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Live Blog: Turqoise Carpet, Liverpool, 2003 Written by on May 7, 2023

Ben Robertson is in the sunshine of Liverpool ready to see what happens on the Turquoise Carpet!

20:02 – I didn’t catch the very end of the Turquoise Carpet because I stumbled into a very important person at this year’s competition, Peter Urban, the veteran German commentator in his last year at Eurovision here in Liverpool. We spoke about who is winning (sorry, it was a Finland vs Sweden conversation), press access at Eurovision and of course his podcast with Ewan last week. Yes you should listen.

And with that the live blog ends and we will see everyone in the press centre tomorrow for a very very big Monday set of rehearsals.

19:18 – For some balance here Käärijä is talking about how “weird” it is that so many like his song, especially as a Finn. And how crazy and fun it is to be in Liverpool, including his trip to Anfield.

19:10 – Just had a little chat with Anders Wistbacka, Melodifestivalen’s Executive Supervisor (yes, that’s the type of chat I have here). He got here yesterday and is very impressed by the “spectacle” here in Liverpool, so we had a little chat about the scale of the show and how large it has become since Sweden last hosted and Sweden’s competition (he pointed out the Finnish number). This spectacle might be something SVT have to deal with next year (and I’m aware of the bias in the Sweden focus here, but let’s remember I do live in Stockholm).

19:00 – Now it is ‘La Forza’ that everyone is competing with on the sound system. You couldn’t pick a harder song to interview over if you tried!

18:51 – The interviews now have to compete with Eurovision winners playing over the National Lottery sound system to warm up that crowd, so the wild Loreen who has appeared in our zone has to compete with Netta blaring out. The Joker Out boys are having a lovely chat with Marco Mengoni in the middle of it all.

18:46 – I thought I would list all the sites here in the fan community press area so if you are looking for interviews later on you can search them out

ESC Discord, The EuroTrip Podcast, Formula TV, ESC Portugal, Eurovision Fun Greece, Eurovoix, Eurodiena, Eurovision Ireland,, Wiwibloggs, That Eurovision Site,, Melodifestivalklubben, ESC Norge, (might be some more, and might be some community individuals in the other pens)

18:36 – Iru from Georgia has popped by us yet we do have a backlog developing. If Loreen continues to hug all the fans at the side then goodness me we could be here all night.

Andrew Lambrou from Cyprus and Marco Mengoni from Italy are just about to enter our zone.

18:23 – While it may feel that Loreen is taking the carpet at snail’s pace, it is worth saying that Käärijä is yet to overtake his fellow Semi Final One competitor. The national media are looking for more than one story from this carpet.

18:20 – Alika is talking about how supportive Estonia has been towards her and how she is feeling “blessed” from the Eurovision experience in her “100% sustainable” outfit. Meanwhile Victor is describing his stage show as “emotional and exciting.”

18:08 – Loreen update. Just being overtaken by San Marino.

18:02 – Reiley and Theodor Andrei have reached us, so I would guesstimate that we are at the half way point here on the carpet for the press. Mae Muller has entered now as well which means that we have a bit of time to go for her to make it all the way down here.

Reiley and Theodor Andrei on the Turquoise Carpet (Photo: Ben Robertson, ESC Insight)

17:50 – The members of OGAE Sweden here in the press bubble came up and asked “Where’s Loreen?” so I decided to do a little search for the favourite to win Eurovision this year. She is still here, we were worried for a while that she wouldn’t be but instead we have the opposite problem that Loreen is being interviewed by seemingly every national press outlet out there and is the slowest moving through the crowd. Reiley has overtaken her.

17:35 – Blanca Paloma has just come out here to as big applause here from the crowd. Partly for being Blanca Paloma, partly for a typically large contingent of Spanish fans, and partly for coming out in full choreography and buying into the whole experience. I’ll warn you, that will go big in the hall.

17:25 – It’s always good when artists come out with their instruments as they are a sure-fire crowd pleaser. I think I have heard the Moldovan number more than any other so far, and part of the appeal here is to have a flutist as part of the number.

17:14 – Noa Kirel is here, one of the few artists not to do the preview circuit and as such is very in demand by journalists here in Liverpool for two minutes of her time. She is sporting a bruise behind her right shoulder which is a result of the intense dance break that her three minute number ‘Unicorn‘ ends in. Let’s hope we get nothing worse than a bruise with potentially eight more backflips and floorflips yet to go on stage if she reaches the Grand Final.

Noa Kirel at the Turquoise Carpet (Photo: Ben Robertson, ESC Insight)

17:03 – There’s a really joyous atmosphere building now that we have acts around us. La Zarra is trying to do interviews with the press but there is a genuine fear they will be drowned out by a combination of the sound system and very enthusiastic fans!

There seems to be, unsurprisingly, a decent support here in Liverpool for Ireland, and Wild Youth give a good fist pump to the audience as they make their way up the steps and into the venue to mingle. The Busker have stayed and are getting to reach every last bit of press out there.

16:35 – Luke Black has now reached us, the first artist to get all the way down to the fan community media. When asked about his staging he commented how he hopes the audience “appreciates the beautiful art piece” that will be on the stage.

Of course this is the first time the press here on the carpet have not been able to see the full rehearsals of each of the acts, making all of us very intrigued as to how the song’s will be staged and performed, with so much still unknown.

Luke Black on the Turquoise Carpet in Liverpool (Photo: Ben Robertson, ESC Insight)

16:21 – They haven’t had to walk the carpet, but some of the BBC Executives have come on down from St. George’s Hall where the show is taking place to speak to some of the press. Here is Andrew Cartmell, Executive Producer, in conversation with The EuroTrip Podcast for their show tomorrow.

The EuroTrip is one of the sites we are working with to help produce the Eurovision Audience Poll that is going to be crazy this week I am sure. Speaking of crazy, Käärijä has just entered and now the party can get started!

James Rowe in conversation with Andrew Cartmell for The EuroTrip Podcast (Photo: Ben Robertson, ESC Insight)

16:12 – The Busker have reached it close, but not quite, to our section. Given they have been on the carpet for an hour already, yes that 90 minute clear does seem optimistic!

The Busker greeting fans on the Turquoise Carpet (Photo: Ben Robertson, ESC Insight)

16:02 – As Loreen enters I thought it would be smart to ask the Eurovision fan community press here who they want to win Eurovision?

The results were as follows:

Sweden 12 – Finland 10 – Spain 6

France 4 – Armenia 2 – Serbia 2

…and one vote to Georgia, Portugal, Switzerland, Slovenia and Azerbaijan

15:32 – We have reached Let 3 in the list of artists gracing us with their presence and the lead singer’s blue and yellow robe is a striking elegant look with just the right touch of rock star pizzazz that comes with their legendary status in Croatian music. I have spotted some dancing balls running to the stage opposite us for the National Lottery Big Eurovision Welcome. There is going to be a huge concert later this evening mixing well known Eurovision winners with names I’d guess are more familiar to the Liverpudlian audience.

Dancing National Lottery balls (Photo: Ben Robertson, ESC Insight)

15:27 – See, the fans are in the sunshine. There’s a nice amount – a few deep but no more so at least from my vantage point everyone has a good view and a mingle opportunity. Do check out our Liverpool Events Calendar if you are coming to Liverpool – there is so much going on this year beyond even EuroClub and EuroCafe.

Eurovision fans at the Turquoise Carpet in Liverpool (Photo: Ben Robertson, ESC Insight)

15:21 – The artist entrance is all the way underneath the blue Eurovision logo way at the far end of the Turquoise Carpet. After a short piece to camera there each act poses to the photographers up on the platform in the middle of the below photograph, before making their way through broadcast press, national press and finally fan press, with 800 members of OGAE on the opposite site of us. I’m a wee bit jealous of them, we are stuck here in the shade whereas they get to bask in the sun rays, and I didn’t bring a jumper.

Turquoise Carpet (Photo: Ben Robertson, ESC Insight)

15:11 – And France’s La Zarra is the first of those Big 5 entrants to grace us with her presence. And there is little surprise that her outfit here is French styling 101 with a perfectly fitted black and white ensemble (large matching hat of course, let’s see if Gustaph can match that for size later). There was definitely a big fan reaction for La Zarra’s song here when it blasted across the fans who are standing opposite us here in Liverpool – this has crept in to be a contender for victory in recent weeks, let’s see if that wave of love continues for La Zarra this week.

15:08 – And here come The Busker from Malta. You may see Norway first and Malta second and assume that the Turquoise Carpet event is conducted in running order this year and you would be right. Almost. The Big 5 and Ukraine are shuffled with the Semi Finalists, with Mae Muller from the United Kingdom the last act to grace everybody.

15:05 – Now I am outside in the fan press area of the Turquoise Carpet. Our Norwegian act Alessandra opens proceedings and a short rousing clip of the her entry is blasted out across the space. It’s expected to take about an hour for Alessandra to make it all the way down to this section, with the aim that acts will get from one end of the Turquoise Carpet to the next in ninety minutes. That seems optimistic!

14:47 – Made it inside the World Museum of Liverpool, adjacent to the Turquoise Carpet where each of the 37 acts will walk down soon. I was actually here yesterday to take in the aquarium, Ancient Egypt and dinosaur exhibitions. Now we are getting shuffled out into the Liverpool sunshine! Better make the most of it, it’s not set to last this week if the weather forecast can predict anything!

About The Author: Ben Robertson

Ben Robertson has attended 23 National Finals in the world of Eurovision. With that experience behind him he writes for ESC Insight with his analysis and opinions about anything and everything Eurovision Song Contest that is worth telling.

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