended. At least no slowflakes in sight this time. Great applause obviously.

We then get a billboard trailer for what's to come next. Alesha then quickly announces Azerbaijan, so yes, there is a bit of extra time to get the grill back backstage but it goes rather quickly.

12. 🇦🇿 Azerbaijan
Starting off in black and white, with split screens until the song itself starts. Like you've seen they are standing on a tiny broken-heart stage. Stage colours are bright yellow and purple and other bright colours, making a nice change from what we've seen before which was all pretty dark (except Malta). We get more split screen moments but with some of them containing just half a Turan or Tural, so that probably needs to be fixed still. Vocally I'm not totally sure about this. Audience seem to love it though!

13. 🇨🇿 Czechia
A performance that grabs your attention from the first note, well done for that. The six girls as you've seen are all in pink on a mainly white coloured stage. At one point they walk in line holding their tails walking towards to satellite stage. The song may not be for everyone, but yes, this looks impressive. Again, not sure about the sound, because the stream got worse at this point. Another huge cheer from the audience.

14. 🇳🇱 Netherlands
In the postcard the country seems to be called The Netherlands for a moment but in the graphics they thankfully dropped the 'The'. Dion starts of in what sounds like a low key so the switch to the higher pitch sounded a bit weird. It looks like two people completely doing their own thing at some points, and then suddenly they seem to notice they're both on the same stage. The 'Goodbye Old Life' change is very effective on screen though. I have an impression this got an even bigger cheer from the audience than Czechia! But it may be the ever changing volume. 

The cheers Käärijä gets before even cha chaing a note are even louder though.

15. 🇫🇮 Finland
Like expected there's a lot happening on stage. But the stream went terrible soundwise so it all sounded very underwhelming, but that may not be representative at all for how it sounds tomorrow. There's a nice shot where Käärijä's pink dancers seem to fly through the hall. That looked odd but cool. For the rest, you'll see for yourselves tomorrow. The stage turns green at one point for the schlager part and later we get all rainbowy. Not a huge applause I could hear surprisingly, but again I blame it on the abominable sound of this stream.

Recap time, as usual with shots from the artists in the green room. They all seem to be here still for real, with flags and all.

First impression on who grew and who shrunk in my estimation:
growers: Latvia, Ireland, Switzerland, Azerbaijan, Malta
shrinkers: Norway,  Serbia, Croatia (and a bit Finland)
just confused: Netherlands, Moldova

Tomorrow the ESC Nation team including myself will post their qualifier prediction but I'd say Norway may be unexpectedly in danger a bit there. And I can't see myself putting Croatia among those ten either.

But let's continue, there's some more performances to follow, some competing, but first an interval by Rebecca Fergusson and Alyosha. They sing 'Ordinary World' (I think that's the title?) from Duran Duran and it sounds a bit off at times (but again, almost everything does tonight). Generally a nice and impressive performance with a lot of flags and in the end of course the stage turning blue and yellow.

After that we get another recap without green room shots.

Then it's time for a Rita Ora medley of her best love songs including a new song. I'm not familiar with her so I can't tell you which one is the new one. Okay in hindsight I guess it wasn't 'Praise You'.

Followed by, as already covered by Jonas, the lookback to 2003 and UK/raine ESC history in general. After that it's time to close to televote. In a very shouty way.

The music you hear whenever there is a break reminds me of the music used in 2005 which was obviously inspired by Wild Dances.

We then get an interview with Timur including footage from him commentating in 2022 from a bunker in Ukraine. And then there's a fake Dustin the Turkey and the Q or NQ game. As Jonas described earlier today. Of course there's Måns because well, it's Eurovision and BBC, but also Filomena Cautela, quite randomly, though I don't complain. And there's a second reminder tonight that Anna Bergendahl never made it to an ESC final.

The artists are still in the green room and Noa and Käärijä try to be finnomenal. Oh and there's also The Busker.

At that point clearly we start to deviate from what we're going to see tomorrow as crew members get on stage announcing the three auto-finalists of tonight starting with France. La Zarra is lifted and cheered on while that happens. Again no postcard.

🇫🇷 France
Looks very effective for what it tries to do but I feel like that on itself is a bit too many times done before. I'm not a fan, maybe I'm biased. Vocally it wasn't bad but also not excellent. But of course it doesn't really matter tonight. During the 'Grande France' part the stage lights up in the French colours. Which, as a reminder, are the same as in the flag emoji.

🇩🇪 Germany
We don't get to see a postcard, but nevertheless it takes quite some time to set this up it seems. Stream sound is all over the place now. So it sounds awful, but maybe it's not just the stream. All in all, it doesn't really seem to connect at all or engange the crowth. It feels a bit like Blind Channel from Wish. No, this is not going to do much better for Germany than what we're used to by now I'm afraid.

🇮🇹 Italy
A very static opening focusing on Marco's face. In the background we see guys jumping a trampoline, but only occasionally and very small in the background. The hall is full of white lights.  Effective enough staging but I think the trampoline guys don't add much. Flawless I think but again probably not giving it all.

Acts are now told to get back to the green room, so we're probably going to get back to the actual rehearsal of tomorrow's show. We see Martin Österdahl. We haven't seen interviews with La Zarra, LOTL and Marco though, which usually would be part of the show, but maybe not this year?

Ah, we're getting pre-recorded 'interviews' with tonight's Big Three, or more like, them randomly answering questions from fans it seems. I still feel it is a bit strange they get this extra attention the other artists don't get. After this, pretty boring, pre-recorded video they also get a personal (but thankfully very short) interview with Alesha followed by the usual one-minute preview. The artists are replaced by stand-ins though so tomorrow the interviews may be a bit longer.

We also get a small look forward to semi 2 mentioning all the intervals and the other Big Three by name. Totally ignoring the sixteen contestants that it's actually about ...

But yes, it's qualifier time. Only Julia and Hannah are on stage, thankfully. And they're good to go now. To be fair the green room only has stand-in artists too.

And tonight's fake qualifiers are: Azerbaijan, Ireland, Switzerland, Czechia, Malta, (no interview break here apparently), Israel, Netherlands, Croatia, Portugal and ....... Norway!

So sorry guys, Finland and Sweden both out :-(

lol @ camera's still showing the excited Irish delegation (well, their flag) that already qualified. Also the split-screen idea seems to be dropped. It all looks totally like all the years before.

After that we get the usual recap of the ten qualifiers, and that's it for tonight!

Semi-final 1 - The first dress rehearsal (live blog)


During the up-coming weeks our ESC Nation team will be watching and guiding you through the first dress rehearsals and the jury shows. I've been given the honour of starting off the week by following the very fist full-length show, which is scheduled to begin at 14:30 CEST. 

Today is the first time that members of the press will be able to see the full performances of the entries in this semi-final. I will do my best to describe them, especially if there are any changes to the shorter clips that we ave already seen. And I hope to also hopefully be able to shed some light regarding how they plan to announce the qualifiers. Rumours have been circulating that they might plan on having all 15 artists come up on the main stage before announcing which 10 of them that have made it through to the final, which has sparked some controversy. Hopefully they will be rehearsing this part of the show today (with stand-ins instead of the artists) and we will soon find out the truth.

Intro: The show starts off with an acted scene where a young Bitish boy is watching TV in his home and sees last year's Ukrainian winner and then the announcement that Eurovision is coming to his home-town Liverpool, then proceeds to run out and tell his neighbours. We continue seeing people around Liverpool celebrating this, as well as some Ukrainian refugees finding their place in the Liverpool society. 

Next we go to the main stage where the same boy (I think) is standing in front of a doorway were a (I think) Ukrainian girl is standing on the other side. They dance a bit and mimic each others' moves, until they take each other by the hand and walk to the other part of the stage were lots of dancers in pink, yellow and blue and standing. This transforms into a performance by Julia in Ukrainian. It might actually be all of The Hardkiss. It's a bit hard to see what's going on.

Next a very British voice (basically sounds exactly like Lynda Woodruff) introduces the three female hosts, who then greets the viewers in English and also a bit of Ukrainian. Hannah eventually also speaks some French. She very much sounds as if she does not actually know how to speak French.

1. 🇳🇴 Norway: Postcard shows Alessandra among some big buildings. Then she goes to the library and picks up a book, followed by going on a ride on an electric scooter. That's about it.

She starts the performance with singing the Italian parts. Then goes back to English. The performance seems pretty much the same as in the national final. Unfortunately the sund quality of the stream is terrible so I cannot tell if her vocals are good or not. Or if the sound mixing is good. Both the picture and sound quality of this stream is a bit as if somebody filmed it on a cell phone in 2005.

2. 🇲🇹 Malta: In the postcard they're on a vintage bus in Malta. Then go to the beach and play with a frisbee.

The performance starts with a close-up of the cardboard cutout of Destiny. Then as it continues it's pretty much a very amped-up versin of the NF performance. More props, more LED backdrops, more graphics. Towards the end they all change to more glittery outfits. 

3. 🇷🇸 Serbia: Luke is on a lawn in front of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade. Then he gets into fencing gear for a bit. 

Also, yes, there are no flags on screen. 

He's got his big bed-like prop on stage, with the four dancers connected to it by tubes on the sides. Again, the sound of this stream is not great, but it does sound as if the vocals are a bit off here. Especially in the intro. The stage starts off very black and monochrome, but towards the end it all goes red. Very red.

4. 🇱🇻 Latvia: In the postcard te band are running around on a snowy beach. They eventually take most of their clothes off and go into the water. It looks very cold.

The performance starts off with shots of the band dimly lit in front of the Black Smoke-lamps. Not much really changes. The stage is black with lots of gold/copper-coloured lights. It looks pretty, but sometimes it almost looks as if they're performing in 1983. 

The first commercial break is up now. Alesha is in the greenroom, talking a bit abut the Rest of the World-vote for it, among other things. Also a brief interview with a fake The Busker. Alesha is then trying to do some rapping about the contest being back in te UK, but she keeps having problems with not hearing the beat in her in-ear piece, so they're redoing it several times but still seem to struggle to get it right.

They finally get things right and she can complete the rap. Something about "25 years since Imaani to Mae", there are also mentions of pink bucket hats and Valentina representing San Marino four times. 

Next up is Hannah by a red phone booth next to the greenroom, with a girl who is standing in for Cheryl Baker.

05. 🇵🇹 Portugal: Postcard is at the National Pantheon in Portugal. Mimicat also walks through some shopping street.

In the performance she's in her red dress and her hair is braided back in a short pony-tail. There is no sofa, but she and her dances manage to make the most of the choreography anyway. The stage is also very red. Everything is very red. In the bridge she walks out on the catwalk, which lights up in red like a red carpet. They all end out on the circle stage at the other end of the catwalk. 

06. 🇮🇪 Ireland: The postcard shows them somewhere in the Irish nature. I didn't quite see where it was. The postcards do seem to include brief shots from places in the UK and Ukraine too, because I saw the text "Isle of Wight" flash by quickly. But these parts are very quick and it's not very noticeable that the postcard isn't all in the same location. Especially since the artists are only in the parts filmed in their home countries, which seems to make up the majority of the postcard.

Now the performance. The stage is again black and gold, like Latvia, but a lot brighter. Vocally they unfortunately seem to struggle a bit with the higher parts today (I specifically say "they", as there are quite a lot of parts where the other band members are singing but the lead singer isn't). 

07.  🇭🇷 Croatia: They are fishing in the postcard. The performance as then all jumping and spinning and crawling and conga-lining all over the stage. The backdrop shows giant versions of them. I wonder if there might be some issue with the in-ear monitor, because at times it sounds as if he is a bit out of sync with the beat. Towards the end the lead singer opens his coat and reveals that he's wearing a diaper. 

08. 🇨🇭 Switzerland: The postcard has a nice nod to the 1998 Swiss Postcard, as it starts off in Loch Ness, then moves to Lake Zurich where Remo is doing some kind of surfing. No Swiss flag eyeball, though :-(

Vocally he seems to sing this well. The staging is very dark and monochrome. He's in the centre surrounded by fur dancers pulling at ribbons attached to him. Everyone's dress in black. Remo's jacket has very wide and big shoulder pads, making his head look very tiny. Eventually the stage goes very red. Is the stage even able to show any other colours than black, gold and red this year?

09. 🇮🇱 Israel: In the postcard Noa is in the desert by Masada. Wearing a denim jacket. It looks warm. 

She starts off inside her tunnel-prop with the flashing light rods. The stage is actually sometimes a bit purple! In the second verse she moves further ut and is joined by her five dancers. Vocally this is unfortunately far from perfect, though. She might be saving her voice. The dancing is spot on, though.

10. 🇲🇩 Moldova: The postcard is first a forest near Lviv, then the Sherwood forest, and eventually near a forest in Moldova where Pasha is planting a tree.

Pasha has his hair out rather than in a bun today, dressed in his long shawly robe and no shoes. Surrounded by the short flutist, two female backing singers with hair shaped like bird talons, and two drummers on each side of the stage. The stage is red. Very red. 

There is a break here. There will seemingly be some video clip shown which isn't ready, so we just get a blue screen with the text "VT TO COME". Maybe it's something so secret that they don't want to reveal it yet?

11. 🇸🇪 Sweden: First shows a place called "Anti-Circe Island" (Be my Valent-isle?) in Ukraine, then St Catherine's Island in the UK and finally Enholmen Island in Gotland, Sweden. Where Loreen is loreening.

The performance starts off exactly like in Melodifestivalen. But without smoke (might just be because it's a rehearsal). Once the camera pans out more, it becomes obvious that the prop is a lot smaller. But otherwise it's pretty much the same. Vocally? She's not 100 %, though a lot better than what we heard in the previous 30 second clip. But again, it's only a rehearsal. 

12. 🇦🇿 Azerbaijan: The twins are in Baku Boulevard. It looks very warm and springtimey. They're playing a giant game of chess. After the postcard the stage isn't quite ready after Loreen, so Alesha has to talk a bit. 

The performance starts off in black and white with a 4-way split-screen (quite 1996) while one of them does the talking intro. As they start singing the screen goes back to normal and to colour. Occasionally we get different versions of split-screen effects again. In the chorus the blending of the harmonies sounds a bit off. Possibly inspired by Sahlene '02, the higher harmony seems to be a lot more dominant than intended. 

13. 🇨🇿 Czechia: The postcard features them mostly in a bush maze. The performance begins with one of them playing drums at the back while the others are in front as the stage floor shows the lyrics of the song as they sing them. Quickly all six of them begin to dance together, though. And walk out to the catwalk stage holding their long braids. The stage is very white and black, while they are all wearing pink. One thing that does look a bit odd is that it's vey obvious that only three of them are singing, while the others have no microphones and seem to mostly be there as dancers. And it's quite obvious that they use a lot of pre-recorded vocals.

14. 🇳🇱 Netherlands: Dion and Mia are rolleskating by some canals (shocking choice of scenery, I know!)

The performance starts with a close-up of Dion (but not in a scary Trijntje way). Then Mia appears for the first chorus. Visually it all looks nice with the revolving platform and the muted lights. The LED walls are not doing much at all, which works well for this. Vocally it's obvious that this version of the song works a lot better for them. Dion was maybe a little bit shaky in the first chorus where he's singing everything in a soft falsetto, but they both become more steady as the song progresses. 

15. 🇫🇮 Finland: In the postcard Käärijä is in a sauna in a massive ferris wheel in Helsinki. He starts off in the big box, breaking out of it by breaking more and more of the boards until he climbs up to the top. Already in the second verse the dancers appears out of the box and start dancing around the floor, while Käärijä runds around the box. Vocally it's quite decent, although it's also obvious that big parts of the song are not sung live. He struggles a bit more with finding the right notes in the choruses near the end, but I assume it will be mostly drowned out in the mix once we get to hear this with proper sound. 

This actually got quite a cheer from the few people in the arena after it was over. I don't remember hearing any cheering after any of the other songs. 

Alesha, Julia and Hannah are back on screen, and we immediately open up the voting and move on to a recap. It all feels very quickly after the last song was over. 

The recap shows Ireland with a LOT of pyro. Portugal have chosen to feature the big notes at the end. Israel has only a part of the dancing (with no live vocals whatsoever). Azerbaijan's clip does not feature the chorus at all. Each recap bit is 15 seconds long. 

Some people have asked about the sound issues. This stream we are getting has very low quality audio, and the quality also keeps coming and going. Sometimes it's worse than at other times, sometimes it disappears completely. And the vocals all sound very exposed. So it really is hard to say much about the singing, so please do take everything I've said with a grain of salt as I'm only basing it on less than ideal sound.

Now, we're getting an interval performance by Rebecca Ferguson (the singer, not the actress) and Alyosha. The theme seems to be refugees. I think it's some kind of medley of various songs, one being "Ordinary World" by Duran Duran. (Another subtle Eurovision 1998 reference, as it was in the French postcard)

Now another recap. Shorter clips of each song this time. Followed by an interval performance by Rita Ora singing a medley of her greatest its as well as her latest single. 

Going to some clip about the year 2003. First talking about general things happening back then (such as UGG boots being popular?) and then focusing on Eurovision. But sadly this is not about Jemini, but the fact that it was the first year Ukraine debuted. Then we move on to a brief history of the UK in Eurovision, how they won many times but around 2003 became very bad, while Ukraine became very successful instead. Eventually getting to Sam Ryder getting the UK's best result in a long time, only to be beaten by Ukraine. 

The voting closes, and we get some various interviews with the Ukrainian commentator, Dustin the Turkey (yes, really, it seems like he's going to be in the greenroom!) and some game where Måns Zelmerlöw and Filomena Cautela get shown clips of past Eurovision songs and have to guess if the qualified for the final or not. (It's Switzerland 2007, San Marino 2022 and Sweden 2010). 

Then some interviews with the artists from Israel, Finland and Malta, each of them being able to show how to dance the dance from their performance. (Though currently it's all just stand-ins, who make up their own dances). This is followed by Julia tying to teach Hannah how "to rock". 

All of a sudden the've wheeled La Zarra onto the stage on her giant podium, so it seems like we might get some big 5 performances now. At the moment we mostly just see her standing there with crew people running around the stage around er. 

🇫🇷 France: And yes, we do get a performance. (But no postcard). The massive dress is definitely attention-grabbing. I think the lowered the podium during the first chorus before taking off the big dress, and then raised the podium again during the second verse. So she wasn't 5 metres up the whole time. The stage is again quite black and gold, very 1983-ish at times. And a pyro curtain at the end! 

🇩🇪 Germany up next! This is very obviously a rehearsal, because the singer is in just a black turtle neck shirt, black comfy trousers and glasses and no make-up. (Unlike La Zarra who was in full hair, make-up and costume). Vocally it's good. And very red.

🇮🇹 Italy now. Though they let him stand on the stage for probably 5 minutes before starting off the actual performance rehearsal. He's wearing the leather trousers and another silvery top now, more in the shape of a regular tank top and with a regular glittery fabric rather than full of beads. Basically a more subtle version of what we've seen before.  He's very clearly not struggling with the vocals, but also not giving it his all. 

Eventually Alesha is having a tea-party with these three big 5 artists in the greenroom. La Zarra talks about fangirling over Mr Bean. Chris of LotL talks about his love for all things Disney. Marco is asked how competing in 2023 compares to competing 10 years ago. This is also where we're getting the actual pre-recorded clips of their performances. France has the last part of the song. Germany is somewhere in the middle. Italy is from just before the bridge until the end. 

Now, it's time for the results. And yes, they do have all acts on the main stage, lined up waiting to find out if they qualify or not. They're all alone up there, no other delegation members with them. As their country ges called, they get shown briefly, then it cuts to the greenroom (where the rest of the delegation are presumably sitting) and the artist walks off stage.

After the first five countries have been announced, Alesha are interviewing them somewhere off the stage. 

Before the 10th and final act to qualify, they show a split screen thing with the remaining 6 artists. After the final qualifier is announced, we don't get to see the non-qualifiers again. They're probably taken off the stage while the camera is filming something else.

Finally we get to see clips of the 10 qualifiers again. Then the show is over.

While waiting for more Eurovision reports, check out this twitter thread of Eurovision 2023 singers and their Pokémon doubles. (Click it to see more)