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Belgium's Gustaph slays his first Eurovision 2023 rehearsal in Liverpool

Live Blog: Tuesday 2 May

Welcome to the Live Blog for Tuesday 2 May (Day 3).

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

It's time to go...

That’s Day 3 all done! Thank you for sticking with us through what has been a VERY long day. Tomorrow we’ll start second rehearsals, with every act in the first Semi-Final having another run-through. We’ll also take the live blog out of the arena and into the delegation bubble, but we’ll tell you more about that tomorrow. In the meantime here’s Wednesday's schedule:

🇳🇴 Norway
🇲🇹 Malta
🇷🇸 Serbia
🇱🇻 Latvia
🇵🇹 Portugal
🇮🇪 Ireland
🇭🇷 Croatia
🇨🇭 Switzerland
🇮🇱 Israel
🇲🇩 Moldova
🇸🇪 Sweden
🇦🇿 Azerbaijan
🇨🇿 Czechia
🇳🇱 Netherlands
🇫🇮 Finland

See you back here tomorrow – kick off is 10:30 GMT/11:30 CEST as usual.

📺 WATCH: 🇦🇺 Australia's first rehearsal 🇦🇺

📺 WATCH: 🇱🇹 Lithuania's first rehearsal 📺

Want another peek behind the scenes?

Here's a gallery of all our favourite behind-the-scenes photos of Day 3. 

🇦🇺 Australia gallery is up!

our final rehearsal gallery of the day, and it's Australia! 

📺 WATCH: 🇦🇱 Albania's first rehearsal 📺

📺 WATCH: 🇦🇹 Austria first rehearsal 📺

📺 WATCH: 🇸🇲 San Marino first rehearsal 📺

Rehearsals are done for the day!

That's it for today's rehearsals - we started this live blog nine hours ago, and it's been a fabulous day in the Liverpool arena. We'll keep the thread open to share final galleries and TikTok links - Lithuania's gallery is coming shortly.

Promise me you’ll pyro till I die....🔥

Obviously Australia have pyro - red firework jets to wrap up the final chorus, and the second Semi-Final. It's going to be a MOMENT. 

🇦🇱 Albania gallery is up!

Please enjoy these photos of Albania's first rehearsal. It's the least we can do.


We've just asked one of the cameramen and he informs us that the car Australia have on stage is a Toyota MR2. You're welcome.

🇦🇺 Australia takes to the stage…

This is an absolute STOMPER of a tune to finish off the second Semi-final – with the 80s-style synths leading into a big old rock chorus. It manages to sound distinctively Australian AND fabulously Eurovision at the same time, which is a great indicator of how much Australia have rolled themselves in Eurovision glitter since they joined the contest in 2015. Voyager look like absolute pros, and are rocking both the Liverpool stage and those sequinned houndstooth check outfits. 

They also have a car on stage, which we saw in the prop store yesterday and wondered who it belonged to. We know nothing about cars, so I'm afraid we can't tell you the make or model. It looks 80s and sporty - that's the best we can do at this time, but we'll find out more before second rehearsals. Pyro incoming, surely? We'll keep you posted...

Voyager rehearsing Promise for Australia at the First Rehearsal of the Second Semi-Final at Liverpool Arena
Chloe Hashemi / EBU

And finally for today, it’s 🇦🇺 Australia!

Good evening, Australian fandom – welcome to the live blog if you’re just joining us. Closing out the second Semi-Final will be our final band of the day, Aussie synth-metal rockers Voyager singing their track Promise. The band has been together since 1999 and have toured the world many times over, so they’re no strangers to a big stage. You can find out more about them on the link below.

FUN FACT: We asked each member of the band to describe themselves using an emoji, so here’s everything you need to know about Voyager.

Ash: ☀️
Simone: 🔥
Scott: 👓
Danny: 🎹
Alex:  🤣

🇦🇹 Austria gallery is up!

Please enjoy these photos from Austria's first rehearsal, then tell all your friends.

🇱🇹 Lithuania takes to the stage…

This is such a captivating ballad, and if the vocal harmonies between Monika and her four backing singers weren't enough, the pulsing drumbeat pounds through the arena floor, so you can't help but feel part of it. The lyrics of Stay are grounded in local folklore, with the lyrics ‘Čiūto Tūto’ often used in Lithuanian folk dances as a magical incantation. We're fully expecting this to cast a spell on the Liverpool Arena next Thursday. 

Here's a picture from backstage - we'll try to find out more info about Monika's gorgeous orange dress.

Monika Linkytė rehearsing Stay for Lithuania at the First Rehearsal of the Second Semi-Final at Liverpool Arena
Chloe Hashemi / EBU

It’s time for 🇱🇹 Lithuania!

Next up is Lithuania’s Monika Linkytė, bringing her soaring pop ballad Stay to the Eurovision stage. Not to be mistaken for Monika Liu, who represented Lithuania last year. 

This isn’t Monika’s first time at Eurovision – she was part of a duo with Vaidas Baumila in 2015, performing their song This Time. Remember the one with all the kissing in the middle? How could we forget? That wasn’t Monika’s time, but maybe…this time. 

FUN FACT: Monika’s answer to the question about the most British thing she has ever done is to tell a story about when she was invited for tea with a friend in London, and it turned out that ‘tea’ actually meant ‘huge proper dinner’ rather than ‘cup of tea’ and she’d already eaten. 

This is understandable, but worth noting that in some parts of the UK tea actually means a cup of tea, and dinner means dinner, because it’s a very confusing country. Best just to ask ‘will there be food?’


There are flames. Many, many flames. Somebody might want to check if the Kelmendi family have any eyebrows left 🔥🔥🔥🔥

Sorry 🇬🇷 Greece, we forgot your gallery...

But better late than never - here are some photos of Greece's first rehearsal.

🇸🇲 San Marino gallery is up!

Some photos of San Marino's first rehearsal here...

It's the collab of the century...

Eurovision. Just Dance. It's happening, people. 


🇦🇱 Albania takes to the stage…

There's no gentle build up in this song - Albina gives it ALL the vocals from the opening note. Duje is such a heartfelt and dramatic song of love and family togetherness, with the family providing beautiful harmonies and some great dance moves.

Like Switzerland on Sunday, the staging for this is the work of legendary creative Sacha Jean-Baptiste, and the LED wall is all about the black and red of the Albanian flag 🇦🇱. Surely this has pyro incoming? It deserves ALL the flames - we'll keep you posted. 

Please enjoy this backstage photos - loving the matching black outfits. 

Albina & Familja Kelmendi rehearsing Duje for Albania at the First Rehearsal of the Second Semi-Final at Liverpool Arena
Chloe Hashemi / EBU

From Austria to... 🇦🇱 Albania!

Next to rehearse this afternoon is is Albania’s Albina, who is accompanied on stage by the Kelmendi family - her parents, sister and brother. They are singing Duje, which is about the role of love in the family, and overcoming every challenge that life brings. 

FUN FACT: Albina has two golden retrievers called Max and Rex. Petition for future delegations to be allowed to bring their dogs to Eurovision. We can create a little doggy zone in the Delegation Bubble. SO much content. 

📺 WATCH: 🇬🇪 Georgia's first rehearsal 📺

📺 WATCH: 🇸🇮 Slovenia's first rehearsal 📺

🇦🇹 Austria takes to the stage…

It’s got a message, it’s got a thumping bassline, it’s got HUGE vocals, it's got an insanely polished dance routine that everybody needs to learn immediately, and it’s got the line Oh mio padre, there’s a ghost in my body sung like it’s the Vienna Boys’ Choir

This is such a fun performance, and we challenge you not to be up and dancing to this next Thursday, and every day thereafter for the rest of time. All together now POE POE POE POE-POE POE POE POE POE-POE. 

Also please enjoy this backstage picture of Teya and Salena embracing their new status as Eurovision queens. 

Teya & Salena rehearsing Who The Hell Is Edgar? for Austria at the First Rehearsal of the Second Semi-Final at Liverpool Arena
Chloe Hashemi / EBU

Who the hell is 🇦🇹 Austria?

So this year Austria’s Teya & Salena have brought a track that appears to be about being possessed by the ghost of American lyricist and poet Edgar Allan Poe, because obviously that’s totally normal for Eurovision.

But Who The Hell is Edgar is also about the pitiful payments made to artists by music streaming services, and Teya and Salena’s experience as songwriters – we haven’t been this meta at Eurovision since Alexander Rybak sang That’s How You Write A Song. 

FUN FACT: Salena is the THIRD person to choose September by Earth, Wind & Fire as their song to get them on the dancefloor, along with Ireland’s Wild Youth and Czechia’s Vesna. Who knew 70s disco had such broad appeal?

Eau mio padre...

Teya and Salena from Austria aren't the only ones who've been possessed by the ghost of Edgar Allan Poe - there's something in the Liverpool arena water too...

Teya & Salena rehearsing Who The Hell Is Edgar? for Austria at the First Rehearsal of the Second Semi-Final at Liverpool Arena
Chloe Hashemi / EBU

🇬🇪 Georgia gallery is up!

Please enjoy these great pictures of Georgia's first rehearsal.

Better the Joker you know....

Liverpool royalty (and UK 1993 runner-up) SONIA is in the building! She's hanging out with Bojan from Slovenia's Joker Out, and we would like this collaboration now please. 

📺 WATCH: 🇵🇱 Poland's first rehearsal 📺

🇸🇲 San Marino takes to the stage…

Next up on the rehearsal stage is San Marino’s Piqued Jacks, an alt-rock 4-piece band from the Tuscany region of Italy. Apparently Like An Animal is a song about the freedom of love and indulging passionate impulses, which is pretty much the most Italian thing ever. 

There's a lot of big venue experience at Eurovision this year, and San Marino's Piqued Jacks look very much at home right now. The LED wall is a sea of red and black graphics, and it's clear they're not leaving until they've left their heart and soul on that stage. Lead singer E-King has huge presence and charisma - the whole performance is gritty and raw in the best possible way. 

‘Bring the party/Aphrodite/And I’ll chase you on the dance floor’ sings Piqued JacksThere’s a lot of dance action in this year’s lyrics – The Busker from Malta, Noa Kirel from Israel…and now San Marino. The Euroclub dancefloor is going to be WILD.

You can't see the full sparkly effect of E-King's jacket in the backstage picture below, but under the stage lights it's VERY glittery.

Piqued Jacks rehearsing Like An Animal for San Marino at the First Rehearsal of the Second Semi-Final at Liverpool Arena
Chloe Hashemi / EBU

Georgia is smoking...💨

As well as all the wind, there's also smoke for Georgia, which blends with the foggy LED backdrop to make it look like Iru is surrounded by it. It's quite spooky, but very effective. 

📺 WATCH: 🇬🇷 Greece's first rehearsal 📺

📺 WATCH: 🇮🇸 Iceland's first rehearsal 🇮🇸

Big up Ben the stage manager...

...he welcomes every artist onto the stage before their rehearsal, and he's been learning how to say 'hi, how are you?' in every language so he can make the artists feel at home. How nice is that? Eurovision people are the BEST. 

🇬🇪 Georgia takes to the stage…

Our first 💨 wind machine 💨 of the day! It's adding some dramatic movement to Iru's diaphanous white dress, much like the official video for Echo. the whole song is performed on a raised platform in the centre of the stage, against a LED backdrop of swirling smoke and stormy weather. All together it creates a hugely atmospheric performance, and Iru's breathtaking vocals are already lifting the roof off the Liverpool arena. 

Loving the beautiful arm jewellery too - here's a picture we took backstage. 

Iru rehearsing Echo for Georgia at the First Rehearsal of the Second Semi-Final at Liverpool Arena
Chloe Hashemi / EBU

It’s time for 🇬🇪 GEORGIA!

Next up it’s Georgia’s Iru, singing her powerful ballad Echo. This was the very last song to be announced for this year's Eurovision, but it already feels like it’s always been part of our Eurovision playlist. 

This isn’t Iru’s first time on the Eurovision big stage – in 2011 (when she was 11), she and her band Candy won Junior Eurovision. Can she repeat that achievement, 12 years on?

FUN FACT: Iru’s favourite cheese is parmesan. Like, on its own? Or grated over food? She also tells us that her drag name would be Anna Conda, which is one of our favourites. 

📺 WATCH: 🇪🇪 Estonia's first rehearsal 📺

Slovenia gallery is up!

AND some Slovenia photos too! 

Poland gallery is up!

Some AMAZING photos of Poland's first rehearsal - enjoy!

🎶 I got too much on my plate....🎶🌭

It's time for lunch, so everyone in the arena is taking a break for an hour. Back at 14.50 GMT/15:50 CEST!

🇸🇮 Slovenia takes to the stage…

We talk a lot at Eurovision about making a connection with the audience – in the arena, obviously, but also with the hundreds of millions of people watching on TV. Måneskin did a masterful job, and Joker Out have the same kind of charisma. Their big stage experience really shows too - this is an effortless performance, and they look like they're having the time of their lives right now. 

Very much enjoying Bojan's pink trousers too - more crushed velvet at Eurovision, please.

Joker Out rehearsing Carpe Diem for Slovenia at the First Rehearsal of the Second Semi-Final at Liverpool Arena
Chloe Hashemi / EBU

🇮🇸 Iceland gallery is up!

Want to see some photo's of Iceland's first rehearsal? You're welcome.

Are you ready for 🇸🇮 SLOVENIA?

It’s our first band of the day, but definitely not the last. Following in the footsteps of LPS last year, Joker Out are one of Slovenia’s most successful acts of recent years. Their song Carpe Diem represents the only Latin in this year’s competition, and presumably it’s Joker Out’s intention to seize every day between now and next week's Semi-Final.

FUN FACT: Please enjoy Joker Out’s responses to the question “What’s the most British thing you’ve ever done?” 👀

Bojan: Co-wrote a song with Elvis Costello. 
Kris: Crossed the channel straight by boat. 
Jure: Partied during Covid like a UK Prime Minister. 
Jan: Drove on the left side of the road (not in the UK though). 
Nace: Girl from Brighton. 


Now I'm better PYRO 🔥

As if this performance wasn't hot enough, the final chorus is accompanied by a shower of fireworks. Poland are all in, and we're here for it.

🇵🇱 Poland takes to the stage…

After three performances with no backing singers/dancers, Blanka is NOT Solo. She's has four backing dancers, and this song is a huge summer MOOD from start to finish. Blanka sounds great and is totally owning that stage against a backdrop of tropical graphics - there's even a dress reveal AND a mid-song dance break, which is ticking all our Eurovision boxes. 

You can see Blanka's outfit on the backstage photo below - the song (and the cocktail colours) are coming to a beach bar near you soon...

Blanka rehearsing Solo for Poland at the First Rehearsal of the Second Semi-Final at Liverpool Arena
Chloe Hashemi / EBU


It's time to meet...Jake 🐾🐾

Today in Dogs of Eurovision, our new best friend is arena police dog Jake. He's waiting for San Marino's Piqued Jacks to arrive so he can smell them like an animal. 

Chloe Hashemi / EBU

Next up to rehearse - 🇵🇱 POLAND!

Ready for a some super-catchy pop? It’s time for Poland’s Blanka, who is half-Polish and half-Bulgarian, singing Solo.  It’s all about getting rid of bad relationships and doing better on your own, so basically like Flowers by Miley Cyrus but with way bigger Eurovision dancefloor vibes.  

FUN FACT: The most British thing Blanka has ever done is sipping tea in London whilst trying to talk with a British accent. We need video, and will be getting the digital content team on this immediately. 

First pyro of the day...💨

In the final runthrough for Greece, we've got the added bonus of some low smoke, because Victor is ON FIRE. We're here all week, folks. 

🇬🇷 Greece takes to the stage..

If Victor is nervous about performing in such a huge arena at such a young age, it doesn't show - he's giving this both vocal power and some great on-stage energy, backed up by multiple giant Victors on the LED wall. His signature dance move is an infectious bounce that will have the arena jumping next Thursday - Ed Sheeran is one of his musical influences, and you can definitely feel the Sheeran vibe in What They Say. A confident and uplifting performance, and the Greek delegation should be very happy with that. 

Costume wise, it's the same shorts and jacket vibe as Romania's Theodor yesterday, but less yellow. We stan the safari chic.

Victor Vernicos rehearsing What They Say for Greece at the First Rehearsal of the Second Semi-Final at Liverpool Arena
Chloe Hashemi / EBU

🇪🇪 Estonia gallery is up!

It's our first gallery of the day, and it's Estonia's first rehearsal. Enjoy!

It’s time for 🇬🇷 GREECE!

We're heading south to warmer climes now - next to rehearse is Greece’s Victor Vernicos. At 16, he’s the youngest artist in Eurovision this year and the youngest performer ever to represent Greece. But like Amanda Georgiadi Tenfjord last year, he has both Greek and Scandinavian heritage – his dad is Danish. 

FUN FACT: the song that always gets Victor on the dancefloor is Billie Jean by Michael Jackson, which was released 23 YEARS before Victor was born. Way to make us feel ancient, Victor.

🇮🇸 Iceland takes to the stage…

This is LOADS of fun - Diljá has huge stage presence and an infectious energy, and the biggest p-p-p-power 💪 she has is in that extraordinary voice. She's also moves really well, covering the whole stage with high kicks and gymnastic moves - it's a really compelling combination of vocal and physical strength, that feels like nothing else at Eurovision this year. We also haven’t seen a lot of drum ‘n’ bass at Eurovision over the years, and now we'd like more please. We also LOVE the silver suit - please enjoy the backstage phot

Diljá rehearsing Power for Iceland at the First Rehearsal of the Second Semi-Final at Liverpool Arena
Chloe Hashemi / EBU

Next up today, it’s 🇮🇸 ICELAND!

We’re cranking up the tempo now, with the musical equivalent of two Berocca tablets in a glass of water – Iceland’s Diljá singing her empowerment bop Power. You can find out more about Diljá on the link below - she's a physiotherapy student, so we'll be calling on for some spinal crunching after three days in the Green Room. 

FUN FACT: Diljá has a small, green, crazy parrot (her description, not ours). His name is Max.

🇪🇪 Estonia takes to the stage…

It's time to welcome our first on-stage grand piano of the competition 🎹 - the same haunted one we first encountered at Eesti Laul, and we're delighted it can still play itself even after the long journey to Liverpool. 

Alika has such a powerful voice, and the vocal range of this song makes it hugely challenging to sing - we know this from the many failed attempts we've made in the car/shower over the past couple of months. It's also a great example of the lighting and graphics capability of the Liverpool stage - there isn't a square inch of the floor and LED backdrop that isn't used here to dramatic effect. An uplifting start to the day. 

Alika's stage outfit is a beautiful blue dress with a long train, you can see some of the detail on the backstage picture below. 

Estonia's Alika rehearses for the first time in Liverpool
Alika rehearsing Bridges for Estonia at the First Rehearsal of the Second Semi-Final at Liverpool Arena
Chloe Hashemi / EBU

Get ready for 🇪🇪 ESTONIA!

We’re kicking off Tuesday with a HUGE ballad from Estonia’s Alika, singing Bridges. She co-wrote this song with legendary Dutch songwriter Wouter Hardy, who also co-wrote 2019’s winner Arcade with Duncan LaurenceYou can find out more about Alika on the link below. 

FUN FACT: The song that always gets Alika on the dancefloor is Pump Up The Jam by Technotronic. It’s a 1989 dance classic, and very much our liveblog jam. 

Want to see what you missed yesterday?

Day 2 of rehearsals was ten different kinds of fabulous - you can catch up on TikTok here. 

Welcome back to Day 3 of rehearsals!

Good morning Eurofandom, and a big welcome to Day 3 of Eurovision rehearsals! The sun is almost shining in Liverpool, but there's no daylight (burning or otherwise) in the Liverpool Arena. There are, however, ELEVEN more acts to rehearse for the first time. Are you ready? We were born ready. 

Some BIG songs on the schedule today – here’s the running order:

🇪🇪 Estonia
🇮🇸 Iceland 
🇬🇷 Greece 
🇵🇱 Poland 
🇸🇮 Slovenia 
🇬🇪 Georgia 
🇸🇲 San Marino 
🇦🇹 Austria 
🇦🇱 Albania
🇱🇹 Lithuania 
🇦🇺 Australia 

As usual we’ll be camped out in the Green Room area in front of the main stage, keeping a close eye on all the costumes, props, graphics, instruments, backing dancers and PYRO 🔥. Later we’ll post some pictures and an EXCLUSIVE 30-second TikTok clip of each first rehearsal – it’s the only place to get a sneak preview right now, so stick with us. 

Rehearsals start around 10:30 BST/11:30 CEST, so please join us then!