Co-host broadcaster Suspilne has today revealed the first interval acts for the Eurovision 2023 live shows. They include a mixture of acts from both Ukraine and the UK, and some familiar faces for Eurovision fans!
The artists who have been revealed so far include:
- Julia Sanina, performing “маяк” to open the show
- Rita Ora, performing a medley of her own songs
- Alyosha performing “Ordinary World”, originally by Duran Duran
- Rebecca Ferguson, who will be joining Alyosha for a performance titled “Welcome To Our Home”
- Maria Yaremchuk, leading a medley called “Music Unites Generations”, alongside OTOY and Zlata Dzyunka
- A drag performance by three artists, titled “Be Who You Want To Be”
What do we know about our semi-final 1 performers?
Julia Sanina will open the first-semi final with a performance of The Hardkiss’ “маяк”, meaning “lighthouse”. Sanina is one of the hosts of this year’s shows, alongside Hannah Waddingham and Alesha Dixon for the semi-finals. The performance is intended to symbolise both host countries of Ukraine and the UK being united through music.
Rita Ora is one of the biggest names in the current UK music scene, with hit singles including “I Will Never Let You Down”, “Hot Right Now” and “Let You Love Me”. She will perform a medley of her songs, as well as a new song which will debut at the event.
Alyosha represented Ukraine at the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest with “Sweet People”, finishing in 10th place. She has since become of of Ukraine’s most prolific artists, with multiple Golden Firebird awards to her name. In December 2022, she was awarded the Golden Heart medal from President Zelenskyy in recognition of her volunteering efforts as part of the current invasion of Ukraine. Her performance will include a new arrangement of “Ordinary World”, originally by Birmingham band Duran Duran.
Alyosha will be joined by Liverpudlian singer Rebecca Ferguson for a performance called “Welcome To Our Home”. Ferguson is best-known to UK audiences after finishing in second place on The X Factor in 2010. Following this, she has made a name for herself as a soul and blues singer, releasing four studio albums before semi-retiring in 2018. However, she announced recently that she will be releasing a new album in 2023 before fully retiring from music. “Welcome To Our Home” is said to “tell the story of hope, courage and support of the people of Ukraine from all over the world.”
“«Для мене конкурс Євробачення — це майданчик про музику, яка наповнена гамою соціально-культурних настроїв. Хтось співає про любов, хтось про мир, хтось про толерантність… Конкурс продукує добро. А музика є мовою, яка об’єднує різні народи світу говорити про важливе»
“For me, the Eurovision Song Contest is a platform about music, which is filled with a range of socio-cultural moods. Someone sings about love, someone about peace, someone about tolerance… The competition produces good. And music is a language that unites different peoples of the world to talk about important things.”Alyosha
What do we know about our semi-final 2 performers?
Maria Yaremchuk is responsible for one of the most memorable performances in modern Eurovision – the man in the hamster wheel! She represented Ukraine at Eurovision 2014 with “Tick-Tock”, finishing in 6th place. Following her Eurovision appearance, she released multiple singles before going on an indefinite hiatus in 2018. She will begin her interval act, “Music Unites Generations”, with a medley of some of the most famous Ukrainian songs in a modern arrangement.
«2014 рік, коли я представляла Україну на Євробаченні, був роком, коли почалась війна з росією. Сьогодні ця війна торкнулась кожної української родини і тепер вона стосується всього світу. Україна зараз відстоює воістину святі речі: право на існування, право на вибір, ідентичність, мову, культуру. Вийти на сцену Євробачення для українця зараз — це маніфестувати культуру, яку хочуть знищити. Втім, українська культура була до нас і буде після. Вона сягає в глибину віків. У тому, як ми творимо, співаємо, у нашій поезії міститься генетичний код нації. Сьогодні особливо щемливо і почесно нести українську культуру в світ і бути її представником»
“2014, when I represented Ukraine at Eurovision, was the year when the war with Russia began. Today, this war has affected every Ukrainian family and now it concerns the whole world. Ukraine is now defending truly sacred things: the right to exist, the right to choose, identity, language, culture. To appear on the Eurovision stage for a Ukrainian now is to manifest a culture that they want to destroy. However, Ukrainian culture was before us and will be after. It goes back centuries. The genetic code of the nation is contained in the way we create, sing, and in our poetry. Today, it is especially poignant and honorable to bring Ukrainian culture to the world and be its representative.”Maria Yaremchuk
“Music Unites Generations” will also involve other notable Ukrainian musicians. Rapper OTOY released his debut album CVIT in 2020, alongside a mini-album with The Lazy Jesus in 2021. More recently, he has been writing new tracks about the invasion of Ukraine alongside being on the front line himself. Zlata Dzyunka, who represented Ukraine at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2022, will also participate in the interval performance.
Not much has been revealed yet about the drag artists who will perform “Be Who You Want To Be”, but Suspilne has described the performance as being “extravagant pop” and involving a troupe of dancers.
“The most comfortable collaboration in my career”
Herman Nenov, the Ukranian creative director for this year’s contest, has shared his experiences of working alongside Suspilne and the BBC as part of creating the live shows.
«У всіх трьох шоу — в півфіналах та фіналі Євробачення — ми заявили максимальну кількість українських артистів, яку тільки можна показати у рамках таких шоу. Тематики наших номерів, і ті акценти, які ми розставляємо, — це великі пласти не тільки музичного, а й соціального характеру. Я дуже вдячний команді BBC за все те, що ми зробили разом. Скажу чесно: напевно це найкомфортніша співпраця у моїй кар’єрі. Такого порозуміння та поваги до ідей кожного члена команди я ще не зустрічав! Моєю головною задачею було створити для глядачів Євробачення багатогранний, дуже чесний і справжній портрет сьогоднішньої актуальної України! І разом в колаборації з BBC у нас це вийшло!»
“In all three shows – in the Eurovision semi-finals and final – we announced the maximum number of Ukrainian artists that can be shown in such shows. The topics of our numbers, and the accents we place, are large layers of not only a musical, but also a social nature. I am very grateful to the BBC team for everything we have done together. I’ll be honest: this is probably the most comfortable collaboration in my career. I have never met such understanding and respect for the ideas of each team member! My main task was to create a multifaceted, very honest and true portrait of today’s actual Ukraine for Eurovision viewers! And together in collaboration with the BBC, we managed to do it!”Herman Nenov
What we know about Eurovision 2023
Although Ukraine won the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, due to the ongoing Russian invasion they are unable to host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest. Instead, the United Kingdom stepped in, as 2022’s runner-up; Liverpool will host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest on the 9th, 11th, and 13th of May 2023. The contest will take place at the M&S Arena, with 37 countries taking part. The full production team behind the 2023 contest is listed here. The contest is a co-production between host broadcaster the BBC and last year’s winning broadcaster, Suspilne.
Alesha Dixon, Julia Sanina and Hannah Waddingham will host the semi-finals, with Graham Norton joining the presenting team for the grand final.
Are you excited for the interval acts for this year’s semi-finals? Who would you like to see perform in the final? As always, let us know what you think by commenting below. Also, be sure to follow “That Eurovision Site” on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok as we prepare for Eurovision 2023!
News Source: Suspilne
Photo Credit: Suspilne