Eurovision 2023: Semi-Final 1 Insights
The first semi-final of Eurovision 2023 has concluded in Liverpool, with ten countries making it to Saturday evening's Grand Final (Sunday morning in Australia).
There are some interesting trends and details from these results so let's take a look!
**There will be spoilers below!**
Before we look at each country let's look at the semi-final as a whole.
It was arguably a bad night for the English language at Eurovision. For the first time since semi-final 2 in 2017, all the non-qualifiers in this semi-final had songs entirely in English (though the outro of the Latvian song does contain their national language).
There was an interesting numerical trend amongst the non-qualifiers as well. All performed in even number positions (2, 4, 6, 12 and 14). It is the first time ever that all the non-qualifiers in a semi-final performed in even numbered slots.
Now, let's look at each country individually.
Semi-final 1's result extends Norway's qualification streak to six consecutive years. The Nordic nation has now qualified to the final in 10 out of the 11 contests. A fantastic statistic given that Norway holds the record for the most last place finishes at Eurovision.
Alessandra will be hoping to make it two consecutive years that Norway reaches the top 10 in the final. The bookies consider her a good chance to achieve Norway's best result since Margaret Berger finished fourth in the final in 2013. Alessandra is also the first female soloist from Norway to make the Saturday night show since Margaret.
The Mediterranean island nation falls to the curse of the dreaded second slot. For the second year running Malta fails to qualify for the final. They have only made the final now in three out of the last eight attempts.
Luke Black makes it the second year running that the Serbian entry has qualified for the final from the third position in their semi-final - traditionally a difficult slot to qualify from.
Serbia's qualification streak now extends to five consecutive contests. It will be the first time since 2016 that a Serbian entry containing English lyrics features in the final. Luke is also the first male Serbian male soloist to make the Eurovision final since Željko Joksimović in 2012.
The Baltic nation's disappointing run in the Eurovision semi-finals continues. Semi-final 1's result makes it six consecutive contests Latvia has failed to reach the final. They have now only made the final twice in the past fourteen contests.
The Iberian country makes it three years on the trot it has qualified for the Eurovision final. This continues a fantastic turnaround since Salvador Sobral's victory in 2017. Portugal has only failed to qualify for the final once since then, in 2019.
It will be the first time since 2018 that a song entirely in Portugese will be heard in the final.
The country with the most Eurovision wins (seven) continues its tough run in recent Eurovision semi-finals. Ireland has now failed to make the final for the fourth consecutive year. Even more concerningly, the Emerald Isle has only made the final once in the past nine contests.
Let 3 has propelled the Balkan nation into the Eurovision final, snapping a six year non-qualification streak.
It is also the first time the Croatian language will be heard in a Eurovision final since 2009 when Igor Cukrov feat. Andrea performed 'Ljepa Tena'. Let 3 become the first Croatian group to reach the Saturday night show since Kraljevi ulice and 75 Cents in 2008.
The country that won the first ever Eurovision continues its remarkable turnaround in recent years. Remo Forrer makes it the fourth consecutive year Switzerland has qualified for the Saturday night show.
This qualification streak consists entirely of male soloists. The Swiss have clearly found a winning formula and are making the most out of it.
Israel returns to the Eurovision final after failing to qualify last year. The country has now qualified for the final seven times out of the last eight contests.
The bookies currenty predict that Noa Kirel will deliver Israel's best result in the contest since Netta's win in 2018.
Moldova's strong run at Eurovision continues. Pasha Parfeni's qualification means his nation has now qualified to the final in 5 out of the past 6 contests.
The appearance of 'Soarele şi luna' in Saturday night's show will mark the first time since 2013 that a song entirely in Romanian has competed in the final, when Aliona Moon performed 'O mie'. Coincidientally Pasha was the piano accompaniment for Aliona.
Personally Pasha maintains a 100% qualification streak to Eurovision Grand Finals, having also made the Saturday night show in his other participation as a main artist in 2012. Pasha is also the only male soloist from Moldova to have qualified for the Grand Final, and now he has done it twice.
Eurovision powerhouses Sweden will now appear in the final for the twelveth conseuctive contest, courtesy of another Eurovision 2012 alumni.
The bookmakers continue to have Loreen as the favourite for the final. If she does win for Sweden, the Nordic nation would tie with Ireland in having the most Eurovision wins (seven). Loreen would also become the first female performer to win twice, and the first act to do so during the tele-voting era.
Semi-final 1's result makes it only the second time the Caucasus nation has failed to make the Eurovision final. It is a bitter disappointment for a country that between 2008 and 2013 always finished in the top eight.
The central European country qualifies for the final for the second consecutive year, both times courtesy of bands. Vesna though are the first ever all-girl group to represent Czechia in a Eurovision Grand Final.
Several language records will be broken with Vesna's appearance on Saturday night. It will be the first time Czech will be heard in a Eurovision final, and the first time Bulgarian has been heard since 2016.
Sad news for the Dutch whose impressive qualification streak stretching back to 2015 has now been broken.
In recent years the Dutch have had a knack of finishing 11th in the final, having done so in 2016, 2017 and 2022. It will be interesting to see when the full semi-final results are released whether they continue this tradition in a way by finishing 11th in the semi-final as the bookmakers predicted.
The Nordic nation extends its qualification streak to three contests. It means it will be the first time in fifteen years a song containing the Finnish language will be performed in the Eurovision final.
Käärijä is the first Finnish male soloist to reach the Grand Final since Paradise Oskar in 2011.
The bookmakers have Käärijä an excellent shot of becoming the second ever Finnish Eurovision winner.
Found any other interesting trends and statistics from the first Semi-Final? Let us know in our socials.
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