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Live Blog: Thursday 4 May

Welcome to the Live Blog for Thursday 4th May (Day 5).

Loreen rehearsing Tattoo for Sweden at the Second Rehearsal of the First Semi-Final at Liverpool Arena : Photo: Chloe Hashemi / EBU

We’re done for Day 5!

That’s another day of rehearsals done, and there are only two days left! Tomorrow the remaining 11 acts from the second Semi-Final take to the stage once again, and we’ll be back to keep you up to date. Here’s tomorrow’s running order, starting at 10:30 GMT/11:30 CEST:

🇨🇾 Cyprus
🇮🇪 Ireland
🇬🇷 Greece
🇵🇱 Poland
🇸🇮 Slovenia
🇬🇪 Georgia
🇸🇲 San Marino
🇦🇹 Austria
🇦🇱 Albania
🇱🇹 Lithuania
🇦🇺 Australia

See you then!

The TikTok exclusives are UP!

Want to see exclusive 30 second clips of today's Big 5/Ukraine first rehearsals? They're up on TikTok now! 

Ready for a rehearsal round-up?

The YouTube round-up of this morning's second rehearsals goes live at 20:00 GMT/ 21:00 CEST - you can find it here! 

🇪🇸 Spain gallery is up!

Would you like some pictures of Spain's first rehearsal? Of course you would.


🇫🇷 France gallery is up!

Would you like some photos of France's first rehearsal? Pas de problème...

Rehearsals are done...

...but there are are more galleries and exclusive TikTok clips to come. Watch this space...

🇬🇧 United Kingdom takes to the stage…

Well, this is a LOT of fun. Mae's dressed in black trousers with a rather fabulous corset jacket, and starts the performance on a raised plinth in front of the LED wall. It features huge pop art-style graphics that blend really cleverly with the live staging - there's a section at the beginning where Mae's face splits in two horizontally, so she's literally inside her own head. It gives the whole thing a pop video quality that looks great live, and we suspect it will look even better on TV. 

She's flanked by four dancers in red and black, who join her at the front of the stage for a VERY polished dance routine through the second half. It's kept the spoken middle eight that we saw through pre-party season, and it all builds to a big old pop banger finish. Definitely one of the tracks in this year's contest that we're going to hear in bars all over Europe this summer. 

We already know that Mae is going to perform last in the Grand Final, and it’s hard to imagine a better closing song for a home crowd. This is going to go VERY big in the hall. 

Mae Muller rehearsing I Wrote A Song for the United Kingdom at the First Rehearsal of the Grand Final at Liverpool Arena
Chloe Hashemi / EBU

It’s time for 🇬🇧 United Kingdom!

Finally for today it's Mae Muller, representing the UK with her uptempo bop I Wrote A Song. She’s 25 and from London, and performing sassy pop numbers is very much her thing. We have high hopes for this wrapping up the final day of first rehearsals with a bang - you can find out more about Mae on the link below. 

FUN FACT: Mae’s most disgusting habit is “Sitting on the toilet scrolling on my phone”. Wait, doesn’t everyone do this?? Or is it just Mae and us? Hello? Anyone?

🇺🇦 Ukraine gallery is up...

Please enjoy these photos of Ukraine's first rehearsal.

Spain 🇪🇸 have added some smoke...💨

For the final rehearsal, Spain has added some low smoke - it adds some extra atmosphere and adds a different quality to the light. Muy bien, España.

Spain 🇪🇸 takes to the stage…

After Chanel’s all singing, all dancing performance last year, you’d probably forgive Blanca Paloma for feeling the pressure. But no – she’s bringing her own unique sound, doing it her way, and it’s three minutes of pure passion and power.

Her staging replicates all the magic we saw at Benidorm Fest in January, with two fringed red semi-circular structures in the centre of the stage which create a circle for Blanca Paloma and her five dancers to perform in, backed by black, red and white lighting. It's a really clever and dramatic use of the space, making it feel intimate rather than trying to fill the entire stage. Blanca Paloma's voice has a unique and extraordinary clarity, and we pretty much forgot to breathe for three minutes. 

Please enjoy the backstage photo of Blanca Paloma's outfit below - it's definitely been elevated to couture since Benidorm. 

Blanca Paloma rehearsing Eaea for Spain at the First Rehearsal of the Grand Final at Liverpool Arena
Chloe Hashemi / EBU

Going live in FIVE MINUTES

You will NOT want to miss this interview with Finland's Käärijä, where Clara Amfo asks him your questions and plays a game of "What's In The Käärijä Bag?". Be My Guest is going live at 17:00 GMT/ 18:00 CEST.

It’s time for Spain 🇪🇸!

One of the best things about this afternoon’s rehearsals is that every performance is completely unique – there are no two songs from the Big 5/Ukraine this year that sounds remotely similar. A disco chanson from France, a rock anthem from Germany, a power ballad from Italy, orchestral R&B from Ukraine.…and now some traditional flamenco (dance remix) from Spain’s Blanca Paloma.

FUN FACT: We asked Blanca Paloma if she has any pets. Her reply was “When I was little kid I raised a duck at home. I would bathe him in the bathtub, dry his feathers with a hair dryer and we would go for a walk in the park.” CUUUTE.


Can confirm that Ukraine's TVORCHI go big with the flame jets during the string section at the end. WHAT a finish. 

🇮🇹 Italy gallery is up!

Please take a moment to enjoy these photos of Italy's first rehearsal. 

🇺🇦 Ukraine takes to the stage…

R&B is one of the few musical genres we haven’t seen at Eurovision this year, and this song is definitely one of the coolest and most contemporary on this year’s playlist. TVORCHI use the lighting and LED wall to powerful effect, including four boxes on stage which provide an LED backdrop to their two black-clad dancers. There are a lot of elements to the composition that feel almost orchestral - soaring strings, church organ-style keyboard effects, thumping bass, Jeffery's effortless vocals - it all comes together on stage to create three very polished minutes of pure drama. Pyro on the final run-through, maybe? 

You can't really appreciate the detail of their costumes on stage, but you can see how incredible they are from the backstage picture below. 

TVORCHI rehearsing Heart of Steel for Ukraine at the First Rehearsal of the Grand Final at Liverpool Arena
Chloe Hashemi / EBU

It’s time for 🇺🇦 Ukraine!

After a very long journey from Kyiv to Liverpool, we’re delighted to welcome TVORCHI to the Eurovision stage for the first time, hoping to repeat the success of Ukraine's Kalush Orchestra and retain the Eurovision title for another year. Heart of Steel is a song about bravery, and the unbreakable will which makes you who you really are - you can find out more about Jeffery and Andrii on the link below.

FUN FACT: Andrii’s drag name would be ‘Charlemagne Monroe’. This is a very classy choice, and we definitely approve.

🇮🇹 Italy takes to the stage…

This is a classic and timeless ballad, delivered by Marco Mengoni with heart and soul. It's an emotional rollercoaster of a song, taking us all on a musical journey from pianissimo to pounding drums and back again. Marco is a master of vocal light and shade, and he makes this performance look effortless - Due Vite means 'two lives', and even in English the lyrics are hopelessly romantic. 

Staging-wise, it's Marco in leather trousers and a silver sparkly vest, backed by swirling clouds on the LED wall and the biggest moon we've seen since Spain's Blas Canto in 2021. Brava Italia.

Marco Mengoni rehearsing Due Vite for Italy at the Second Rehearsal of the Grand Final at Liverpool Arena
Chloe Hashemi / EBU

🇮🇹 Italy are up next!

It’s time for Italy’s Marco Mengoni to perform his beautiful ballad Due Vite, Marco is a HUGE star in Italy, and it’s not his first time at Eurovision – he represented Italy back in 2013 too. He’s had multiple platinum albums, in his 13-year career, and won plenty of awards too – you can find out more about him below. 

FUN FACT: We asked Marco how much sleep is enough sleep, and he replied “I think it should be 8 hours…but I don’t remember last time I slept that long…” SAME, Marco.

Gustaph from Belgium is in the studio…

Never stop slaying, Gustaph...

Gustaph from Belgium in the Eurovision studio 2023
Gustaph from Belgium in the Eurovision studio 2023 Corinne Cumming / EBU

🇫🇷 France takes to the stage…

Ooh la la, this is FABULOUS. It’s Edith Piaf meets Lady Gaga, with La Zarra standing on top of a sparkle-draped plinth wearing a fitted gown made entirely from black and red sequins. And when we say 'plinth', we mean a moving column five metres off the ground, draped in sparkly black fabric all the way to the floor. The fabric disappears to reveal a cylindrical column with a mirror-tiled top, upon which La Zarra is giving this vocal everything - bonus points for the French flag on the LED wall at the end. This is ART. Put it in the Louvre immediately.

First up, it’s 🇫🇷 France!

It’s France up first to rehearse this afternoon, with chanteuse La Zarra singing Évidemment. It’s sung in French in the most French way imaginable, and then the whole thing goes joyfully disco. We may have to put down the laptop so we can have a dance around. 

FUN FACT: The weirdest thing a fan has ever given La Zarra is ‘a pillow with both our faces printed on it’. Can you imagine? Don’t think we’d ever sleep again.

🇩🇪 Germany gallery is up!

Please enjoy these photos from Germany's first rehearsal.

Alika from 🇪🇪 Estonia is in the studio…

So much joy in this photo, we love it. 

Alika from Estonia in the Eurovision 2023 studio
Alika from Estonia in the Eurovision 2023 studio Corinne Cumming / EBU

It's time for lunch 🍗...

Talking of barbecued, we're taking a lunch break. But that’s not all for today - from 14:20 GMT we’ll be back in the arena for the final first rehearsals. Here's a reminder of the schedule:

🇫🇷 France 
🇪🇸 Spain 
🇮🇹 Italy 
🇺🇦 Ukraine
🇬🇧 United Kingdom

See you in a bit! 


Not just flames, but RED flames to accompany each chorus - no idea how the band hasn't been barbecued. There's also fireworks to finish, and floor smoke throughout. The pyro store has been emptied 🔥🔥🔥🔥

Theodor from 🇷🇴 Romania is in the studio…

...and it's the most Theodor Andrei portrait ever ❤️

Romania's Theodor Andrei in the Eurovision 2023 studio
Romania's Theodor Andrei in the Eurovision 2023 studio Corinne Cumming / EBU

🇩🇪 Germany takes to the stage…

Our first Big 5 rehearsal today is from 🇩🇪 Germany's Lord of The Lost. They’re a genre-fluid rock band with a big following in Germany, and when they leave Liverpool they’re off to support Iron Maiden on tour. As claims to fame go, that’s pretty impressive - we're in the arena and ready for blood, glitter, and presumably a metric tonne of pyro 🔥

FUN FACT: Lead singer Chris has given us our favourite answer to our question about his worst fashion or hair disaster. “Never had one. If my hair looks shit, it’s not a bug, it’s a feature.” 👏 

However you feel about this kind of rock music (and what's not to love, frankly), Blood and Glitter is a stand-out performance from a band who are absolute masters of the big stage. The band are raised up on a metal scaffold in a triangle formation, with red and black LEDS and a flashing light show that never lets up for the full three minutes. The costumes are also spectacular - you can see lead singer Chris in the backstage photo below, and we'll post a full gallery later. If there's pyro (and if there isn't pyro, why are we even here?), it will appear in the third run-through, so we'll update shortly. 

Lord of the Lost rehearsing Blood & Glitter for Germany at the First Rehearsal of the Grand Final at Liverpool Arena
Chloe Hashemi / EBU

🇦🇲 Armenia’s Brunette is in the studio…

...and it's really quite special.

Armenia's Brunette in the Eurovision 2023 studio Corinne Cumming / EBU

We’re back in the arena!

It’s first rehearsal time for the Big 5 and last year’s winners Ukraine, so we’re back in the arena Green Room to share a first look at what they’re each bringing to the Eurovision party. We’ll also post some photos later, and an exclusive 30-second TikTok clip. 🇩🇪 Germany up first in about ten minutes.  

Schedule change! ⏰

OK, this is entirely our fault, but the schedule we gave you this morning has changed. Germany will be rehearsing for the first time at 12:40, i.e. in about ten minutes. Updated schedule is below - please hold while we sprint to the arena...🏃‍♀️

🇩🇪 Germany from 12:40, then lunch

then from 14:20:

🇫🇷 France 
🇪🇸 Spain 
🇮🇹 Italy 
🇺🇦 Ukraine
🇬🇧 United Kingdom

It’s 🇧🇪 Belgium’s turn to rehearse again…

Gustaph from Belgium is back on stage, and his fabulous pink and white outfit from the first rehearsal remains unchanged. If everyone keeps their outfits from today, the first half of the second Semi-Final is going to be VERY pink. This is not a complaint, obviously. It's Eurovision. 

Gustaph rehearsing Because Of You for Belgium at the Second Rehearsal of the Second Semi-Final at Liverpool Arena Sarah Louise Bennett / EBU

Time for 🇪🇪 Estonia’s second rehearsal…

Alika from 🇪🇪 Estonia is back on stage - her dress is still blue, her piano is still haunted, and her vocal still sounds incredible. The roof has officially been lifted. 

Alika rehearsing Bridges for Estonia at the Second Rehearsal of the Second Semi-Final at Liverpool Arena

🇩🇰 Denmark’s Reiley is in the studio…

...and he's bringing ALL the love. 

Denmark's Reiley in the Eurovision 2023 studio Corinne Cumming / EBU

🇷🇴 Romania sock update!

Out with Pikachu, in with....Spongebob. 

Theodor Andrei rehearsing D.G.T. (Off and On) for Romania at the Second Rehearsal of the Second Semi-Final at Liverpool Arena
Chloe Hashemi / EBU

Tea with Timur coming soon...

Don't forget we have more Tea with Timur TikTok lives starting in 20 minutes - every artist will be swinging by the studio for a live TikTok chat with Timur Miroshnychenko after their second rehearsal. You can see today's schedule below...

Schedule for Tea with Timur
Schedule for Tea with Timur


🇷🇴 Romania are back on stage…

Our second outfit change of the day, and Romania's Theodor Andrei has swapped the yellow shorts suit for shorts suit, with matching pink socks and boots. The Pikachus are gone - we'll check for other sock-based Pokémon and provide an update. 

Incidentally, it's the same candyfloss pink as Denmark's Reiley - is it today's trend? 

Theodor Andrei rehearsing D.G.T. (Off and On) for Romania at the Second Rehearsal of the Second Semi-Final at Liverpool Arena
Chloe Hashemi / EBU

It’s 🇦🇲 Armenia’s turn to rehearse again…

Brunette from Armenia is back to rehearse again - no changes to the costume or staging from Monday that we can see. Still being good, doing good and looking good - the lighting and LED floor graphics in this performance look incredible on the big screen. 

Brunette rehearsing Future Lover for Armenia at the Second Rehearsal of the Second Semi-Final at Liverpool Arena
Chloe Hashemi / EBU

🇩🇰 Denmark are back on the stage…

...and it's our first outfit change of the day! Reiley's swapped out the beige sequins/white trousers we saw on Monday for a candyfloss pink sparkly suit. 

Denmark's staging works really well on the big screen - the rotating house stops Reiley getting lost on that huge stage. It's a uniquely Reiley version of what Rosa Linn did last year, but equally as effective. 

Reiley rehearsing Breaking My Heart for Denmark at the Second Rehearsal of the Second Semi-Final at Liverpool Arena Sarah Louise Bennett / EBU

More #dogsofeurovision in the studio…

We'll be sharing some more exclusive studio shots of the artists completing their second rehearsal today, but it's very important to start the day on the right foot, or in this case four paws 🐾🐾. 

Please welcome Spud to the Liverpool arena - he’s another very good boi member of the Eurovision sniffer dog team. You can pat him later, but he's busy working right now.

Spud the good boi Eurovision sniffer dog
Spud the good boi Eurovision sniffer dog Corinne Cumming / EBU

Missed yesterday’s 2nd rehearsals?

No problem – there’s a fabulous YouTube compilation of every performance in the first Semi-Final. Enjoy (then come back please)

Who's rehearsing today?

Here's a reminder of today's schedule:

2nd rehearsals (from 10:30 GMT):

🇩🇰 Denmark
🇦🇲 Armenia - 
🇷🇴 Romania
🇪🇪 Estonia
🇧🇪 Belgium

1st rehearsals (from 13:40 GMT)

🇫🇷 France 
🇩🇪 Germany 
🇪🇸 Spain 
🇮🇹 Italy 
🇺🇦 Ukraine
🇬🇧 United Kingdom

It’s Day 5, and we’re back!

Good morning Europe, and welcome to the official Eurovision Live Blog for Day 5. It’s a day of two halves today – this morning it’s another round of second rehearsals for the first five acts from the second Semi-Final, then after lunch it’s time for the first rehearsal from the Big 5 – France, Italy, United Kingdom, Spain and Germany – and last year’s winners Ukraine.

It’s Heidi keeping you company again today, sharing backstage breaking news and second rehearsal updates this morning, then heading back to the Green Room later when the Big 5 are on stage. Stay with us!