Eurovision Song Contest fans are breathing a sigh of relief, after the plug was pulled on a controversial change to the way the semi final qualifiers are announced.
On Thursday last week, a post from a Eurovision podcast host appeared on Twitter, featuring what looked like a set of stage instructions for the Eurovision semi finals next week, with semi final 1 kicking things off on Tuesday, May 9, before the second semi follows on May 11.
The sheet instructed that Eurovision hosts Hannah Waddingham and Julia Sanina would reveal the first five qualifiers, before co-presenter Alesha Dixon chatted to those acts, with the same approach then also taken for the remaining five. Only 10 countries will advance through to the grand final from each semi, meaning that five acts will go out of the contest on May 9, with six axed two nights later.
The speculation proved to be true, as press at Monday afternoon’s first rehearsal took to Twitter to share photos of all the acts lining up on stage to await their fate, as fans who saw the shots were left furious that bosses could be so ‘harsh’ on the acts.
However, not even hours later, a statement was released by Eurovision bosses to confirm that the new format had been laid to rest after the first trial of it.
The statement from the BBC and European Broadcasting Union read: ““After trying a new system of presenting the qualifying countries in Dress Rehearsal 1 of the First Semi-Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 it was decided by the production team to revert back to the previous reveal sequence used in recent years with artists learning whether they will progress to the Grand Final together with their delegations in the Green Room..”
It added: “Whilst this change will not now be implemented this year there are other innovations in the show for viewers to look forward to.”
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