Eurovision 2023 semi-final highlights including surprise Alesha Dixon rap and Rebecca Ferguson’s orange gown

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The semi-final was packed full of exciting live performances - here are some of the best moments.

Eurovision fans were treated to an entertaining evening on Tuesday (May 9) as the BBC brought viewers all of the action from the long-awaited singing contest to our screens. The first semi-final was held, featuring 15 acts competing for 10 places in the Grand Final.

Superstars Alesha Dixon, Hannah Waddingham and Julia Sanina presented the first Eurovision semi-final from Liverpool, which saw Ireland eliminated along with Latvia, Malta, Azerbaijan and the Netherlands.

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In the end, Norway, Serbia, Portugal, Croatia, Switzerland, Israel, Moldova, Sweden, Czechia and Finland made it through.

The jam-packed show also featured spectacular live performances from celebrity guests. But it was the sensational outfits that grabbed the attention of many viewers.

Rita Ora appeared on the stage in a latex corset alongside a 12-year-old Ukrainian dancer and delivered a heartfelt performance. The songstress sang snippets of tracks such as Ritual, I Will Never Let You and Anywhere.

Alesha Dixon divided opinion with her surprise rap, although many were pleased and left nostalgic as 44-year-old dancer and judge returned to her girl band days with Mis-Teeq. The group had two top ten albums and seven top 10 singles in their heyday. 

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A stand-out performance was from Finnish rapper Käärijä, who turned heads with his unique neon green outfit. While Croatia left viewers wide-eyed when the band stripped down to their underwear on stage.

Rapper Kaarija representing Finland.Rapper Kaarija representing Finland.
Rapper Kaarija representing Finland. | Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty Images

Former X Factor winner Rebecca Ferguson looks sensational in an orange gown as she gave an emotional and incredible performance. The singer performed alongside Ukrainian Alyosha as they took on Duran Duran's Ordinary World.

Some were left an emotional wreck after a clip of late comedian Paul O’Grady was played as part of the introductory film. The popular television presenter died earlier this year at the age of 67.

There were plenty of stand out moments from the first semi-finals. Viewers can tune in to the second semi-final performance on Thursday, May 11 at 8pm.

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