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  • Writer's pictureDale Roberts

Eurovision 2023: Semi-Final 1 Dress Rehearsal live coverage

Today the first behind-closed-doors dress rehearsal of semi-final 1 is being shown in full behind closed-doors but with media access.

We will be updating this article with live updates of the show:

Norway: Alessandra – 'Queen of Kings'

Alessandra is bringing a very similar performance to the Eurovision stage that saw her win Melodi Grand Prix in Norway, but it's been elevated. Costumes on both her and her backing dancers look expensive. This will be safely through the semi-final and should do solidly well in the Grand Final.

Malta: The Busker – 'Dance (Our Own Party)'

This starts with a bang, the first two acts work so well with great LEDs and camera shots. The third act changes aesthetic to a dominant silver and features some solo dance moves and a change of outfit. It doesn't all entirely work, but there's still a lot to like here!

Serbia: Luke Black – 'Samo mi se spava'

Luke brings a similar vibe to his national final, though it feels a little more stark on the big stage, perhaps due to a few too many long shots. But the essence of the performance is still very much there and he brings his quirky delivery that will definitely work for many.

Latvia: Sudden Lights – 'Aijā'

Sudden Lights has really elevated their national final performance. Some fantastic use of LEDs both behind them and on the floor. They give a sense of sparks coming off the instruments and the artists themselves. Impressed and a few claps in the media centre.

Portugal: Mimicat – 'Ai Coração'

Mimicat looks great and sounds fantastic. It's a very dark stage though behind her but that does lend the focus on her and it does finish with quite a flourish.

Ireland: Wild Youth – 'We Are One'

This wasn't the strongest performance unfortunately for the lads. Some nice LED use on the floor and the gold aesthetic works. However, there is use of blue and pink colour palette at times that seems to clash with the gold. There is a lot happening but it doesn't seem to land or have impact.

Croatia: Let 3 – 'Mama ŠČ!'

Exactly what we expected from them. All the chaos of Let 3 is there but in somewhat structured way. The elements of the song and staging have been coordinated really quite well to work on the Eurovision stage. Sailing through.

Switzerland: Remo Forrer – 'Watergun'

This is all very well done and slick. He sings well, the choreography works and it's a performance that juries love. So he'll be hoping enough of the public get him through to that Grand Final.

Israel: Noa Kirel – 'Unicorn'

The choreography in this has real impact and moments. Noa looks like amazing and the use of lighting rather than LEDs does make her and her dancers pop. On the downside, the opening is a little raw and flat until the choreography comes in, but this will have more than enough votes to get through.

Moldova: Pasha Parfeni – 'Soarele și Luna'

Another elevation of a national performance, but a big one. LEDs looks great, Pasha is giving it on stage and the flutist is given space to own for the chorus. Like many performances tonight, it's quite red, wouldn't mind seeing this pop more. I do think what they're doing with the instrumental could have more impact though!

Sweden: Loreen – 'Tattoo'

Wow Loreen owns the space and her vocal is fantastic. When you're in the illusion of the backdrop, it is perfect, but when you're taken out of it with some of the breaks in the LEDs and the smaller sandwich press it does lose impact. But how much? It's hard to know and see through fresh eyes after Melodifestivalen. Can she still win, definitely, but the door is open for others.

Azerbaijan: TuralTuranX – 'Tell Me More'

Some really nice elements of the staging with lighting, costumes and split screens. Vocally it's not bad but at times they do sound a little off. It's cute and light but particularly after Loreen it may get a little stomped on.

Czechia: Vesna – 'My Sisters Crown'

There are some really fantastic shots in this particularly when they are doing simple but effective in unison shots. It is very white on the LED and pink on them for so much it begins to lose its initial impact but this should be comfortably through.

Netherlands: Mia Nicolai & Dion Cooper – 'Burning Daylight'

Well in great news to many the vocals were good! It's simple staging based around the connection of the two artists. This will live and die on how much people enjoy the song rather than vocals being a talking point.

Finland: Käärijä – 'Cha Cha Cha'

Holy shamolly this starts with a bang. Käärijä's manic energy comes through so well all around his large box. Out on the stage for a lot the second half has some differing opinions in our team. He still brings it but it's not as strong (in my opinion but not in others!) as the start but does finish so damn well. Big contender for the crown.

Additionally, on top of the semi-finalists performing, France, Germany and Italy also took to the stage.

France: La Zarra – Évidemment

This looks visually VERY striking. Every shot is really impactful and La Zarra looks fantastic. The only criticism is that over the top staging does take away from the song a little and it feels somewhat flat until the conclusion, which is very grande! I feel La Zarra and the song has a few more gears to come you feel.

Germany: Lord of the Lost – 'Blood and Glitter'

Lots of red and black with some big visual elements and pyro. They perfromed it well despite the group were not in their full outfits. It all works but in a weird way feels "safe" for what they could do.

Italy: Marco Mengoni – 'Due vite'

Marco performs this so damn well and the camera loves him. The silver outfit works with the dark background, however there is some interesting use of trampoline artists in the far background, almost silhouetted. It comes off more of a distraction than something that complements the performance.

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