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Watch: All the Semi-Final guest performances

12 May 2023 at 14:47 CEST
Be Who You Wanna Be, performed as the interval act in the Second Semi-Final at Liverpool Arena Sarah Louise Bennett / EBU
Ahead of Saturday night's Grand Final, we rewind and watch all of the guest performances from our First and Second Semi-Finals. You don't want to miss these!

We have our 26 finalists for Saturday night's Grand Final of the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest. But before then, we have to shine a blue, pink and yellow-hued spotlight on all of the opening numbers and interval acts that we got treated to during the Semi-Final stages of this year's Contest.

Liverpool is hosting the 67th Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of last year's winners Ukraine. And host broadcaster the BBC has been able to showcase this cooperation perfectly in how they presented the Live Shows.

All individual guest performances, as well as the performances of our 37 participating countries, can be watched on the official Eurovision Song Contest YouTube channel

First Semi-Final

To mark the start of the Eurovision Song Contest, the First Semi-Final opened with host Julia Sanina performing part of Маяк by her band The Hardkiss. Translating from the Ukrainian for ‘Lighthouse’, this performance – forming part of an incredibly powerful opening act – symbolised in many ways how the UK is ‘United by Music’ with Ukraine, through hosting the 2023 Contest on behalf of the 2022 winners.

Ukrainian singer Alyosha – who represented Ukraine at the 2010 Eurovision Eurovision Song Contest – performed 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 shared her personal journey through a new, haunting arrangement of British musical heavyweight 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 told us a story of hope, courage, and support for the people of Ukraine from across the world.

Broadcast on Tuesday 9 May, the First Semi-Final’s interval act saw global superstar Rita Ora deliver a show-stopping medley of some of her biggest hits. Holding the record for the most Top 10 singles on the Official Charts by a British female artist, and having accumulated 10 billion streams, Rita also performed the world exclusive of her brand-new single, Praising You, to millions watching across the globe.

Second Semi-Final

Music Unites Generations explores the connection between generations of Ukrainians and the music they love. Mariya Yaremchuk, who represented Ukraine at the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest, led a contemporary montage of some of the most well-known pieces of music from the country. As we travel through time, the piece ends with a stunning collaborative performance from rapper OTOY, 14-year-old Ukrainian Junior Eurovision representative Zlata Dziunka, and Mariya. Together, they show that for generations of Ukrainians, music is the light that overcomes darkness.

Also in the interval, a performance called Be Who You Wanna Be celebrates how Eurovision is a place for everyone – no matter who you are. Three extraordinary drag performers - Miss Demeanour, Tamara Thomas and Will Peaco - lead into a jaw-dropping routine of high-end pop performances along with a troupe of eclectic dancers. They represent the huge spectrum of fans – regardless of age, nationality or background – who revel in being a part of the Eurovision Song Contest every year. With a medley of fabulous songs and incredible staging, it was a performance that got viewers in the mood for Saturday night's party.

During the Second Semi-Final, actor Luke Evans performed an uplifting and emotive Spoken Word piece that took us through nearly 70 years of Eurovision Song Contest history. The actor, best known for films including Beauty & The Beast, The Hobbit and Fast & Furious, got immersed in the Eurovision archive, symbolising that no matter how divided the continent of Europe has been, Eurovision has found a way to unite us through music.

For a sneak preview on the guest performances you can look forward to seeing at the Eurovision Grand Final on Saturday 13 May, read more here.