ESCBEAT Commentary: Eurovision 2023 Semi-Final 1

Live from the media press, we are honored to commentare for you the dress rehearsals for semi-final 1.
15 songs will be performed in semi-final 1:

Note: This article will be gradually updated during the rehearsal

01 – 🇳🇴 Norway: Alessandra – Queen of Kings

02 – 🇲🇹 Malta: The Busker – Dance (Our Own Party)

03 – 🇷🇸 Serbia: Luke Black – Samo mi se spava

04 – 🇱🇻 Latvia: Sudden Lights – Aijā

05 – 🇵🇹 Portugal: Mimicat – Ai Coração

06 – 🇮🇪 Ireland: Wild Youth – We Are One

07 – 🇭🇷 Croatia: LET 3 – Mama ŠČ!

08 – 🇨🇭 Switzerland: Remo Forrer – Watergun

09 – 🇮🇱 Israel: Noa Kirel – Unicorn

10 – 🇲🇩 Moldova: Pasha Parfeni – Soarele si Luna

11 – 🇸🇪 Sweden: Loreen – Tatoo

12 – 🇦🇿 Azerbaijan: TuralTuranX – Tell Me More

13 – 🇨🇿 Czechia: Vesna – My Sister’s Crown

14 – 🇳🇱 Netherlands: Mia and Dion – Burning Daylight

15 – 🇫🇮 Finland: Käärijä – Cha Cha Cha

The postcards show a combination of local views (of each participating country), Ukrainian views and ones from the UK that share the same concepts.

🇳🇴 Norway: Alessandra – Queen of Kings

  • Alessandra wears an outfit that is very similar to the one presented in the national selection. However, the base of this outfit is a dark green velvet top. She also wore a black tight pants.
  • Alessandra wore a gold necklace and gold bracelet, while her nails were painted in a dark green – black color.
  • The performance starts with a focus on her face, and then we see some more elements as the stick lights appear.
  • Melodi Grand Prix 2023″. The colors of the outfit are velvety green, gold, and black. Her outfit also features a black cape
  • Alessandra won’t be alone on stage; she will be accompanied by 4 backing dancers holding stick lights.
  • The LED screen will support the northern lights and northern seas, as it will showcase icy blue lightning.
  • They use lights in a lot, as well as the ones on the floor where the scene is colors in orange.
  • The whistle towards the end was made perfectly

🇲🇹 Malta: The Busker – Dance (Our Own Party)

  • The Busker have kind of retrieved their national final performance, featuring a lot colorful objects and props.
  • The three of them look confident on stage, as the two players are equipped with drums and saxophone. The drummer has a pair of shiny sunglasses.
  • Their set features 4 different parts, each of them with different visuals.
  • Destiny (Malta Eurovision 2020-2021) cardboard cutout is here to stay, may she bring them some luck! She is not the only Maltese Eurovision star to appear as a card-board, Chiara (Eurovision 1998, 2005, 2009) and Ira Losco (Eurovision 2002, 2016) join as well.
  • We will also be able to see a red car. a tiny room with a blue sofa, a  lamppost and a yellow park bench.
  • When they move to the main scene, the floor changes colors from blue to yellow.
  • Thereafter, they use of a lot of tiny “point” lights.
  • Vocally, it was sometimes not the most stable
  • Their performance also features a change of outfits, from warm sweaters to silver shiny sequins
  • LED screen shows colorful text that calls for us to dance

🇷🇸 Serbia: Luke Black – Samo mi se spava

  • Luke Black starts the performance while he is lying on the icy shell bad prop (the same one was used in the Serbian selection).
  • He wears an elegant outfit, consisting of a white shirt, black pants and black shoes.
  • Most of the time, the background is blue light.
  • The LED screens show a sci-fi creature that is colored white, and then blue and red.
  • He is accompanied by 4 backing dancers (2 males and 2 females) with trailing long hoses. Smoke will get out of them towards the end of the song
  • The performance features a dark theme, with some convincing visuals and mystery
  • Serbian delegation has also used some pyro towards the end.
  • The backdrop is blue, white, gray and red.
  • The second performance includes some changes in the graphics presented on the LED, we can see more video-games related visuals.

🇱🇻 Latvia: Sudden Lights – Aijā

  • Their outfits are sharp suits.
  • In general, the stage is quite dark. The backdrop suggests light blue lights, while we have some lampposts that show an orange vivid light.
  • They barely use the LED themselves, besides the ones on the floor, where they show a shiny yellow-orange circle
  • The light beams create a kind of lighting wall that surrounds the stage
  • The concept of the performance is intimate, but at the same time utilizes the stage as a live concert
  • The melancholic line of the song is well produced in the performance itself.
  • Towards the end, the song becomes more calm, as the electronic production is replaced by sweet lullaby.
  • Vocally, it has been as excellent as in the studio cut.
  • I think the staging was quite static and modest, maybe too modest.

🇵🇹 Portugal: Mimicat – Ai Coração

  • Mimicat wears a red dress, made of  feathers.
  • It starts with dramatic singing, while we can see only her. The scene is quite dark, and then we see vertical red lights in the backdrop.
  • Mimicat also wears pink sleeves. She and her 2 female dancers wore red heeled sandals.
  • She is accompanied by 4 dancers, just like in the national selection. They lift up the performance with their catchy and contagious dance movements.
  • They also gave us some hand moves as choreography.
  • However, the sofa from the national final won’t be part of the Eurovision performance.
  • The lightning changes in the range of blue, orange and red. The use of lightning utilizes the shape of the stage.
  • The cabaret theme is well showcased.
  • Vocally it was stable and convincigng

🇮🇪 Ireland: Wild Youth – We Are One

  • The lead singer Conor wears a glam rock gold outfit
  • The staging features stairs, featuring different LED lights.
  • There is a wide use of golf and yellow lights, some of the time it is like a swirl on the floor.
  • Towards the end, we can expect some pyro
  • The other band members (keyboards player, drummer, guitarist) wear black elegant outfits with gold decorations.
  • The lighting is mostly gold and yellow, indicating the main color of this performance.
  • Vocally, there were some moments when it wasn’t accurate.

🇭🇷 Croatia: LET 3 – Mama ŠČ!

  • “Let 3” band try to stay memorable with visuals similar to the ones we’ve seen in “Dora 2023“.
  • The band members are wearing colorful dresses with hats. They also wear platform heels.
  • The colors of their outfits are red, pink, dark blue and black.
  • In the first part of the song, the LED artwork is composed of black and red vertical lines.
  • The scene itself is quite dark, in order to create a contrast with the themed video and colorful outfits.
  • Towards the end, they go in a more provocative direction, as they show off their underwear and hold giant missiles.
  • The LED screens show colorful and psychedelic graphics. We can see yellow, red and black colors there for example. The themed video on the LED screen presents the band members walking and stepping.
  • Towards the end, we get a pyro while they are standing in circle.
  • IN some parts, the lead singer shouted and went off.

🇨🇭 Switzerland: Remo Forrer – Watergun

  • Switzerland’s staging was created by the Swedish Sacha Jean-Baptiste (for the 3rd time in a row).
  • Remo is accompanied by 4 contemporary dancers (2 females and 2 males). From time to time, we can see him dancing as well.
  • Remo wore an elegant half-transparent black jacket and shiny black pants.
  • He is tied to his 4 dancers at the beginning of the performance.
  • In the beginning, the artwork was blue light and smoke on the LED.
  • The lightning is yellow, blue, red and white.
  • Towards the end, we have some pyro effects, essentially we talk about a rain of red fireworks at the most powerful part of the song. Smoke will all be part of the package.
  • Towards the end, the dancers ran to the front stage, and Remo after them.

🇮🇱 Israel: Noa Kirel – Unicorn

  • At the beginning of the performance, Noa is standing on a huge box lit with LEDs. The tunnel box has a nested shape. Noa has made some impressive movements on top of it.
  • The box stood on the stage while tilted to the side. Noa stood inside it, sometimes changing positions with her legs and upper body. Noa got out of the box, only after the first chorus.
  • The staging concept includes some rotating camera angles, where Noa uses diverse facial experiments.
  • Regarding the lighting, there is a use of bright lights in a similar way to on-camera flash. The light comes in soft colors like white, light-blue and pink.
  • Noa is not alone on stage, she is accompanied by 5 backing dancers (3 males and 2 females). Her dancers wear pink and black outfits.
  • In the beginning, Noa danced with one of them, and then the rest joined (during the verse that comes after the chorus). In some parts she dances between all of them, while in others she danced with the girls only.
  • Sonically, there were some changes in the composition, for example she lengthened some of the syllables.
  • One of the impressive parts would probably be the dance break that comes towards the end, after “Do you wanna see me dance?”. During the final dance part, Noa appears in a more minimalistic outfit.
  • The upper part of Noa’s outfit is half-transparent, featuring black and light purple colors with gold decorations. She wears boots.
  • We can also expect some pyro, as the rain of fireworks takes control.
  • The LED screen show 2 beautiful white-gray unicorns on a black background.
  • At a specific part of the performance, we can see the dancers on their knees, around Noa, while they showcase the “unicorn” hand movement.

🇲🇩 Moldova: Pasha Parfeni – Soarele si Luna

  • As the ethno folk song of this semi-final, Moldova will try to bring us some epic visuals.
  • The concept is similar to the one we saw in the national final.
  • Pasha wears a traditional outfit, he is accompanied by 2 female backing singers and a flute player (even though he isn’t really playing the flute).
  • Pasha and the backing singers wore outfits that were of a brown sand color. The flute player wore a mask and a black and gold outfit. The back part of Pasha’s outfit is made of white feathers
  • As part of the performance he is almost shirtless, and a very big necklace covers his body.
  • 2 backing singers are standing around him, wearing huge horned headdresses.
  • The scene is quite dark, while the LED screens start with a metal brown and gold color.


Harnessing the power of the ☀️and the 🌕 🇲🇩 #Eurovision2023 #Eurovision @Pasha Parfeni

♬ original sound – Eurovision

🇸🇪 Sweden: Loreen – Tattoo

  • Loreen will try to showcase similar visuals to the ones we have seen in “Melodiestivalen 2023”, but with some updates.
  • The light box is part of the performance, but it is a smaller one. The lower light box can be carried easily on the stage, as it is elevated on the ground.
  • The lower light box is higher and thicker.
  • Her outfit is a catsuit, and she is equipped with long nails that help her deliver the massage with hand movements.
  • The main visual is swirling smoke that comes in 2 dimensions: one from the LED screens. the other is real smoke.
  • The lightning and smoke appear in several colors like orange, gray and blue.
  • The majority of the performance is filmed in close-up, to increase the intensive message and raise the drama to another level. It will also enable her to manipulate over the light box.

Loreen ✅ Lightbox ✅ Liverpool ✅ #Eurovision2023 #Eurovision @Loreen

♬ original sound – Eurovision

🇦🇿 Azerbaijan: TuralTuranX – Tell Me More

  • Tural and Turan will suggest a very simple line in their performance
  • They wear elegant suits. one of them with a dark purple one, while the other is a lemonish green-yellow.
  • Both of them hold guitars with tons of stickers
  • During the performance, they are standing on a heart-shaped platform.
  • The main beam lights are mostly blue and yellow. The circular upper light is purple and red
  • The floor is full of white smoke in some parts of the performance.
  • In order to elevate the nostalgic atmosphere of the song, we will be able to see a camera effect of colors fading, starting in black and white and moving to color.

🇨🇿 Czechia: Vesna – My Sister’s Crown

  • Vensa members wore pink pantsuits.
  • The performance also includes some synced dance movements.
  • The backdrop LED showcases empowering phrases. We can also see the band members’ characters on the screen and hands.
  • As part of the performance, the LED screen shows a red theme artwork with giant hands.
  • The scene itself is quite dark, as the lighting is white, light-blue and red.
  • Their appearance includes a kind of long braid which is apparently intended to symbolize the release from the shackles of society.
  • The first verse includes captivating hair choreography. Another part of their choreography is composed of body swinging and marionette dancing.
  • Towards the end, each two of them stood on another part of the stage. Before this, they ran and it looked quite messy. They looked lost on stage.


Slavic sisterhood 🇨🇿✊ #Eurovision2023 #Eurovision @Vesna

♬ original sound – Eurovision

🇳🇱 The Netherlands: Mia and Dion – Burning Daylight

  • Mia and Dion will convey an emotional atmosphere through their intimate performance.
  • Both of them wear two-parts black suits with silver decorations.
  • They are accompanied by backing singers, behind the scenes.
  • Vocally, the song is built on the contract behind Dion’s low tone of voice, and Mia’s high tone of voice.
  • The performance is based on an intimate atmosphere with supporting camera angles.
  • The scene is quite dark, however the lighting creates captivating visuals.
  • Both of them are walking and standing on a rotating black platform.
  • The backdrop screens show pink, blue and purple lights.
  • In the transition between the different parts, we could have seen vivid lights that “covered” the scene.
  • Towards the end, the lights create a kind of shiny stars around them with some white smoke.
  • They end the performance by leaning one on each other.

🇫🇮 Finland: Käärijä – Cha Cha Cha

  • Käärijä wore the well-known green bolero that is recognized with his character. He wore shiny black pants and black shoes.
  • He is accompanied by 4 dancers (2 males and 2 females) in pink outfits. They wear a kind of special wig and fake teeth.
  • He starts the performances while inside the wooden box. We can also see some tiny surfaces on the stage.
  • Käärijä climbs on the top of the box, where he gives us some dance moves, before going down.
  • The famous train dance (that we’ve seen in “UMK 2023”) is part of the package as well.
  • There’s a use in the circular lighting of the ceiling.
  • The backdrop shows a giant shadow of him as he dances.
  • The performance ends with impressive festive fireworks.
  • In the danable part (not the electronic one) his vocals were shaky.

Don’t forget to visit our full guide to Eurovision 2023: Our Eurovision 2023 homepage

Doron Lahav is 30-year-old, who lives in Israel. Doron has been watching the Eurovision Song Contest since early 2000s. Doron works as a Data Scientist and shows interest in singing and writing.

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