Eurovision 2023 Semi-Final 1 Prediction (Before The Live Show)

This Tuesday (9th of May 2023), 15 countries will compete in semi-final 1.

#1. ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด Norway: Alessandra โ€“ Queen of Kings

It is a powerful pop song with dance beats.
The performance is composed of a dark scene, with 4 backing dancers holding stick lights.
The melody is catchy, and so far the live singing has been satisfying.
As most of you know, the song went viral on Spotify.
I believe the song will be memorable and many teenagers and young people will find it attractive enough to vote for.
Prediction: Qualifier

#2. ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡น Malta: The Busker โ€“ Dance (Our Own Party)

Malta has changed direction for Eurovision 2023.
Regularly, the country used to send powerful female vocalists, but not this time.
The Busker gives us an entertaining funk pop with some epic saxophone instruments.
The staging creates an interesting visual on stage, as they transit between different “rooms”.
However, we have to recall 2 things: Song number 2 usually tends not to qualify for the final, and Malta doesn’t have a strong televote base.
This semi-final features several men’s bands/duets like: Malta, Croatia, Ireland, Latvia, Azerbaijan, and probably some of them will have to stay out of the final.
It lacks some charisma to fill the stage.
Prediction: Non qualifier

#3. ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ธ Serbia: Luke Black โ€“ Samo mi se spava

For the second year in a row, Serbia has taken a risk and sends an alternative avant-garde song.
The song captivated the listener from the very first notes.
Whether you have listened to Bjork or Evanescance, you find a comfortable place with Luke Black.
Adding to this the fact that the song progresses in a non-linear way, while the staging features some gaming related visuals, we will get a performance that will stand out.
Prediction: Qualifier

#4. ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ป Latvia: Sudden Lights โ€“ Aijฤ

Latvia has picked an indie rock song to rely on.
The last time the country qualified for the final was 2016.
Sudden Lights brings a high-quality song that suggests an interesting production with meaningful lyrics (Personally, the song is in my top 10 list).
However, I am not optimistic about their chances to qualify (it is possible, but will be hard to achieve).
First of all, it seems like most people who are clicked with the song, have experienced it for the 2nd to 4th time, not the first time. Second of all, the song itself seems like a one that will be more appreciated by the jury. However, the semi-finals results will be determined by a 100% public vote.
I believe that if another country gives a weak performance, Latvia can take its place.
Prediction: Non qualifier

#5. ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น Portugal: Mimicat โ€“ Ai Coraรงรฃo

Portugal will try its luck with the festive cabaret song “Ai Coraรงรฃo”.
While competing in recent years with slow songs (mostly ballads), this year is all about some dance moves, attitude and tempo.
Initially, I wasn’t sure Portugal would qualify for the the final.
However, I think that the performance might seem attractive to some of the voters.
In addition, the allocation draw is quite good for Portugal. In the first half of semi-final 1 (songs 1-7), there are only 2 female acts: Norway (1) and Portugal (5) and they are “distant” enough from each other. In addition, Portugal gives a different vibe and flavour from the songs before (Serbia and Latvia) and after (Ireland and Crocatia).
Prediction: Qualifier

#6. ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช Ireland: Wild Youth โ€“ We Are One

Ireland is one of the (not few) countries that has sent a men’s band act. They will sing the stadium rock song “We Are Young“.
Staging wisely, they try to make an effort, and maybe it is too much.
Unfortunately, I feel like the song is too basic and even generic. It is a song that we could have heard already in 2010.
The song is quite repetitive and not strong enough, especially when we talk about the stonger semi-final.
Prediction: Non qualifier

#7. ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ท Croatia: LET 3 โ€“ Mama ล ฤŒ!

Croatia has decided to live on the edge.
The country will compete with what might seem like a joke entry, but has a deeper meaning: It mocks the idea of dictatorship and raises the antiwar topic.
On one hand, the song will be memorable as it creates a moment on stage. The colorful costumes, the missiles, the mustaches and more. On the other hand, for some viewers, it might look like they pushed it way too far.
Musically, it isn’t one of the brilliant songs and neither is one of the vocalists that stands out. But creating such a provocative show will probably help grab some votes.
They have got an excellent running order (last in the first half)
Prediction: Qualifier

#8. ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ Switzerland: Remo Forrer โ€“ Watergun

It’s one of the few ballads we have had this year.
Remo is a young talented singer who bases his performance on emotional delivery, strong vocals and charisma. The song is staged in a sense that would match not only to a ballad, but also to a general modern song. He is accompanied by 4 backing dancers.
Let’s not forget that Switzerland will be the song that people will calm by, after the Croatian entry.
People tend to think that ballads can’t do well with public voting, but as evidence we can see The Netherlands 2019, Switzerland 2021.
I tend to see this qualifying.
Prediction: Qualifier

#9. ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Israel: Noa Kirel โ€“ Unicorn

After failing to qualify in 2022, Israel is coming back stronger and more determined.
The country will be represented by one of the biggest pop stars – Noa Kirel.
It looks like one of the most promising stagings that we’ve received from Israel in recent years.
Noa is accompanied by 5 backing dancers, and there is a nested box on stage.
No one can ignore the dance break towards the end, let’s not forget it is the Eurovision song contest, and Israel has one of the catchiest songs. In addition, she has improved vocally during the rehearsals.
Prediction: Qualifier

#10. ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฉ Moldova: Pasha Parfeni โ€“ Soarele si Luna

Moldova competes with an ethno-folk song.
The song is quite catchy, even though it is too repetitive.
The performancestaging includes 2 female backing singers (standing around him, wearing huge horned headdresses.) and a flute player (even though he isnโ€™t really playing the flute). Moldova tends to do better than expected in the public vote.
For some of us it might seem too theatratical, but I still think it will be appealing enough in order to advance.
Prediction: Qualifier

#11. ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช Sweden: Loreen โ€“ Tatoo

Loreen, who won Eurovision 2012, returns with a powerful performance.
The song starts as an amotinal ballad that developed into a more electronic pop direction.
Loreen is known for her emotional and powerful vocals, while captivating the viewer with convincing visuals. She lies on a box, while there is another “floating” box on top of her.
The performance focuses on her facial expressions, hand moves and more.
Sweden uses a lot of smoke visulas in the background.
The song went viral, and also led to betting odds.
Prediction: Qualifier

#12. ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Azerbaijan: TuralTuranX โ€“ Tell Me More

Azerbaijan has struggled with Eurovision in recent years. Last year, they finished semi-final 2 with 0 points from the public.
This year, they brought a song that might be more appealing to the jury.
It is a a country folk song, with wide influences of the 1960โ€™s music.
I guess that the people who like the 1960’s or the 1970’s music, might vote for this song, but I don’t think we have many of them among the voters.
On top of this, letโ€™s add that semi-final 1 is the strongest one. Thatโ€™s why I canโ€™t see Azerbaijan qualifying.
Prediction: Non qualifier

#13. ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Czechia: Vesna โ€“ My Sisterโ€™s Crown

Czechia will be represented by VESNA, a group of 6 women that originated in several differeren Slavic/Easten-Eurpean countries.
The song delivers the message of anti-war, but can also be interpreted as a female empowerment song. They suggest an ethnic folk song, with modern electronic motives.
The song is performed in 4 different languages: English, Czech, Bulgarian and Ukrainian.
We can even find one part that’s performed as a rap section.
On the one hand, I don’t think there is any song similar to this one (maybe besides Moldova that also suggests a fusion of electronic and folk music). On the other hand, the performance looked quite messy, including moments when they ran on the stage. Vocally, there is still a space for improvement.
I see scenarios where they surprisingly won’t qualify, but I tend to think the chances are on their side.
Prediction: Qualifier

#14. ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ The Netherlands: Mia and Dion โ€“ Burning Daylight

The Netherlands has tried to follow in its steps from the 2014, where a male-famle duo represented the country. It is a romantic and intimate performance of a song that talks about conflicts, human soulitude and more.
The Dutch delegation has decided to make some changes in the production of the song, so it will be easier to perform live. The performance is quite magical, simple and effective.
Following the pre-parties, some fans had doubts about the performance, but I think they delivered quite well.
The question is whether it will be effective enough for the average viewer? How will the running order affect them?
The Netherlands fate is one of the biggest question marks in my prediction.
Prediction: Borderline.

#15. ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Finland: Kรครคrijรค โ€“ Cha Cha Cha

Finland took a very brave direction this year.
Kรครคrijรค will perform a techno-rap song, with some danceable beats.
Let’s face it: This isn’t a song for everyone, but you will remember it for sure.
Visually, we will be able to see him wearing a shiny green bolero, while the dancers wear pink outfits. Not only Israel and Sweden, but also Finland use a box on the stage.
The concept, however, is very different.
This song will make the people dance and celebrate.
Prediction: Qualifier

Summary

Certain Qualifiers

  1. ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช Sweden: Loreen โ€“ Tatoo
  2. ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Finland: Kรครคrijรค โ€“ Cha Cha Cha
  3. ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Israel: Noa Kirel โ€“ Unicorn
  4. ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด Norway: Alessandra โ€“ Queen of Kings
  5. ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ Switzerland: Remo Forrer โ€“ Watergun
  6. ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฉ Moldova: Pasha Parfeni โ€“ Soarele si Luna
  7. ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ธ Serbia: Luke Black โ€“ Samo mi se spava
  8. ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น Portugal: Mimicat โ€“ Ai Coraรงรฃo

Borderline / On the Fence

  1. ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ท Croatia: LET 3 โ€“ Mama ล ฤŒ!
  2. ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ป Latvia: Sudden Lights โ€“ Aijฤ
  3. ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Czechia: Vesna โ€“ My Sisterโ€™s Crown
  4. ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ The Netherlands: Mia and Dion โ€“ Burning Daylight

Ceratian Non-Qualifiers

  1. ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช Ireland: Wild Youth โ€“ We Are One
  2.  Azerbaijan: TuralTuranX โ€“ Tell Me More
  3. ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡น Malta: The Busker โ€“ Dance (Our Own Party)

As I see it, there are 8 countries that can be marked as certain qualifiers. They will be joined by 2 additional countries: Croatia probably has the highest chance to advance.
For the 10th slot, it will probably be a tight battle between The Netherlands and Czechia.
The first of them has a more promising performance, the latter has a more catchy song.

If I have to narrow down my prediction to 10 countries only:

  1. ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช Sweden: Loreen โ€“ Tatoo
  2. ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Finland: Kรครคrijรค โ€“ Cha Cha Cha
  3. ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Israel: Noa Kirel โ€“ Unicorn
  4. ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด Norway: Alessandra โ€“ Queen of Kings
  5. ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ Switzerland: Remo Forrer โ€“ Watergun
  6. ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฉ Moldova: Pasha Parfeni โ€“ Soarele si Luna
  7. ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ธ Serbia: Luke Black โ€“ Samo mi se spava
  8. ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น Portugal: Mimicat โ€“ Ai Coraรงรฃo
  9. ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ท Croatia: LET 3 โ€“ Mama ล ฤŒ!
  10. ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Czechia: Vesna โ€“ My Sisterโ€™s Crown

Donโ€™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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