Eurovision 2023: Ultimate guide to watching the contest including shows, running order & how to vote

Eurovision 2023 is just days away with the UK all ready to host the contest for the first time in decades - we’ve rounded up everything you could possibly need to know ahead of the Semi-Finals and Grand Final.

Eurovision 2023 is just days away after nearly a year of preparation, with the UK all ready to host the huge contest for the first time in over two decades. Nobody could have predicted that the UK would scoop the runner-up spot last year, thanks to Sam Ryder’s smash hit Spaceman, after a dismal run since 1998.

It meant that the UK got to step in and host the contest on behalf of last year’s winners Ukraine. The country, which was represented by folk-rap group Kalush Orchestra with their song Stefania, is unable to host the event due to the ongoing war with Russia.

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Liverpool was chosen as the UK’s host city, with Eurovision chiefs dubbing it an area “synonymous with music” that “exceeds all the requirements needed to stage a global event of this scale”. Tickets for all three glittering shows at Liverpool M&S Bank Arena this week sold out in less than an hour, with TicketMaster crashing during the first round of sales.

If you weren’t one of the lucky few, we’ve rounded up everything you could possibly need to know about watching the contest from home. Our guide includes details on all three upcoming Eurovision shows, their running order, how to watch them and how to vote for your favourite act.

The Eurovision shows including running order, interval acts and who’s voting

Eurovision Song Contest 2023 First Semi-Final: Tuesday, May 9 - 8pm

Hosts Alesha Dixon, Hannah Waddingham, and Julia Sanina are live from Liverpool Arena for the First Semi-Final, where 15 countries will compete for one of 10 spots in Saturday night’s Grand Final.

First Semi-Final running order:

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

Voting in the First Semi-Final are: France, Germany and Italy

Interval acts: Rita Ora, Julia Sanina, Alyosha and Rebecca Ferguson

Let 3, representatives for Croatia, perform during the first dress rehearsal for Semi Final 1 of the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 at M&S Bank Arena.Let 3, representatives for Croatia, perform during the first dress rehearsal for Semi Final 1 of the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 at M&S Bank Arena.
Let 3, representatives for Croatia, perform during the first dress rehearsal for Semi Final 1 of the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 at M&S Bank Arena. | Getty Images

Eurovision Song Contest 2023 Second Semi-Final: Thursday, May 11 - 8pm

Alesha Dixon, Hannah Waddingham, and Julia Sanina are back in the Liverpool Arena for the Second Semi-Final, taking us through the 16 countries competing for one of 10 spots in Saturday night’s Grand Final.

Second Semi-Final running order:

  1. Denmark - Reiley: Breaking My Heart
  2. Armenia - Brunette: Future Lover
  3. Romania - Theodor Andrei: D.G.T (Off and On)
  4. Estonia - Alika: Bridges
  5. Belgium - Gustaph: Because Of You
  6.  Cyprus - Andrew Lambrou:  Break A Broken Heart
  7. Iceland - Diljá:  Power
  8. Greece - Victor Vernicos: What They Say
  9. Poland - Blanka: Solo
  10. Slovenia - Joker Out: Carpe Diem
  11. Georgia - Iru: Echo
  12. San Marino - Piqued Jacks: Like An Animal
  13. Austria - Teya & Salena: Who The Hell is Edgar?
  14. Albania - Albania & Familja Kelmendi - Duje
  15. Lithuania - Monika Linkyte: Stay
  16. Australia - Voyager: Promise

Voting in the First Semi-Final are: Spain, Ukraine and the UK

Interval acts: Be Who You Wanna Be, Mariya Yaremchuk, Zlata Dziunka and OTOY.

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Luke Black, representative for Serbia, performs during the first dress rehearsal for Semi Final 1 of the Eurovision Song Contest.Luke Black, representative for Serbia, performs during the first dress rehearsal for Semi Final 1 of the Eurovision Song Contest.
Luke Black, representative for Serbia, performs during the first dress rehearsal for Semi Final 1 of the Eurovision Song Contest. | Getty Images

Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final: Saturday, May 13 - 8pm

Saturday, May 6 will see the launch of the event Liverpool and the rest of the world have been waiting for - the Grand Final. The show will see 20 qualifying Semi-Finalists joined by reigning Contest champs Ukraine, plus the “Big Five”, (including host country the UK), battle it out to become the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 winners. Alesha Dixon, Hannah Waddingham, and Julia Sanina will be joined by Graham Norton.

The Grand Finalists announced so far are:

  1. France - La Zarra: Évidemment
  2. Germany - Lord of the Lost: Blood & Glitter
  3. Italy - Marco Mengoni: Due Vite
  4. Spain - Blanca Paloma: Eaea
  5. Ukraine - TVORCHI: Heart of Steel 
  6. United Kingdom - Mae Muller: I Wrote A Song

Interval Acts: A star-studded lineup of Eurovision Song Contest icons will be part of three special live performances. Ukraine’s first ever Eurovision winner, Ruslana, will also be appearing as part of a pre-recorded performance filmed in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv.

Voices of new generation

The Grand Final for this year’s Contest will open with last year’s winners Kalush Orchestra and a powerful performance titled Voices of a New Generation. Kalush Orchestra captured the hearts of Eurovision viewers around the world last year are back to kick off this year’s event with a performance that will include their smash-hit winning song Stefania.

The Flag Parade

During the Flag Parade of all 26 Grand Finalists, viewers will be treated to a unique performance by some iconic past Ukrainian participants of the Eurovision Song Contest. The segment will feature Eurovision entries weaved with British classics, such as Go_A, Jamala, Tina Karol and Verka Serduchka.

Sam Ryder

For the first interval performance, during which voting across Europe and the world takes place, the United Kingdom’s very own spaceman Sam Ryder will make his triumphant return to the Eurovision Song Contest stage after leading the United Kingdom’s biggest success at the Contest for over two decades last year.

The Liverpool Songbook

The final interval act is called The Liverpool Songbook - a celebration of the host city’s infamous contribution to the world of pop music. The BBC have brought together six iconic acts from Eurovision Song Contest’s past including Italy’s Mahmood, Israel’s Netta, Iceland’s Daði Freyr, Sweden’s Cornelia Jakobs and Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands.

We’ll also hear from Liverpool’s very own Sonia, celebrating 30 years since she finished second at the 1993 Contest.  Liverpool has produced some of the world’s most famous and beloved songs in history - these Eurovision Song Contest legends will all put their own spin on some classic hits.

Mae Muller from the United Kingdom performs during the annual Eurovision in Concert Eurovision party at AFAS Live concert hall in Amsterdam.Mae Muller from the United Kingdom performs during the annual Eurovision in Concert Eurovision party at AFAS Live concert hall in Amsterdam.
Mae Muller from the United Kingdom performs during the annual Eurovision in Concert Eurovision party at AFAS Live concert hall in Amsterdam. | ANP/AFP via Getty Images

Who is representing the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest 2023?

British singer-songwriter Mae Muller will represent the UK with her catchy pop tune “I Wrote a Song”. Mae, from Kentish Town in London, will pick up the baton from last year’s entrant Sam Ryder.

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How to watch the Eurovision Song Contest 2023

If you weren’t one of the lucky few to bag tickets to this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, you can watch the show in the comfort of your own home. All of the shows will be broadcast live and available to watch on the official Eurovision Song Contest YouTube channel, as well as on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

How to vote for your favourite act in the Eurovision Song Contest 2023

Vote via the Eurovision app

The official Eurovision Song Contest app is your “ultimate second screen tool” during the live shows, available for iOS, Android and Windows devices. You’ll get live information about the participants, rank your favourites and be able to vote via the app.

After voting you get a special video message from your favourite contestant.

Vote via phone or text

People watching in participating countries can vote by telephone or text. Relevant numbers will be displayed on screen by each participating broadcaster and on www.esc.vote.

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