Eurovision 2023: The Best Five Acts From The First Semi-Final

9 May 2023 | 2:18 pm | Mallory Arbour

It's wild! It's magical! It's Eurovision!

(Pic by Mallory Arbour)

The first semi-final of the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest is soon upon us, determining which of the first eight teams will advance into Saturday's grand finale.

Eurovision is eclectic, and that's what makes it so wonderful. One minute you're listening to the most moving ballad, the next you're watching some solo stripper-esque dance moves. Then you're watching a guy in his underpants protesting against war, and so much more. It's wild! It's magical! It's Eurovision!

Media were invited to a special preview ahead of the live show on Tuesday, 9 May. Although the competition is tough, we've counted down our five favourite acts from the first semi-final.

Loreen - Tattoo (Sweden)

It's hard to look past Sweden's Loreen, who was carried in and off the stage on her set piece like the goddess she is, full of Cleopatra vibes. The previous winner took home the trophy in 2012 with Euphoria and this year's Tattoo is equally impressive.

Vocally, she's incredible. Few artists could pull off a quiet moment but Loreen does with ease and it speaks volumes of her confidence as a performer. Overall, she's on another level, otherworldly, and is in the chance to win a second time.

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Käärijä - Cha Cha Cha (Finland)

Käärijä's Cha Cha Cha boasts colourful costumes and weird dancing, plus it's catchy to boot and has the best use of lighting. It starts in a box and goes in many kooky directions. He's one of the favourites, and for good reason, it's the quintessential Eurovision Song.

Alessandra - Queen Of Kings (Norway)

I'm not sure if Alessandra was inspired by Six: The Musical, based on the six wives of Henry VIII, but the lyrics, costumes, dancing and attitude remind me of just that, Katherine Howard especially.

With strong vocals (that goes without saying, but that high note at the end - wow!, Alessandra is slightly operatic, theatrical and cinematic. Queen Of Kings is in with a chance.

Mimicat - Ai Coração (Portugal)

I think not singing in English is always a detriment but music is a universal language. As evident in Mimicat's Ai Coração, it matters not if the song is strong. It's a good mix of traditional and contemporary. Again, great vocals. It's slightly sexy. A little salsa dancing emoji too.

Wild Youth - We Are One (Ireland)

I love the sentiment behind We Are One, it's essentially tied to 'United By Music', this year's Eurovision slogan. The simple staging means the song is more the message. It has a heart.

The stellar vocals are contemporary. The lead singer wears a gold sequin jumpsuit throughout the performance, and it's equally spectacular. It's one of the better songs Ireland has done of late and probably my biggest wildcard.