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Your Spotter’s Guide To The Second Semi Final Of Eurovision 2023 Written by on May 11, 2023

The second Semi Final brings us sixteen more Eurovision hopefuls competing for the last ten tickets to Saturday’s Grand Final. What are they bringing to the stage, and what can we expect from the interval acts? John Lucas reveals all in the second part of our annual Spotter’s Guide…

A journey through Ukraine’s musical heritage 

Did you know that the festive standard Carol of the Bells was based on the traditional Ukrainian song Shchedryk? You will after tonight’s interval act, which celebrates Ukraine’s historic contribution to both classical and contemporary music, featuring the country’s 2014 representative Mariya Yaremchuk, Ukraine’s 2022 JESC entrant Zlata Dziunka and popular rapper OTOY. 

Even more props! 

This year’s contestants continue to go all-out with the creative staging options afforded by the M&S arena. Many of tonight’s efforts represent a clear step up from the artists’ previous TV performances. 

Ones to watch include Armenia, who employ a plinth and some very clever camera angles to create a slick and tightly choreographed performance that really elevates the song. Denmark are also presenting a significant upgrade of their national final performance, while Australia are our second country this year to bring a full car onstage. Hopefully it’ll bring them more luck than it did for Malta on Tuesday… 

Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent… 

It wouldn’t be a Eurovision without a nod to the Contest’s long-association with the LGBTQIA+ community. Another memorable interval act tonight features Hannah Waddingham being replaced by a drag queen doppelganger, who leads a troupe of dancers in a celebration of freedom, accompanied by a soundtrack classic floorfillers from Jessie Ware, En Vogue and Australian Eurovision alumni Jessica Mauboy. 

Yeah, Yeah… Fire! 

Based on this year’s performances, the UK are intent on snatching Azerbaijan’s crown as Eurovision’s ‘Land of Fire’. The pyros were out in full force for several of the performances and interval acts – not least for Andrew Lambrou from Cyprus, who brings more naked flame to the party than actual Fuego. Watch out for your eyebrows if you’re standing near the front of the stage! 

A train across the floor…

After more than six decades, you’d think the Eurovision Song Contest had featured every kind of dance routine imaginable – but unless we’ve missed something in our records, we’re pretty sure that tonight might be the first ever onscreen instance of a Eurovision conga – with a sneaky Scooch reunion thrown in for good measure!

Surprise qualifiers?

In the first semi final, the ten songs that qualified wound up aligning fairly closely with what the bookmakers were predicting on the day. The second semi final is generally considered to be a touch more open, so could we get a left-field qualifier or two at the end of the night?

Poor San Marino have languished near the bottom of the odds all season, but they’re delivering a confident performance with flawless vocals, while fellow outsiders Greece seem to be building confidence after a shaky first set of rehearsals. As ever, it’s not over until the final credits roll…

Stay tuned to ESC Insight for all the latest updates live from Liverpool, including our daily editions of the ESC Insight podcast

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About The Author: John Lucas

A writer and content marketing professional with a passion for getting lost in strange cities and a strange fascination with micro states, John has been with ESC Insight since 2015 and has also had his writing featured in publications including The Guardian, Popjustice and So So Gay. Tweetable @JLucas86.

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