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Eurovision: Semi-Final 1 | Preview (BBC One)

The first Semi-Final will be broadcast live on Tuesday 9 May 2023 at 8pm (BST) on BBC One and BBC iPlayer and will open with a film celebrating host city Liverpool and the welcome given to Ukraine.

Audiences will witness a young Liverpudlian boy travel across the city telling his family, friends, neighbours (and some special guests!) that the world’s greatest music competition is arriving in his hometown. The film ends live in the arena with host Julia Sanina performing Маяк by her band The Hardkiss.

Translating from the Ukrainian for Lighthouse, the performance – forming part of an incredibly powerful opening act – will symbolise in many ways how the UK is United by Music with Ukraine through the hosting the 2023 Contest on behalf of the 2022 winners.

For Semi-Final 1’s interval – during which voting is open (but not for audiences in the UK) – global superstar Rita Ora takes to the stage to deliver a show-stopping medley of some of her biggest hits. Holding the record for the most top 10 singles in the Official Charts by a British female artist and having accumulated 10 billion streams, Rita will also perform the world exclusive of her brand-new single Praising You to millions watching across the globe.

In addition, Ukrainian singer Alyosha – who represented Ukraine in Eurovision 2010 – will perform alongside Liverpool’s very own critically-acclaimed singer-songwriter, Rebecca Ferguson. Like many Ukrainian women in 2022, Alyosha was forced to leave her country and loved ones behind to seek refuge.

Alyosha will share her personal journey through a new, haunting arrangement of British musical heavyweights Duran Duran’s Ordinary World. Creatively led and produced by Freckled Sky and TRI.Direction, in partnership with BBC Studios and UA:PBC, Alyosha and Rebecca will tell a story of hope, courage, and support for the people of Ukraine from across the world.

The show also sees Ukrainian Timur Myroshnychenko bring audiences highlights from Sunday’s Turquoise Carpet opening ceremony, plus there will be a fun VT featuring former Eurovision hosts Måns Zelmerlöw and Filomena Cautela going head to head in a game testing their Eurovision knowledge.

The first group of countries who will compete for a place in Saturday’s Grand Final are: Azerbaijan, Croatia, Czechia, Finland, Ireland, Israel, Latvia, Malta, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland.

Audiences in the UK will not be able to vote in this Semi-Final.


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