ESCXTRA: Live from LiverpoolLiverpool 2023

Finland’s Käärijä dominates first Eurovision Audience Poll

The first dress rehearsals of the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 are done and dusted. As the dust settled on the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, the Eurovision Audience Poll team asked members of the audience who their favourite act of the night was. This resulted in a resounding victory for Finland’s Käärijä, collecting a whopping 41.7% of the vote with his Cha Cha Cha.

In this first ever Eurovision Audience Poll, run by a collective of four fan media platforms (, ESC Insight, The Euro Trip Podcast and BetEurovision), the podium was a Nordic clean sweep. Following Finland at a distance, we see former Eurovision winner Loreen for Sweden. Her 381 votes result in a score of 15.4%. Norway’s Alessandra took third place with 241 votes and 9.7% of the total vote.

Scoring surprisingly well when one looks at the chances bookmakers give each act to qualify are the numbers five and six from the Eurovision Audience Poll. The Busker from Malta received 5.5% of the vote, taking fifth place. Perhaps an even bigger surprise can be found in sixth place, where Ireland received 124 votes (5.0%).

Both Czechia (3.8%) and Croatia (3.3%) were safe qualifiers with the audience at Monday night’s dress rehearsal. Rounding off the top ten, we see Mimicat for Portugal (2.1%) and Swiss hopeful Remo Forrer (1.9%). Just missing out are Moldova (1.3%) and the Netherlands (1.3%). The difference between Pasha Parfeni and Mia Nicolai&Dion Cooper was just a single vote. At the bottom of the scoreboard, we see Latvia (1.0%), Azerbaijan (1.0%) and Serbia (0.9%). Luke Black received just 23 votes tonight from the public.


Compared to previous expectations from bookmakers, fans and the Press Poll, there are some surprising conclusions. In both the Press Poll and the Audience Poll, it’s Moldova who narrowly miss out on the top ten. Many will have considered Soarele Si Luna a sure qualifier, but does this bring doubt to that conversation?

Another country doing less well than anticipated beforehand is Serbia. Samo Mi Se Spava finished in last place tonight, receiving less than one percent of the vote. It’s worth wondering whether this may be reflected in the televotes tonight as well. From its selection onwards, the question has been whether televoters will understand the concept. A valid question when one looks at tonight’s result?

Also surprising is the good result for Ireland. Wild Youth’s We Are One has been seen as the least likely qualifier to the Grand Final with bookmakers for a while now, but they now find themselves in sixth place. Does the proximity of Ireland to the United Kingdom have something to do with this or have bookmakers been underestimating Wild Youth’s chances to progress to the Grand Final?


The first semifinal of the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 will take place tonight at 20:00 BST. Fifteen acts will battle for ten tickets to the Grand Final on Saturday. Make sure you tune in to find out who will make it through.

On Wednesday, the Eurovision Audience Poll will return for its second outing. Our team will once again hit the streets of Liverpool to ask the audience about their favourites after watching the second dress rehearsal of the second semifinal. Members of, ESC Insight, The Euro Trip Podcast and BetEurovision will join forces again to make sure we will all know what the audience thought of the second semi.



  1. Any reason only the 4 th place is not mentioned. ???   tha is Noa Kirel from Israel

  2. Liverpool has a huge Irish community (for historic and geographic reasons) and therefore there\’s a good chance that in a local audience there will be a lot of \”home town\” support for Ireland. Realistically that will probably not translate into votes from an international audience.

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