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Ted Lasso star Hannah Waddingham wows Eurovision fans

Hannah Waddington (R) has stolen the show at Eurovision.

Hannah Waddington (R) has stolen the show at Eurovision.

As Eurovision kicked off in Liverpool, everyone was talking about one person – and she isn’t even competing.

Alesha Dixon, Graham Norton, Hannah Waddingham and Julia Sanina have the honour of hosting the contest in England this year.

Following the semi-finals, people have been enchanted by Waddingham.

The English actor and singer is probably best known for her role as Rebecca Welton on Ted Lasso, but she has an impressive career outside of that.

Hosts (left to right) Alesha Dixon, Julia Sanina and Hannah Waddingham at the Eurovision semi-final at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool. Picture date: Tuesday May 9, 2023. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)

Eurovision 2023 has begun and the star of the first semi-final wasn’t a contestant. Photo: Getty

Her acting credits include Game of Thrones, Sex Education, Les Misérables and several West End and Broadway musicals including Spamalot, The Wizard of Oz and Into The Woods.

Given her musical background (there’s a few snippets of her abilities showcased on Ted Lasso) it should come as no surprise that Waddingham is incredibly talented.

Presenting during the Eurovision semi-finals with Ukrainian “rock goddess” Sanina, Waddingham got a crash course on “how to rock out”.

Sanina let Waddingham borrow her air guitar and showed her how to do the “rock stance”, move her hair and find the “ultimate rock note”.

Then, Waddingham put it all together and brought the house down.

“And this is why Hannah Waddingham is the perfect host,” one person remarked on social media.

Another person said the interaction between Sanina and Waddingham was their favourite moment from night one, and dubbed them both “queens”.

Waddingham’s dance moves also didn’t go unnoticed during the show, as well as her enthusiasm and talent for hosting.

Hannah Waddingham as a Eurovision presenter is the best decision anyone has ever made,” someone said on Twitter.

Countries in the grand final

Waddingham may have stolen the show, but it did go on, and the first round of acts going to the grand final have been announced.

Croatia, Moldova, Switzerland, Finland, Czechia, Israel, Portugal, Sweden, Serbia and Norway will all go through to the grand final, which will air on Sunday at 5am AEST on SBS and SBS On Demand.

The results were determined through votes that were cast during the live performances.

It appears Sweden’s Loreen is still the favourite to win this year,

The singer-songwriter won the Eurovision contest in 2012 and is hoping her song, Tattoo, will see her crowned again.

Sadly, this means Malta, Latvia, Ireland, Azerbaijan and the Netherlands did not qualify.

“All of the artists this evening, regardless of if they qualified or not, put their hearts and souls into their time on the Eurovision stage, and are worthy of applause,” Eurovision said.

Australia’s own, Voyager, will perform in the semi-final on Friday morning (AEST). 

The five-piece, synth-metal band hails from Perth, and has been together since 1999.

The group has wanted to take part in the contest since Australia joined Eurovision in 2015, coming close last year as runner-up at Australia Decides.

Also up is Andrew Lambrou, the Australian representing Cyprus this year.

The second semi-final will also be broadcast on SBS on Friday from 7.30pm AEST.

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