The best week of the year has begun, tonight, and after a long year of waiting, we will hear the famous tune that gives way to the first of the three galas of the most watched and followed music contest of the year. After the victory of Ukraine by Kalush Orchestra with the song “Stefania” last year in the 66th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest held in Turin (Italy), we travel to Liverpool (UK), which has opened its arms to host the contest,after the impossibility of being held in Ukraine, as Sam Rider representing the UK came second with the song “Space Man”.
The first of the semifinals is the first of three big nights that we will live throughout the week that, after an intense Eurovision pre-season, begins to write the history of Eurovision 2023. Fifteen countries out of the thirty-six in total, are playing for the ten passes available for the grand final on Saturday. On the stage of the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, we will see, almost unprecedentedly, the proposals that the countries have prepared to fight for the coveted trophy, after the unprecedented press ban on the first and second rehearsals. Also unprecedented (at least in the past 10 years) will be the system for selecting the semi-finalist countries, as for the first time since the comeback of the juries, it will be the televote alone who will select the ten lucky winners.
Who is taking part in the first semi-final of Eurovision 2023?
As usual, the selected countries were drawn by lot on January 31. After drawing lots also for the half in which they would perform, the EBU decided on the order of performance for the first show.Some of the favorites this year will perform tonight, as is the case of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Israel, so it is expected a show with a big level and in which it is certain, the cut to the final, will be really difficult for many participants. Here we leave you with the Running Order of the semifinal:
Another aspect to take into account is the Big Five and the host, in this case, from the group of six already qualified for the Grand Final, the public of France, Italy and Germany will be able to vote tonight for their favorites, while the turn of Spain, United Kingdom and Ukraine, will come next Thursday with the second semifinal.
As the BBC and the EBU announced last February 22nd through their official media, for this occasion we have three presenters, the singer, songwriter, dancer and TV presenter Alesha Dixon, Hannah Waddingham, recognized for her consolidated career on stage and on screen, and Julia Sanina, Ukrainian singer and songwriter. We remind you that for the Grand Final will join Graham Norton, a popular TV presenter in the UK and around the world.
What’s happening in Eurovision 2023’s first semi-final?
The semi-final of Eurovision 2023 kicks off at 21:00 CET at Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena. Former Ukrainian singers from the festival will open the show.
Our hosts will tell us how to vote. Remember, there are new rules this year. The audience’s votes will choose the top ten songs. Plus, there’s a new “country” – the Rest of the World. This includes votes from countries not in the contest.
Before each performance, we’ll see special videos. These videos will show similar places in the UK, Ukraine, and the country that’s performing. It’s like a quick trip to three countries!
After the performances, voting opens. There will be performances by singers Alyosha and Rebecca Ferguson while we wait. They’ll sing “Ordinary World” in a duet. It’ll be a highlight of the night.
Also performing is Rita Ora. She’ll sing a mix of her biggest songs and end with “Praising You”.
Other stars will be there too. Filomena Cautela and Måns Zelmerlöw will guess which past songs made it to the finals.
We’ll also see snippets of the Big Five performances. These clips include songs from La Zarra for France, Marco Mengoni for Italy, and Lord of the Lost for Germany. These clips are from the dress rehearsal and will be on Eurovision’s YouTube channel after the show.
The semi-final ends when we find out the ten qualifiers for the grand final. The qualifiers will be announced randomly. We won’t know the total points or their breakdown to keep things fair for the final.
How to Watch the Eurovision Song Contest First Semi-Final from the USA and the Rest of the World
Eurovision’s YouTube Channel
Eurovision’s YouTube channel offers a livestream of both semi-finals and the Grand Final. However, since 2016, this content has been geoblocked due to music rights issues.
Utilizing a VPN
To bypass geoblocking restrictions, you can use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to access content from other regions. AtlasVPN is a freemium service tailored for fans of live international TV events, offering both security and privacy. Utilizing a VPN can help you watch Eurovision on YouTube, as individual performances and full broadcasts have been geoblocked since 2016.
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Take advantage of this incredible offer and enjoy the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest without any restrictions, no matter where you are in the world. Choose AtlasVPN and never miss a beat of Europe’s most spectacular musical event.
How to vote from the Rest of World in Eurovision 2023
For the first time, those watching the Eurovision Song Contest in non-participating countries will be able to vote online. Votes from these countries will be combined to create a set of points with the same weight as one participating country in both Semi-Finals and the Grand Final. This will slightly increase the general public’s impact on the final result to approximately 50.6%.
Ensuring Fair Voting
To vote from a non-participating country, you must use a secure online platform and a credit card from your country. The Voting Partner will ensure that only audiences from countries allowed to vote online, as stipulated by the Reference Group, the Contest’s governing board, can cast a vote and be charged respectively. The full list of eligible countries will be published near the time of the event. There will not be a jury representing non-participating countries.
Vote in our SF1 Poll!
And don’t forget that you still have time to vote in our poll about this semi-final. Help us predict which countries will qualify!: