Eurovision Song Contest host Hannah Waddingham sends fans wild as she makes a cheeky dig at Amanda Holden

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The first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest took place on Tuesday night in Liverpool.

Amanda Holden was ‘thrown under the bus’ by Eurovision host Hannah Waddingham, according to viewers of the popular singing contest. The Heart FM Radio host, 52, who was born in Portsmouth, was responsible for awarding points on behalf of the United Kingdom during the 2021 ceremony.

She came under fire at the time, for making an awkward joke, during her short time presenting the points, as she revealed that she didn’t know the difference between French and Dutch. The comment shocked Eurovision viewers of the 2021 show, and they branded her ‘arrogant’ for the blunder.

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Amanda Holden announces the jury points from the United Kingdom during the 65th Eurovision Song Contest grand final held at Rotterdam Ahoy on May 22, 2021 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)Amanda Holden announces the jury points from the United Kingdom during the 65th Eurovision Song Contest grand final held at Rotterdam Ahoy on May 22, 2021 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Amanda Holden announces the jury points from the United Kingdom during the 65th Eurovision Song Contest grand final held at Rotterdam Ahoy on May 22, 2021 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images) | Getty Images

During her Eurovision cameo, Amanda famously said: "Bon soir. Goedenavond. That is ‘good evening’ in French and Dutch, although I’ve got absolutely no idea which is which."

British actress and singer, Hannah Waddingham, 48, joined forces with Britain’s Got Talent judge, Alesha Dixon, 44, and Ukrainian singer Julia Sanina, 32, for the first of two semi-finals for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest on Tuesday night. Hannah was immediately praised and branded a standout host by fans, as she entertained with her many talents and playful wit.

In the opening dialogue for the contest, Hannah appeared to reference Amanda’s blunder, as she effortlessly explained the voting rules for the semi-finals in perfect French. After which she added: “You see Europe, some of us Brits do bother to learn another language.”

English singer Alesha Dixon, Ukrainian singer Julia Sanina and English actress Hannah Waddingham present the first semi-final of the 2023 Eurovision Song contest at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)English singer Alesha Dixon, Ukrainian singer Julia Sanina and English actress Hannah Waddingham present the first semi-final of the 2023 Eurovision Song contest at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
English singer Alesha Dixon, Ukrainian singer Julia Sanina and English actress Hannah Waddingham present the first semi-final of the 2023 Eurovision Song contest at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

Viewers were quick to comment on Hannah’s words, which many believed was a dig at Amanda’s awkward 2021 moment. With one fan taking to Twitter, and writing: “Hannah Waddingham throwing Amanda Holden under Le bus, quality shade #Eurovision.”

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Eurovision host Hannah Waddingham sends fans wild as she makes dig at presenter. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)Eurovision host Hannah Waddingham sends fans wild as she makes dig at presenter. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Eurovision host Hannah Waddingham sends fans wild as she makes dig at presenter. (Photo Credit: Getty Images) | Photo Credit: Getty Images

Whilst another wrote: “Hannah Waddingham’s French somewhat making up for the existence of Amanda Holden. Amazing start, Liverpool. #Eurovision2023.” With a third chiming in: "Hannah throwing SHADE at Amanda Holden is iconic. #Eurovision2023."

The Game of Thrones actress’s name immediately became Twitter’s top trending topic, as fans flooded the #Eurovision2023 feed with their opinions on the alleged ‘dig.’ Another viewer wrote: “I’m still laughing at Hannah throwing Amanda Holden under the bus. #Eurovision #Eurovision2023”

As well as humouring fans with her comments, Hannah also left Eurovision viewers in awe with her impressive singing voice. Hannah, who is a stage actress on both London’s West End and New York’s Broadway, was being taught how to ‘rock out’ by co-host Julia, who is the front woman of the Ukrainian rock band, The Hardkiss.

Whilst doing this on-stage to 11,000 fans at Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena, the West End star let rip with a perfectly pitched high note, while also pretending to play air guitar. The moment set Twitter ablaze with further praise, one fan wrote: “hannah waddingham casually out-singing all of the actual contestants at eurovision, by hitting that high note is such a sexy flex #Eurovision2023.”

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Another awestruck viewer tweeted: “This is Hannah Waddingham’s world at the moment and we’re just living in it #Eurovision.” Whilst another added: “Hannah Waddingham is the perfect Eurovision presenter. Classy, funny and totally in the spirit of the event.”

Tuesday night saw 15 countries perform at the M&S Bank Arena in the first of two semi-finals and was the competitors’ chance to win a place in Saturday’s grand final. Ten acts made it through by the end of the night, with fan-favourites Finland and Sweden both making the cut.

However, Azerbaijan, Ireland, Latvia, Malta and the Netherlands were all knocked out of the running for Eurovision 2023.  The second semi-final is set to take place on Thursday May 11, and will give us our full list of competitors for Saturday’s live grand Final.

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