On Sunday ten countries had their first spin on the Eurovision 2023 stage. Norway opened the day, with Alessandra swapping her black bustier from Trondheim for an emerald one here. Sweden’s Loreen closed the day with a downsized (but still incredibly large) LED floating above her head.
But who wowed you the most? You can watch out review of each of today’s performances in our YouTube playlist below. Then vote in our poll. You can vote for as many countries as you’d like, but you can only vote one time. Be sure to click the box next to each country you want to support before pressing submit.
The acts that rehearsed today were…
Norway: Alessandra – “Queen of Kings”
Malta: The Busker – “Dance (Our Own Party)”
Serbia: Luke Black – ”Samo mi se spava”
Latvia: Sudden Lights – “Aijā”
Portugal: Mimicat – “Ai Coração”
Ireland: Wild Youth – “We Are One”
Croatia: Let 3 – “Mama ŠČ!”
Switzerland: Remo Forrer – “Watergun”
Moldova: Pasha Parfeni – “Soarele și Luna”
Sweden: Loreen – “Tattoo”
Poll: Who had the best first rehearsal at Eurovision 2023 on Sunday (30 April)
I’ve been sick of Sweden’s preferential treatment for years now, this isn’t Loreens fault.
I, like many others, am simply waiting for Sweden to draw spot number two in either the semi or the final. Or if they draw second half not to be 18th to the end.
But that never happens. Meanwhile Albania, not one of the EBU’s darlings, was forced to perform in spot number two, two years in a row very recently.
The people pissing over Sweden are annoyed by the unfair treatment they get. No other reason.
Please tell us which preferential treatment Sweden got. This year as well as other years? Was it the fact that she was told that she had to change staging? Or that she got a spot in the semi final which is one of the worst? Or in 2019 when Lundvik had to install lights thus limiting the impact of the song? Or last year when an intimate small stage did not work for Cornelia forcing her to come up with close ups and pyro? So what were the benefits? Are other countries forced to change stagings? People hate on Sweden… Read more »
By far Croatia and Malta for me.. both looking great.. 🙂 🙂
I think Ireland ?? ? the best so far
Sweden’s staging looked like a big downgrade from Melofest. Still it’s on the lead, weird.
Most people have not seen Loreens act i Melfest, thats why.
Yes, but only those who have seen the original Mello clip will probably notice it.
But most viewers will only see the staging for the first time in ES final!
That doesn’t mean they’ll like it, though
No of course not. But they probably will!
Sorry, but I cannot understand why Croatia is more favourite to get through than Latvia for instance. I hope the Baltic country makes it instead
Easy. Because it’s better and more authentic.
The biggest negative surprise: Portugal – It is still a finalist, but I miss the color matching from the national final… red and pink on her, and the dancers all in red don’t suit me, and the sofa is missing too xD And Norway – aside that I don’t like the song, but I don’t think they will use 100% of the stage to tell the story The biggest pleasant surprise: Malta – It was my finalist even before the rehearsals And Croatia: it will still be a shock, but it has been refined and polished a lot Biggest mech:… Read more »
I agree with you here. Norway was too dark and Portugal too red. Both are missing something important colorwise…
for me biggest negative surprise: Serbia
all you had to do, keep the outfit as it was, just upgrade it with few more props to create more of a location out of the stage for even more of a music video/movie feeling, maybe cardboard some henchmen of that main villain boss in the LED backdrop screen
really a big shame on them, had so much potential to go all out video game epicness
I don’t hate Loreen but don’t get it either. What have the horizontal screens go to do with a tattoo? I don’t think Croatia are going to make it. They sure stand out, but not in a way which will attract enough votes.
What does LED-screens have to do with a tattoo?
About as much as wooden boxes has to do with the cha-cha.
It’s for atmosphere.
I super loved Croatia and Malta.
I really find Loreen’s song overhyped.
FINALLY SOMEONE SAID THAT. And 26 ppl agree. Thank you!!!
And stop some of you using the excuse “no one saw this in Melofest.” But if you actually want to use it, compare it with rehearsals of Finland and Israel from today. Then, you will understand what ESC 2023 needs.
how is serbia so high in that poll?
with Luke’s stupid pregnancy pants, i preferred his more casual pants in the NF, looked normal and fitted into the overall syfy, horror video game/film vibe better, switch those pants back pls,
those pregnancy pants distract me too much
Everyone? I mean for what the song needs, I’d say that everyone did well. I am mostly impressed by Latvia, Malta, and Serbia, but I respect everyone’s effort. Switzerland is the only one that took me by surprise and I still don’t know will this risk be helpful or not. And as Briekimchi says, of course that Loreen is landsliding a Eurofans’ poll. Good start for semi 1. It will be gutting watching the results. 🙂
Didn’t Loreen promise a better outfit, saying that now she has time to prepare? Also those fingernails are still a bit.. questionable.
She promised better everything, saying it would be badass. I’m only seeing a scaled down Melfest. So where’s the badass?
It probably looks better o TV…
y’all are so annoying by hating anything loreen does
I dont specially like Loreen and Tattoo… If I say so, am I hating?
First Opinions Norway- Pretty much the MGP staging. Not that bothered by the costume as other people. I find it very Six-esque, which people on the Theatrical side might find interesting. Malta- Just misses the kitchen sink. Loud, vibrant and fun. Could help, but… Serbia- Pretty much the NF staging too, but, again, not that bothered by it. Latvia- Feels underwhelming in pictures, but I hope camera angles and close ups enhance it. Portugal- I miss the couch. Feeling empty, but as with Latvia, close ups might make it better. Croatia- Prop heavy too. I expect them to throw some… Read more »
The couch in Mimicat’s NF performence was so unneccessesary. I am glad it’s gone. The performance looks 10x better and it was already great.
I have always hated seats of all kind in musical performances. I just accept the piano seats 🙂
I agree 100%. I don’t understand what people see in that ugly couch. It looked so amateur theatre to me… I’m also glad it was discarded.
Serbia isn’t similar to the NF, more like a huge downgrade from that
We talk next week when Switzerland is in the final!
Norway, Malta and Portugal for me
I’m sick and tired of the preferential treatment that Sweden gets. They never allow people to hang their props from the ceiling, but since Sweden needs it, let’s bend the rules.
UK was allowed to hang 2 trumpets in 2021 albeit lightweight. It depends on the weight cause the original was 1.8 tonnes.
I’m getting sick and tired of people constantly trying to take every chance to be negative about Sweden.
Relax! It’s just hate because their country doesn’t know how to to Eurovision! And no, I’m not Swedish!
If they give Sweden a death slot in the final this year I promise to never hate on Sweden ever again. But you know this will never happen.
Why would they give the most potential winner a death slot? They would NEVER give Finland a death slot this year as well?
I guess those 2021 trumpets never happen. Or the 2021 moon.
That was a different year, different arena and different rules. This year no delegation is allowed to hung anything from the ceiling.
Ok, so Sweden and the Big 5 (at least this one makes sense because they pay for everything). Had this been, oh I don’t know, let’s say Slovenia, they wouldn’t let them hang anything. And it’s not just this, Sweden in general gets a lot of preferential treatment. From props to running order.
#11 in the semi-final is one of the running orders with the lowest qualifying chance, last year Cornelia’s ballad was put right after Moldova which also wasn’t good for her, and Tusse sang right after Måneskin. Stop with this bs lol
I thought it was on a hoist thing, not hung from the ceiling ????
And I am tired of people talking trash about Sweden and taking every opportunity to say negative things about it..
Ever since Cyprus hung a mirror in 2021 it is allowed to hung from the ceiling. It was just to heavy to hung so they got a lighter one
Slovenia last year was not allowed to hang their disco ball.
I’m sick and tired of the preferential treatment that Cyprus gets. They never allow people to hang their props from the ceiling, but since Cyprus needs it, let’s bend the rules
My first impression: 1. NOR: cut and paste from MGP—qualifier 2. MLT: this could qualify for sheer fun 3. SRB: could this be too dark and weird to be forgotten or will diaspora and Slavic countries save it 4. LAT: this is hurt by lack of juries 5. POR: voice on point but concerned the lack of LEDs stripped some of the fun and there’s few upbeat/fun/feel good songs 6. IRL: generic pop band sound might sneak through but not loving the Oscar statue outfit 7. CRO: I never got this and never will—still think Finland could suck up the… Read more »
Portugal will use LEDs, actually they will use the full 2 sides of the LEDs, delegation has said. They’ve just been keeping it as a surprise 😉
You know what’s more ironic than Switzerland singing about being against weapons of war? Doing so in a see-through deep-cut blouse.
I don’t understand why people are always soo negative towards Sweden. I understand if you don’t like the song but I think we should still appreciate that the whole team must have worked really hard to bring their staging to Liverpool due to the different challenges so I’m really proud of what they delivered today! She sounded great and I’m sure it will look even better on TV with all the camera angles etc.
People enjoy building someone up and then smashing them down, don’t they? There was a ton of support in the bubble for Loreen leading up to Melodifestivalen. Then when she won and it was clear she could easily become a runaway favourite this year, many fans turned on her. Some people also get a kick out of being cruel and unkind, and some never change despite the acts themselves asking for fans to be a bit kinder to the artists.
That’s wiwi for you. Last year they all supported Cornelia and said it would be the best Swedish winner in a long time and a really worthy winner candidate.
Then when she actually won there was nothing but the same usual stuff about only doing well with juries, had other countries sent it it would not have done well, that Cornelia is not a good singer and so on
Cornelia’s song was much stronger entry than Tattoo imo
After this 2.day rehearsals she probably would needed orginal LED-scructure instead that ‘hamburger’?
If there’s a poll on Wiwibloggs with Loreen in it, she’s winning the poll.
Make peace with this and just read the comments instead. You’ll live longer.
Just a shame so many of those people are choosing not to participate in the comments section.
Was she the readers favorite to win eurovision this year? No. Finland was.
Didn’t Finland win the poll for reader’s favourite to win the 1st semi-final? Or was that another site?
She would win best baltic and best east europe entry if she was in poll
Interesting to note that Sweden has won the poll so convincingly and yet this isn’t reflected in the comments below the line, of which there are far fewer participants than in the poll itself.
I think it has to do with a lot of die-hard incels hating Loreen and dedicating their life trying to trash her, thus wasting their time commenting everywhere she’s mentioned, while casual fans and the general public seem to really love her!
Yes Sir! I was going to write a similar comment!
I didn’t think incels were a particular issue in the Eurovision bubble. What are you basing that on? Whatever the reason, it’s a shame these toxic fans are putting off casual fans, like you say.
I’m kind of clueless here, but Latvia, Portugal, Malta and Ireland gave me the best first impressions.
Idk why Sweden is winning this poll tho, looks rather disappointing but there’s not much to see so I might be missing something.
Also, I was sure they were gonna have a great staging, but Moldova surprised me a lot!
Benito I agree!
I liked Norway, Serbia and Moldova the best.
My vote is for Malta
Portugal. Mimicat is very charismatic and knows how to put up a show with good taste.
… and Sweden isn’t the only “serious” act that jury prefers. Everyone goes around saying Finland won’t win because of other televote friendly songs taking up points. But they never mention the same going for the jury. I doubt all juries will give Sweden 12…
Sorry but with the few content shared by the Ebu I can’t know so I can’t choose.
All is a matter of lights, camera works and how it will look like on TV. The only things we got today it’s the vibe of the performance, the outfits and if there are pyro and props or not, even the vocals we can’t really judge. So I will wait the 2nd rehearsals I think to really judge.
Sweden, Norway, Moldova, Serbia and Malta all look great, disappointed with Portugal – came across a bit bland
So, what’s the plan? all Swedes crossing borders to Norway or Finland to vote for themselves?
Unnecessary dig aside.. When you put it like that I suddenly feel bad for Australia.. what’s their plan? 🙁
Australia are easily good enough to make the final.
so much crying here lol
the only thing can please these people is Sweden hosting esc every year
But… Ibiza! 🙂
I don’t really need to comment on this poll result, do I? Clue: It’s not close.
Mimicat dress is outstanding!
lt’s not Loreen’s fault if the host country’s feasibilities are inadequate. Tattoo is still Tatto and it’s beautiful as it is.
Only the M&S Bank stadium, not the entire host country! (Dear oh dear.)
Thank goodness she didn’t need a train! 😉
They knew that had to make a version that could be attached and removed fast. It was a huge logistical challenge with the top part. It would need to be secured to the roof before the show and stay there the whole time, but there’s likely other stuff taking space too like lights, structures, cameras etc. so it was going to be a problem. It didn’t matter at Melfest.
Finland needs to win or Eurovision will go into a dark age.
IRELAND – Hear me out! This is at the bottom of my list of songs, BUT it looks like EVERYTHING was thrown at it and the pyro ACTUALLY works for such an explosive chorus, giving it more of a bang! Ireland COULD be a suprise qualifier! It’s the only one that was given a MASSIVE change in terms of visuals from the NFs.
The casual viewers will see all performances for the first time, even if they are the same as in national selection, so they won’t care about the change
The song sounds better live though. Whilst this isn’t a sure fire qualifier, it’s definitely more likely than some countries (Azerbaijan, Croatia, Malta, Moldova, Serbia) at this point in time.
I like Mimicat and Latvia
It’s kind of embarrassing for the EBU that SVT can host better staging for a national selection.
Whilst I do love smaller stages, let’s keep them for when smaller countries host. Eurovision in the UK should’ve been HUGE. A stage comparable to Dusseldorf 2010, Baku 2012 or Copenhagen 2014, not Tel Aviv 2019. It’s annoying that countries have to downgrade their staging, it should be the opposite!
It’s not at all embarrassing. The EBU are just trying to maintain fair play, and facilitate a fast turnaround for the 30-second postcards.
That’s if you’re talking about Loreen, I mean.
We’re in Liverpool, NOT London or the bigger cities. And this is being hosted for Ukraine who are at war, remember. And many other ‘small’ stages have done well in the past. Trust me, it will looker better on TV. You have NO IDEA how it will look!
I’m pretty sure the stage will look better on TV. Size is not everything.
Remember when people complained about the stage in TLV? At the end it turned out to be very impressive and wholesome on the screen.
Besides, even for the big countries, hosting Eurovision can be tough now, we’re experiencing a serious international economic crisis.
Even if Liverpool had the biggest stage in the whole world, Loreen still wouldn’t be able to have her own stage because there are rules that are the same for everyone, and no artist can have more rights than another in terms of stage setup.
Now you know.
“because there are rules that are the same for everyone”
What are you referring to? Are there ESC/EBU rules on the weight limit or something? An honest question, as I really do not know about that.
You cannot suspend a large heavy object from the roof for hours. It’s preferential treatment and could interfere with other parts of the show.
Why are people obsessed with having a big stage/arena. A lot of countries actually prefer smaller and more intimate stages so that they can connect with their audience rather than feel overwhelmed by a huge arena. its also a TV event so as long as it looks good on the night that is the most important thing. I think the BBC have done a great job so far as there have been no complaints or reports regarding the stage not working etc.
You wouldn’t put a live giraffe on stage in a national final because you cannot then put it on stage in ESC. You wouldn’t put a 100-piece gospel choir on stage in a national final because you cannot then put it on stage in ESC. Likewise, a giant hanging screen might have worked in melodifestivalen but it wouldnt in ESC. Just because something worked in your own country doesn’t mean it will in ESC and artists should take that into consideration especially countries liek Sweden or Norway who do not change their act from the nf to Esc.
So EBU has to ask Sweden what kind of stage would they need for their performance before building the stage?
I really liked Latvia. In a SF full of intensity and extravaganza, I really appreciate a performance like this. We need it
That was my thought – almost every performance is over the top (in a good way for some), while Norway and Latvia are the only rather simple performances
so even when the staging is not spectacular Sweden is in front. the swedes vote en masse loreen or what? I was very disappointed with the images, very small, design with little impact
People are voting for Loreen, not the song, staging or rehearsal.
I mean loreen could have a tattoo artist doing life tattoo art all over her body and y’all still wouldn’t be impressed. We don’t have a rehearsal clip but since she basically brought the same staging as in melodifestivalen but more polished I can understand why somebody would vote for it in the poll?
I mean, we really haven’t seen anything, so everything can (and in many cases hopefully will) change, but for now:
1. Malta (yesss, so happy about this!)
2. Switzerland (love the styling, the dancing, no need to talk about this voice!!)
3. Moldova (song’s fine, but staging is great!!)
7. Portugal (love her and the song, stage just looked empty, I hope it will look better on camera)
9. Latvia (breaks my heart, one of my favorite songs)
10. Croatia (…)
Ar you for downgraded or upgraded performances at Eurovision in relation to national final??I guess it should be better…
I think Sweden will win the televote as well as the jury but I hope I’m wrong.
Is anyone else concerned that there were many similar colour schemes for the performances shown today? It won’t impact euro fans but with many of the stagings being rather dark or warm colour palette (a design choice I like) I’m worried some acts might get lost, especially in this more bloodbath semi.
Might just be fretting over nothing, I enjoyed most of these rehearsal snippets and can’t wait for next week.
Most excited for Portugal after seeing the clips, was perviously worried about ditching the sofa but it seems to have been a good decision!
*previously, blame my bad typing
Alessandra looks more Celtic in the green. Does anybody know the musical The Pirate Queen? About a 16th Century Irish warrior Chieftain named Grace. This song could be about her!
You’re totally right, what a wonderful connection 🙂
Grace O’Malley being a real person too, of course, outside of the musical. Mata Hari got two Eurovision songs, I think The Pirate Queen deserves at least one.
2 Mata Hari songs? Which was another one beside Azerbaijan 2021.?
People massively voting Sweden even before we got the snippet
No, you’re not biased at all lol
That’s why I plan to probably spend all the votes just for one country in the final. Sweden overrated.
If anything, it was pretty bad in comparison with nf. Both staging and vocals
Staging is not the most important thing to win. Loreen with her song Euphoria won the contest without any interactive effects. Just her.
There was a dancer. Also lighting, dress and choreo are all part of staging. Euphoria did have a sophisticated staging. Remember all the camera angle changes.
Rather than sophisticated I would say Euphoria had a well thought out staging.. sophisticated staging would be more like Russia 2016 imo
Russia 2016 and sophisticated does not go together. I would rather say it was kitschy.
Some of the most sophisticated performances in my opinion would be Jamala from that very year, or Conchita Wurst
I think we’re using the word sophisticated differently.. I’m not talking sophisticated as something being “chic” I’m talking about sophisticated as in “technically complex”
I don’t know what you mean by saying “sophisticated” or “kitschy” but for me Russia 2016 was visually (and to be honest audiably too) more pleasant than Ukraine 2016.
Oh there was staging. Staging means that you plan what you will put on stage and how you interpret the stage. Even something as simple as close-ups can work as staging if you have nothing else..
Euphoria was hardly without staging. There was snow, a dancer hidden behind her until he swooped up from behind her and they danced forever and ever trough the snow..
Also all the camera changes and effects were part of staging. The close-ups. The dress too was staging too!
Swedes vote for Sweden. Classic.
But let’s be honest/serious for a moment. Sweden has regressed in terms of stage performance, although they didn’t have much choice, but they can’t be the best at any cost. However, I was positively surprised today by Moldova.
This is an odd comment, as if only Swedes vote for themselves in these polls and other countries apparently don’t haha
Let’s be real, Swedes dominate among Eurovision fans.
Lol they literally don’t, where did you even come up with that? Are you trying to say that no one other than Swedes votes for her on these? As if hundreds or thousands of Swedes are just lurking around waiting for the moment to vote on these super duper important polls haha
You actually have no way of knowing this though. And I can’t say I’ve noticed it either, I really don’t get all the hate Sweden gets, yes it can be a bit predictable sometimes, but we would sure miss the quality and professionalism they add to the contest.
I think the top 3 biggest fandoms would consist of Spanish, British and Greek fans
It’s not as if Swedes aren’t obsessed with Eurovision
I think you’re misunderstanding something here.. Swedes like to watch Melodifestivalen, not a lot of them care about ESC and even fewer of those care enough to go on these forums to vote and chat. Maybe you’re assuming this because the delegation itself is very enthusiastic? I know you have an anti-Sweden agenda so you’re trying to talk bad about the entry and country whenever you get the chance to try just to try and discredit it in hopes that others will be influenced and not vote for Sweden, but you don’t have to invent random facts.. it comes off… Read more »
Moldova is SUCH a dark horse. People are sleeping on the chad, Pasha.
Moldova looked amazing! And they’re using the whole stage area for their performance and thats just incredible! From what we’ve seen of some behind the scene of Finland’s practice, they are also making use of all the space as well!
Yes, cause Swedes are all eagerly waiting around, creeping behind bushes to vote for a poll based on 30 second snippets:)