Six countries competing at the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 had their first rehearsals today. The automatic qualifiers — France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Ukraine and host country United Kingdom — took to the Liverpool Arena stage for the first time to run through their performances.
Blanca Paloma delivered traditional flamenco, Mae Muller served pop-art with a dash of camp, and La Zarra stood as grand as the Eiffel Tower. But who was the best? That’s up to you.
Head over to the official Eurovision TikTok account to watch today’s clips. Then, vote in our poll for your favourite Eurovision 2023 automatic qualifier first rehearsal. You can vote for as many countries as you like, but you can only vote once — so choose wisely.
Poll: Which automatic qualifier had the best first rehearsal at Eurovision 2023?
Who did you vote for? Which is your favourite automatic qualifier? Let us know in the comments section below.
Looks good but I still have serious doubts that she can sing this live
Deutschland <3 España <3 It will all be good on the night of the GF 🙂
In general, all are fine, I guess. I like when we have a year in which big part of Big 5 is not destined to be rock bottom. I think that this year all acts would be good enough to qualify for the final, if they had to do it, which is great. On the other hand, I still feel that all of them are just mid. Maybe France and Spain will be top 10 here, but that’s because we have many ok and mid songs, it is that kind of year. To me, UK was probably the best, since… Read more »
No way is Italy lower than UK!
And yes France was good but not better than Spain and Germany.
Hi everyone, I am from Bulgaria. As everyone knows we do not participate this year..so pity for us. We miss really much this unordinary experience.. Let me share my opinion.
My personal favorite is Germany. This song is growing after every day that passes. It is a “hidden” potential top 10 song, if they receive more than 50-60 jury votes. I expect serious support by televoting.. more than 150 points – At all 200-220 points will be sufficient for them.
My top 5 is:
Greetings from Bulgaria!
I loved all, but I don’t think you can judge just by photos or 10 seconds of video.
(for example in the photos of Italy we can’t see the dancers)
In general I believe that performance does not make a difference. If a song is good it works even without special effects
I honestly do not understand why people always point out to Spanish fans. There are toxic eurovision fans from ALL COUNTRIES, and they all display it when their country is among the favorites. So please stop the hate towards he spanish people. And I am not Spanish, just for your information
I agree, but the Spaniards started to bother me because in these two years started to be really toxic and constantly complain about chanel’s third place… I mean, after so many years in the last places they should only be happy. Do you know how many times Italians were given as winners and then it didn’t happen?There were not so many squalid reactions in those cases. It didn’t even happen for eleni in 2018… Of course not all Spanish fans are like this (Spain is like my second home), but “strangely” they are the only ones I read under every… Read more »
we talk about the Spanish eurofans who attack all the favorites loreen finland la zarra. they are saying anything about france to try to favor blanca. I don’t like their behavior at all, knowing who hasn’t seen anything about the performance
??? I am Spanish and I have never attacked Käärijä, since he is my favourite from the very beginning. More than that, I have seen no Spanish fans attacking him, he is really loved here and we all showed that at the preparties and most of us will be very happy if he wins.
Käärijä no but the others yes.
That’s also equally wrong. I talked about Käärijä because it is really the favourite among most Spanish eurofans, so it is impossible that you see massive quantities of people saying negative things about him.
France by far. It is not going to win but it’s a good song, staged and performed well. The combination of ballad with disco does not allow (in my opinion) for it to win the contest altogether. But, well done, France!
Prefer LaZarra to Barbara Pravi’s song! 🙂
I think the combination of ballad with disco is what makes it special? (not saying necesariy a winning material)
I agree, as an Italian I would be very happy to see France win
It does not allow….. ?
My thoughts: GERMANY: Exactly what we expected but it actually is an epic rock show. This song may grow on me actually. The red theme fits the blood and the whole band is energetic. ITALY: It’s a common ballad staging but I don’t think they needed anything more to shine. The song on itself is spectacular and Marco performs it effortlessly. The smoke is a nice touch. I am waiting to see how they will utilize the moon behind him. . SPAIN: Blanca keeps her Benidorm staging more or less and I am happy with that. I like the red… Read more »
…”seen a gazillion times…” – well that goes for dance breaks, boxes, pyro, big props, modulations, smoke, “barefeeting”, outragious costumes, choreographed dance routines and on screen effects as well – in other words – IT is impossible to make something brand new to the contest, so everything will remind of something similar. People should stop commenting on silly things. Why comment that we have seen a big dress so many times, but compliment smoke effects, which is used literally every year? Ukraine – clothes over the top? What is your opinion of Finland then? Eurovision outfits are not supposed to… Read more »
couldn’t agree more
Smoke, LEDs, pyros etc. are tools. Boxes and ‘big props’ come in a variety of ways, I don’t even get why you think al big props are the exact same thing. One incorporates all of these elements into performances: sometimes completely different performances. And it all depends on how they will be used to create an artistic effect among other things. In France’s case though, the giant dress is the whole concept of the stageshow and main attraction point. And yes this has been done as a main concept many times. It’s like the sand art that Ukraine did in… Read more »
The moon of Blanca and Marco not already seen? Tell me who got this geant dress of 5 meters already, I’d love to know.
Who was already on a column of 5 meters to perform?
Elina Nechayeva, among others.
Aliona Moon. Cezar. Elina Nechayeva. Kate Miller-Heidke.
And to sing in a box it’s a 2023 novelty?
The break dances are a 2023 novelty?
First of all I was never a fan of dance breaks and stuff so I don’t care about these and they are no novelties (Waist was my last place in MGP this year btw) . Second of all on the top of my mind I can think of Estonia 2018 and Moldova 2013 right now. Oh and Australia 2019 national final staging. Third of all not every box or prop is the same thing although I’d love to hear which 2023 performance you are referring to in particular when talking about the box.
This is a copy from 2021
I know most of you don’t like the song as much as I do, but if we’re talking about visuals, Ukraine deserves some praise. We already knew that they have fashion sense, but their styling is really world class, we know Jeffrey can sing and the images of the stage show seem utterly captivating to me. La Zarra and Marco Mengoni were always going to look good, there was no way around it, and I think we have forgotten a little about the initial impact Blanca Paloma’s staging had combined with her unique sound. I have only watched the official… Read more »
Ukraine is doing great with their staging this year. The song doesnt feel Ukranian per se, but when they have the split blue/yellow effect on the screen then they manage to bring the identity of Ukraine into the visual performance still. I am impressed how amazing Ukraine is at staging their Eurovision acts.
I agree, I cannot remember when Ukraine’s entry last looked really disappointing. What I really like about Tvorchi’s concept is, that it has a clear theme with all these bionic body parts and metal incrusted limbs. They don’t only have a heart of steel.
FACT: Blanca Paloma is overrated because of Spanish eurofans. She will be nowhere near the trophy.
1. The styling of both Blanca and her dancers is horrible. Red doesnt go with white.
2. The staging is boring AND messy. The fringes are awkward.
3. The song is fine, but it doesnt go anywhere. You expect something more but it never happens. I think the public will feel its just screaming. As did i the first time i heard it.
Germany – I’m a huge fan of European metal, but if I have to be honest I really dislike this song. It feels like a silly parody of what a pop song writer thinks metal is like without doing too much research. However, the staging looks amazing, so amazing that it might change my mind. France – That giant skirt thing is so cool. France is really taking it to the next level this year with staging. Spain – I really love the music video for this song. I’m not sure this clip of the staging has the same impact.… Read more »
I know what you mean with the parody aspect of the German entry. But tbh, that’s exactly what makes them interesting to me. They describe themselves as the funniest goth/metal/whatever band of them all, as genre fluid while having a penchant for pop (Blood and Glitter is but a regular Eurovision anthem by slightly other means) and they could go for “dark lord who sounds like Rammstein” but they are constantly falling in and out of their stage roles. And yet – they manage to come across authentic because it’s so clear that they love every second of what they… Read more »
Your reply makes me want to check them out, I think I will! I think for me I just wasn’t sold on the sincerity coupled with the lyrics of this particular song, but I’m going to check out their other stuff and see what I can find!
I agree even if I don’t like the giant skirt thing. Anyway Italy this year has also two dancers!
Unicorn lyrics explained: https://wiwibloggs.com/2023/04/25/eurovision-2023-review-israel-noa-kirel-unicorn-wiwi-jury/277118/#comment-1364340
Pinkwashing from Israel, I’m not surprised.
Fatima staging looks nice, need to see how it looks in the real camera shots.
She can sing live, thats for sure
Some toxic people are really unbearable on Twitter….hatred, conspiracy theories, xenophobia only by jealousy because La Zarra is high in the odds, some people have no dignity it’s frightening, it’s a shame.
Negativity is far more profitable for social media platforms than positivity or functionality, unfortunately. With positive posts, people look at them briefly, maybe smile, maybe engage a little, and then scroll away. Negative posts hit much more viscerally, and provoke reactions and then arguments, and storms. Some people just naturally thrive on negativity, so social media works really well for them. In person, those people might be quite reasonable and usually bound by social norms, but online, that negativity is set free and unleashed into insults, vile attacks, bigotry, xenophobia, hatred, and conspiracy theories. Sadly, this online trend is everywhere,… Read more »
The level of toxicity on Twitter is out of this world, I can’t understand people thinking such things but as you said in real life they wouldn’t act the same, this “virtual life” on social medias is creating toxic monsters…and it’s worse and worse unfortunately.
I agree, and sadly it got worse after Elon’s takeover. I would never have thought that Twitter was better with the color haired commies as managers.
The algorithm has stayed the same there, though. It’s designed to take the worst out of you and argue with random ppl to generate traffic. It’s better to stay away from it.
It’s very sad. That kind of toxicity and hatred is not at all in the spirit of Eurovision, a concert for peace.
Well they won’t manage to kill my happiness right now but they are unbearable though.
Twitter has never been a good place to find sanity. And with the changes elon musk is implementing it will only become more of a cesspool. Anything you read there is to be taken with salt in 2023.
Yeah, Twitter was never a good place to begin with, but I never thought I’d say it was better when the color haired commies took care of it xd
Twitter during this week is too toxic. Last year some people wished earthquakes in Italy only for a malfunctioning stage… Eurovision’s fandom is terrible, it goes against all the principles of unity that led to the creation of the contest. I’m Italian and I came to hope that Italy will not participate for some years just because I don’t want to be mocked or insulted at random.
I know I don’t have to give weight to these comments, but there are so many stereotypes and clichés that it becomes difficult
Wishing an earthquake? That’s appalling. It really shouldn’t be so toxic. Sadly, so many people seem to find it amusing when these kinds of commenters make such vile attacks on contestants and other fans.
Last year had to intervene the ebu with a statement. I still have photos in the phone of some comments. They made fun of Italian artists for sunglasses saying they were mobsters (I still don’t understand the connection).
They accused the rai of sabotaging the performances of others “because we all know that Italians are competitive and unfair in everything”.
“the Italians are useless by nature”
I’m not making it up, these things have been said more than once… and there would be many more
Don’t be afraid, this year it’s Sweden and France turn to be discredited…
Came late here tonight, all i have to say is that France has now jumped to my 2nd place in my top, Spain crawling up on 3rd and Austria dropping down to 4th until I see tomorrow’s rehearsal.
LA ZARRA AND BLANCA PALOMA SUPREMACY.
I’ll save individual comments until we have the videos from the 2nd rehearsal, but I’m already comfortable to say that this is the solidest group of automatic qualifiers we have since I started following Eurovision. None of them is there just as a filler, all have something to offer to the competition and the spectacle.
Their presence in the final will feel justified for once, I imagine all of them would be able to qualify if they had needed to.
France up to third in the odds and as low as 7/1 to win with some. Don’t really say more. Staging-wise this is everything it needs to be and France are a definite top five contender now for me.
Spain are of a similar level but didn’t change much. I still think there’s too much happening on stage and would’ve preferred it to be just Blanca, but it’s still quality enough that it’s going to do well.
Everyone else did differing levels of good, nobody let themselves down at all. The Ukraine’s staging actually looks fantastic.
I agree on Spain. It’s a bit busy at times. I preferred the pre-party performances with Blanca on her own commanding the stage. There’s a slight throwback to the Molitva staging about it for me though, which obviously worked with that ballad.
My girl did a really great job! I’m so happy and so proud of her! I knew in my mind since the beginning I was right to support her, and for reasons! Now people will stop ignoring her and admit that she could win it too.
Italy, great voice simple staging, classic song but Marco’s charisma is out of this world.
Spain, same staging as Benifest that makes her win so it will be effective, vocals on point as always
Ukraine, obsessed, I love everything, the song the staging, the singer.
Germany, a very eye catching staging, the outfits are funny.
Honestly this year I could see all the big 5 +Ukraine in the top 15 and why not in the top 10 because they deliver!
Seeing how great La Zarra looked, I did wonder how happy you’d be, Esc addict! 🙂
Ecstatic! And you for Mae too her staging is gorgeous, but I forgot to mention her in my review I’m tired sorry.
Yeah her staging is great and clever and fresh, perfect for closing the show.
Ecstatic Esc addict, could be your new name
I will thought about that for the next season 😉
I am not going to judge performances based on what we have now but i have seen an image of Blanca Paloma when she is kneeling down and she seems to be “grabbing” light with her hand and I am really intrigued, i dont know if that is part of her performance or just a random effect caused by the camera angle and the lighting.
I saw that too and no she really plays with a light I think.
And it makes me think of Dotter and her staging for bulletproof, she has the same moment with the light.
It is the Moon on her hand.
Honestly France today gave me the same overwhelming excitement that they gave me in 2021 as well. Can not wait to see this on camera, I think they could take the juries home and cruise into the top 5. Spain is also a highlight.
This seems like the strongest year for the Big 5 collectively in quite a long time. I like all of them! All are in my Top 15. Three are in my Top 6.
They all impressed me , I appreciate their efforts. And my vote is for Italy x
French effort…is quite simply stunning
Blanca Paloma and La Zarra both finishing at least top 5 confirmed?
I hope so but let’s don’t underestimate Norway and Israel too! They are coming for too much televotes! And Spain-France are very jury-friendly it’s going to be a exciting race for Top5.
The France pics look amazing, the TikTok clip doesn’t say much but could La Zarra go for the win? I wouldn’t mind tbh
La Zarra is such a treasure. Such class! Marvelous.
Croatia, Moldova and France would be my dream top 3.
I am sorry for the spanish and british fans, who are very numerous here, but France is clearly very very strong this year. There are all the ingredients for the French to place themselves very well. It is even possible that France wins the competition.
After last year’s disappointment (and yet “Fulenn” was original and daring), it was really a masterstroke to choose La Zarra. And above all, the team really worked on the staging like never before. When Amir was sixth, I said that in seven years we would bring the trophy home. This is the last year for my prediction to come true, don’t get me wrong!
I didn’t follow Eurovision back then but in the last few years Amir has become one of my favorite French artists, IMO the song he released from Eurovision pales in comparison to what he’s done since. But I’m glad he came in 6th, he is great.
I also really loved Fulenn’s live performance, I’m disappointed that it didn’t resonate with people, but it was cool.
Spain and France both look stunning on stage. I wouldn’t be surprised if either finishes top 5 or even wins. Italy is, as expected, also classy and strong.
The French and Spanish delegations really want to bring that trophy back home, especially after coming so close in the past couple of Contests. Stunning stage work, very nice to see.
Don’t like the song one bit but I have to admit La Zarra did a fantastic job…as did Blanka
It seems like Blanca is gonna do the final note she did in the studio version of Eaea. If she pulls it off, which she will, i strongly believe she can win the jury
My heart skipped a beat when the pillar La Zarra is standing on wobbled a bit stg
Just to get It clear, what exactly are people voting here? Some pictures and 30 seconds of the rehearsals? Or is It that It is possible to watch the whole performances somewhere I am not aware of??
No, just the pictures and TikToks for now
But has someone watched the rehearsals? Media there in Liverpool or anyone? Are you really telling me that people are judging the performances based on less than 30 seconds??
This sounds like voting the Oscars just by watching the trailers.
No its just eurofans getting excited over the smallest amount of rehearsal footage we get and overhyping just a picture. Anything can happen
You may be surprised to know that there exist serious and fairly accurate Oscar predictions for films even before trailers come out.
Yes of course they predict everything even before the movie IS filmed. They can even predict which movie IS going to win the Oscars in 2076.
“Oscar buzz” is whipped up, and sometime becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Edith Piaf walked into a 70’s disco and morphed into Lady Gaga. Marvelous Well done La Zarra
Edith Piaf’s stepdaughter won the 1960 contest. Now the little sparrow is back.
I have a feeling many delegations and artists were very afraid to keep things simple with their performances this year to just be swallowed among other loud performances. Like the more, the best. We need props and something or we are going to get lost. That was the thinking. Maybe they are right and it’s the best for them to have a better chance. Interesting to see how everything goes
After Sobral , Eurovision entered its sobriety era but It seems the circus-Eurovision era of years ago is awakening. I prefer to be wowed by human “feats” (voices, dancing, acting) than by props, fireworks and digital stuff… But i might be getting old.
So, be happy, La Zarra’s voice (like Blanca’s and Marco’s) is amazing.
If i had to pick one stand out its France. This really could be a serious contender. Now Spain, has someone been listening to me after all my criticism and finally added a beat. Thank goodness, now remove the dancers they add nothing to the performance.
Yes you are right, Blanca read your comments and decided to add whatever you said. I think even Beyoncé IS waiting for your tips to improve her performances.
I can’t choose between France and Spain, I feel both look and sound fantastic.
Go La Zarra ! I support my country more than ever, may she bring the Eurovision victory we are waiting for since 46 years now. That being said, hats off to all the Big 5 delegations, they have done an amazing job after a first inaugural turn last year, each act is at the top of his game. No bottom 5 score this year please.
As a Canadian, I’m proud to have La Zarra represent you. She will definitely get my votes in the final!
I really don’t know what to think about France if I’m honest.
It’s going gimmick to catch attention and sometimes this works. I need to see the whole thing to see if it works for me and I enjoy it
France in addition it will go down and up singing. the staging is spectacular. i am very shocked by what i saw
I may get hate for this…
I don’t like France’s staging. The “big dress” illusion and then I assume there’s gonna be the “disco column reveal” at some point in the song… It feels tacky and unnecessary. Literally all that had to do was copy & paste the performance from her video and it would’ve been perfect. Just let her be charismatic & do the shoulder choreography and she’ll charm all of Europe. With some songs it’s just true that less is more and this is one such song.
You should give advices to Swedish delegation.
They do need some to be fair. Based on that clip yesterday.
Jealous you are spanish?
I’m not Spanish lol
You should be.
Forgive me, I thought we were discussing France’s staging. But it seems you’re on a whole other plane of thought.
Posting again from the other article:
Copying and pasting the performance from the video would have had the eurofans up in arms tho, they would have complained about a lack of ambition and so on. Delegations also probably feel the need to go overboard with the stage shows because of the culture this show and its fandom have sadly established, which is over-the-top and in-your-face instead of “less is more” as you put it. I’m not saying that’s also the case with France here BTW, I think their stage show looks great in those pics.
France could steal the jury win from Sweden and that might just give the overall victory to Finland
I’m French but I would love that
Finland jury no top 10 . France winner jury and top 3 televote ? Évidemment
La Zarraaa! Mother ate and left no crumbs. Potential winner alert
The staging is out of this world.