It’s hard to believe that it’s almost a year since the UK narrowly missed out on the top Eurovision spot, with Sam Ryder’s stunning performance of Space Man. But now the song contest is back – and we for one can’t wait.


To make this year even more special, the UK has opened its arms to put on the beloved singing competition on behalf of last year’s winners Ukraine, after the war with Russia made it impossible for the country to host.

But before the Grand Final can take place on Saturday 13th May, acts from all of the participating countries must first compete in one of two semi-finals. 10 singers from each date will then be selected to take part in the final show – which will be held in Liverpool – alongside artists from last year's champions Ukraine and The Big Five countries: France, Italy, Germany, Spain and the UK, who will be hoping to build on its 2022 success with entry Mae Muller.

Read on for everything you need to know about the Eurovision 2023 semi-finals.

When is the Eurovision 2023 semi-final?

The first Eurovision semi-final will take place on Tuesday 9th May, and the second will happen on Thursday 11th May. Both shows start at 8pm and run until 10:10pm – and if you weren’t lucky enough to clinch tickets, they will be aired on BBC One.

Sam Ryder
Sam Ryder. BBC

Who are the acts in the Eurovision 2023 semi-final?

Acts performing in the first semi-final will be:

  • Norway | Alessandra - Queen of Kings
  • Malta | The Busker - Dance (Our Own Party)
  • Serbia | Luke Black - Samo Mi Se Spava
  • Latvia | Sudden Lights - Aijā
  • Portugal | Mimicat - Ai Coração
  • Ireland | Wild Youth - We Are One
  • Croatia | Let 3 - Mama ŠČ!
  • Switzerland | Remo Forrer - Watergun
  • Israel | Noa Kirel - Unicorn
  • Moldova | Pasha Parfeni - Soarele şi Luna
  • Sweden | Loreen - Tattoo
  • Azerbaijan | TuralTuranX - Tell Me More
  • Czechia | Vesna - My Sister's Crown
  • Netherlands | Mia Nicolai & Dion Cooper - Burning Daylight
  • Finland | Käärijä - Cha Cha Cha

Acts performing in the second semi-final will be:

  • Denmark | Reiley - Breaking My Heart
  • Armenia | Brunette - Future Lover
  • Romania | Theodor Andrei - D.G.T. (Off and On)
  • Estonia | Alika - Bridges
  • Belgium | Gustaph - Because Of You
  • Cyprus | Andrew Lambrou - Break A Broken Heart
  • Iceland | Diljá - Power
  • Greece | Victor Vernicos - What They Say
  • Poland | Blanka - Solo
  • Slovenia | Joker Out - Carpe Diem
  • Georgia | Iru - Echo
  • San Marino | Piqued Jacks - Like An Animal
  • Austria | Teya & Salena - Who The Hell Is Edgar?
  • Albania | Albina & Familja Kelmendi - Duje
  • Lithuania | Monika Linkytė - Stay
  • Australia | Voyager - Promise

Who is performing at the Eurovision 2023 semi-final?

The Eurovision semi-finals will showcase amazing performances by artists from both the UK and last year’s winning country, Ukraine.

On Tuesday 9th May, host Julia Sanina will open the show by performing part of Маяк by her band, The Hardkiss. Rita Ora will then take to the stage during the interval, showcasing a medley of some of her biggest hits, as well as the world exclusive of her brand new single Praising You.

Ukraine’s 2010 entry Alyosha will also perform alongside Liverpudlian star Rebecca Ferguson, who shot to fame on the seventh series of The X Factor. The pair will sing a duet to Duran Duran’s Ordinary World.

Rita Ora
Rita Ora is one of the stars performing at the Eurovision semi-finals. Photo by Neil Mockford/FilmMagic

Thursday 11th May will see the performance of Music Unites Generations, a project which explores the connection between generations of Ukrainians and the music they love. 2014's Ukrainian entry Mariya Yaremchuk will lead a montage of some of the most well-known pieces of music from the country, which ends with a collaborative performance from rapper OTOY, 14-year-old Ukrainian Junior Eurovision representative Zlata Dziunka, and Mariya.

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There will also be a performance named Be Who You Wanna Be in the interval, which will see three drag artists give high-end pop performances alongside a troupe of dancers.

How do you vote at Eurovision 2023?

In a change to recent years, only the viewers at home will be able to vote in the semi-finals.

Countries with acts performing in the first semi-final will be allowed to vote on that evening, as well three of the countries who have pre-qualified for the Grand Final - France, Germany, and Italy.

Viewers from the remaining participating countries will be able to vote in the second semi-final alongside Spain, Ukraine, and the UK, who have also pre-qualified.

Those watching in the participating countries can vote using the official Eurovision Song Contest app, or by telephone and/or SMS. Relevant numbers will be displayed on screen by each participating broadcaster.

Voting will open after the last song is performed, for approximately 15 minutes.

The Eurovision Song Contest will begin on 9th May 2023. Listen to all of last year's Eurovision songs on TIDAL, while the full album of tracks is available on CD and vinyl now.

You can also check out the full list of Eurovision winners and how many times the UK has won Eurovision here. If you're looking for something to watch tonight, check out our TV Guide and Streaming Guide.


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