Culture and Sports

Eurovision Song Contest 2024: Again United by Music?

Eurovision Song Contest 2024: Again United by Music? - Shaping Europe

An overview of all participants in the Eurovision Song Contest 2024.

Some people schedule their Sundays around Formula 1 races, others live for the Champions League, and some wait all year to see people from all over Europe (and beyond) perform on a stage. Yes, at Shaping Europe we are part of the last group! We have been talking about the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) 2024 for months. From listening to the songs when they were announced to discussing the live performances, to predicting the results and planning group viewings of the (semi-)finals. Eurovision is a lifestyle and we are here for it! 

Same as last year, we have compiled a list of all performances of the ESC. Who will take home the gold and who should have rather stayed at home? Let’s get into it! 

First Semi-Final: Tuesday, 07 May, 2024, 21:00 CEST

  1. Cyprus: Silia Kapsis – Liar

Cyprus sends in a danceable and hip song every year. This year is no different with Liar by Silia Kapsis. You could say the song must have hit potential, especially with summer approaching but appearances are deceiving as it will be hard for Cyprus to make it to the ESF final this year. And somewhere I can understand that because Liar is a bit of a dime a dozen. Yet, it makes a difference that at least the first 12 points are already earned; loyal friend Greece is a true Cyprus fan. 

PS Singer Silia Kapsis is only seventeen years old! That she is already on this big stage is worthy of applause! 

  1. Serbia: TEYA DORA – RAMONDA

If there is one thing that Serbia is consistent in, it is being different at Eurovision. Sometimes this turns out well, sometimes less so. However, with TEYA DORA Serbia once again brings itself to the good side of this divide. From the first note, TEYA’s command over her vocals is evident, showcasing a remarkable range that effortlessly transitions between hope and despair. The song’s powerful message of perseverance is beautifully portrayed, drawing listeners in with its emotional depth.

What sets TEYA apart is her simplicity. The darkened stage and gothic-inspired attire serve to enhance the performance, allowing TEYA’s vocals to take centre stage without distraction. Not relying on elaborate staging and flashy costumes to make an impact is a testament to the song’s strength.

TEYA’s impeccable vocals, coupled with the song’s emotional resonance, make it a standout contender in this year’s competition. And thus, in my humble opinion, Serbia has a real shot at securing a top-3 spot with this entry.

  1. Lithuania: Silvester Belt – Luktelk

Silvester Belt represents Lithuania with the song Luktelk. While, at first, I didn’t quite know which way the song would go, I am now sold! What a cool tune. The song is eclectic; it sounds modern, while you can clearly hear some folk and traditional influences. Luktelk is similar to Europapa in that respect (as it honours the Lithuanian culture), except that the message is to-ta-lly different; the song goes against the stereotypes that exist about Lithuania. Silvester says: “I hope that we can show a fun side of Lithuania – we are not always sad and closed, we have many colours, and we want to show them at Eurovision. If we always hide behind the English [language] and other cultures, we won’t be able to do that.” That the song is sung in Lithuanian is, therefore, a nice bonus. Want to bet that soon we will all be enthusiastically singing “luktelk luktelk” all along? 

  1. Ireland: Bambie Thug – Doomsday Blue

Ireland’s entry this year can certainly be called unique. Let’s just say: you gotta love it. The song Doomsday Blue goes in all directions. The verses are close to metalpunk, the chorus, on the other hand, can be defined as electropop, the bridge as pop and at the end of the song everything is combined. Bambie Thug, the artist representing Ireland describes the song as “Ouja pop.” In addition to the tone, the entry is also unique in terms of the artist, as it is the first Irish entry by an artist who identifies (at the time of submission) as non-binary! In any case, it’s a performance to look forward to, based on the music video. (Oh and, for people who love ballads, I can highly recommend listening to the intimate version of the song).

United Kingdom: Olly Alexander – Dizzy (already qualified for the finals)

First of all, please watch the music video of this year’s entry of the United Kingdom, it is quite an adventure. This is at the same time the most exciting part, at least it is for me. I can see why people would like Dizzy by Olly Alexander but, to me, it is quite a monotone song. On the bright side, the song does have a great rhythm to it. I like that, but at the same time, it does not make me want to listen to it more than once. Overall, the UK seems to be en route to positioning itself as a more stable Eurovision contender, since Sam Ryder’s second place in the 2022 contest with Space Man. This year’s UK entry is not bad, don’t get me wrong, but to me, it is not good either. Still, I do not rule out the possibility that Dizzy might do relatively well with televoting, which would position the UK somewhere among the first twenty ranked countries. 

  1. Ukraine: alyona alyona and Jerry Heil – Teresa & Maria

Singers alonya alonya and Jerry Heil sing to Mother Teresa and the Virgin Mary. Their song almost feels like a prayer or an appeal to the saint women. Mother Thersa and the Virgin Mary symbolise charity, unity and love. The song is therefore also about hope for the Ukrainian people during the war with Russia. The artists have chosen to let the song speak for itself since the rest of the song is staged quite soberly. The singers are dressed in long black gowns while they sing their song on a stage. Still, it is easy to get goosebumps while listening to their strong voices.

  1. Poland: LUNA – The Tower

Poland is ready for its 26th participation in the Eurovision Song Contest but is still waiting for its first win. Judging by the bookmakers, LUNA is not going to change that yet this year: they currently keep the chances of winning below 1%. The 24-year-old student and yoga teacher won the internal selection, consisting of more than 60 entries, with one point ahead of the runner-up. In her own words, the song is about overcoming negativity, by metaphorically building your own ‘tower’. The music video is mysterious and largely centres around a chess board, in reference to dealing with and defining the rules of the game. The song sticks well and LUNA has a unique appearance that will come in handy on stage. However, the song does lack something ‘extra’, and it remains to be seen whether it will convince enough voters for a high ranking. 

  1. Croatia: Baby Lasagna – Rim Tim Tagi Dim

Meow cat, please meow back,” sings Marco Purišić, also known as Baby Lasagna, Croatia’s favoured Eurovision contestant for 2024. If those aren’t lyrics that speak to the soul, I am not sure what are. Born in Umag, Croatia, Purišić seeks out a fun and original approach to music that tests the boundaries of his creativity. The song is incredibly catchy, with an easy hook that just rolls off the tongue. He has taken Europe by storm as radio stations all over play this song and DJs wonder, mystified at the lyrics. They are funny, casual, and seemingly meaningless, but the angsty rock that accompanies them encourages you to feel the depth beneath the surface. As you listen, you quickly realise that while the lyrics are quirky, they express the anxieties, uncertainties and fears that plague most young people who are setting out in the world. More specifically, the lyrics point to the anxieties surrounding a national emergency in Croatia: emigration. More and more young people are leaving Croatia to look for opportunities elsewhere, and through its upbeat groovy rhythm, this song explores the difficulties that come along with this.

This is not the first time that Purišić has attempted to enter the Eurovision Song Contest. In 2019, the band in which he was a guitarist tried to qualify through the Dora national selection competition (by which Croatians vote for their Eurovision contestant), although they lost. This year, Purišić demonstrates that he may be better off left to his own devices, as he won the Dora contest with a soaring score of 321 points (with the runner-up getting 82 points). Not only is he a favourite amongst his fellow Croatians, but bookmakers currently anticipate that he has all the chances to take the win at this year’s Eurovision contest! They currently rank him at second for the entire competition, and predict that he has about a 45% chance of finishing in the top three. All I can say is that this song is a perfect Eurovision entry, and I am rooting for you, Croatia!

  1. Iceland: Hera Björk – Scared of Heights

Iceland’s best position at the contest so far is second place, which it last achieved in 2009 with Is it True. I, however, consider it unlikely that Hera Björk will come anywhere near this result. In her song, Scared of Heights, Hera sings that she isn’t one to take risks, a lyrical statement that she has carried into reality. The song’s lyrics encompass little depth, the melody is predictable, and her high notes are indeed scared of heights as they often fall flat. The sole positive point is Hera’s gorgeous red dress which functions as a beacon of hope in a sea of mediocrity, temporarily blinding you from the auditory assault happening in your ear canals. It is, of course, possible for Hera to turn this around by making an explosive and melodic masterpiece of her live performance. I am, however, not convinced. 

Germany: ISAAK – Always On The Run (already qualified for the finals)

Germany, oh, Germany. For years, the country doesn’t seem to want to win the Eurovision Song Contest, or even attempt to get into the top 10. It’s almost becoming irritating. Does this year’s entry change Germany’s poor image at the ESF? Meh. With ISAAK’s Always On The Run, the country sends in a middle-of-the-road song. The song is not bad per se and the singer, also known as the German Rag’n’Bone Man, has a beautiful and powerful voice. Yet, is this entry the best Germany can submit? I highly doubt it. The first three lines of Always On The Run are:

I am nothin’ but the average

Even though I’m special to some

I can’t refuse, I’m going under

For ISAAK, I fear he is predicting his fate with these lyrics. Germany is at spot 28 (April 2024) and seems – with its average song – to be going under with all the ‘Song Contest violence’ that Always On The Run cannot compete against. 

  1. Slovenia: Raiven – Veronika

Slovenia’s entry looks pretty regular at first glance, yet it is pretty special. The song is entirely in Slovenian. Personally, I really appreciate it when a country sends an entry in its own language, which often gives a song something unique. Besides, the subject of the song is inspired by Veronika, the very first woman accused of witchcraft in Slovenia, and I don’t think I need to tell you what happened to these women. The song itself is not necessarily very special, it is quite calm. What’s a thing for me anyway is that, as a big Lady Gaga fan, the clip reminds me quite a bit of the one of Born This Way. Raiven’s long nails, bleached hair and eyebrows, as well as the whole style of filming, choreography and dancers make the clip almost one-to-one that of Gaga. Of course, Born This Way was a big hit, so who knows, maybe with a stunning performance Raiven can also steal the hearts of Europe this year!

  1. Finland: Windows95Man – No Rules!

One thing is for sure, the Finnish Eurovision entry is never boring. So again, this year with Windows95man’s song No Rules! The act begins with a giant egg lined with jeans from which a man with a moustache, a white cap and a white shirt with the Windows 95 logo emerges. As if this were not enough, you have to check twice to make sure he is not performing the song while naked. Luckily, there is a pair of skin-coloured underpants present. Finally, a kind of bird appears, flying over the stage to provide our singer with a pair of jeans shorts including fireworks. The Finnish professional jury was not enamoured with No Rules! and gave the song the lowest number of points. Fortunately for Windows95man, there was still the audience who enthusiastically chose the Eurodance song as their winner. Like last year, Finland seems to have a song that does well with the public, but whether last year’s success can be matched remains to be seen.

  1. Moldova: Natalia Barbu – In The Middle

Moldova is making its mark on Eurovision with the song In The Middle, performed by Natalia Barbu. Natalia previously represented Moldova in 2007 with the song Fight, securing a respectable 10th place. Since then, she has carved out a solid music career, showcasing her talents not only as a singer but also as a songwriter, composer, and skilled violinist. One of Natalia’s favourite songs is Loreen’s Tattoo, which won the Eurovision Contest in 2023. In interviews, Barbu revealed that the song was inspired by her children and the feeling of love. The song was written with no expectations, and instead just came from her heart. Let’s see if she’ll win over the hearts of the public this year!

Sweden: Marcus & Martinus – Unforgettable (already qualified for the finals)

This year, Sweden will send the twins Marcus & Martinus from…. the neighbouring country of Norway. Fortunately, the twins are not completely unknown in Sweden: they have previously won the Masked Singer Sweden, performed at the birthday of the Swedish Crown Princess, and last year they also participated in the Swedish national selection show (they finished second behind Loreen). Their song Unforgettable caused some commotion. The twins were accused of plagiarism with this song. The song is said to resemble Salva Mea by the British formation Faithless, but the 22-year-old twins themselves say they do not know this song from 1996. Unforgettable is a dance-pop song about a ‘venomous’ and ‘dangerous’ ‘unforgettable’ love. The act consists of a light show and dancers. The song lives up to its name: once it gets into your head, it is, indeed, unforgettable. Marcus & Martinus’ dance is also frequently danced on TikTok. With a little practice, everyone can dance along to Unforgettable.

  1. Azerbaijan: FAHREE feat Ilkin Dovlatov – Özünlə Apar

It is no secret that the Caucasians traditionally send a typical Eurovision act. Often in the form of a singer wearing the most bombastic glitter dress and belting her lungs out. Well, that is definitely not what you can expect from Azerbaijan this year! However, Azerbaijan does fit into another Eurovision tradition of combining electronic/modern music with traditional folk music. The song was written by FAHREE himself and both the title and the chorus of the song are in Azerbaijani. ‘Take Me With You’, the title freely translated, may be influenced by electronic music, but the Azerbaijani folk music (Mugham) sounding through it makes it a lovely, almost slow dance, song which sounds soft but also powerful. FAHREE is additionally supported by mugham vocalist Ilkin Dovlatov who adds really beautiful vocal notes during the chorus. This also makes the song reminiscent of the 2016 winner, namely Jamala with 1944 (a personal favourite), so who knows, maybe the same is in store for Azerbaijan this year! 

  1. Australia: Electric Fields – One Milkali (One Blood)

Okay, the clip is a bit intense as two people stare at you for three minutes, but otherwise Australia – not to be confused with Austria – sends in a very fine song with One Milkali (One Blood) by Electric Fields. The story behind it is especially good. Zaachariaha Fielding sings not only in English but also in Yankunytjatjara. The latter is an aboriginal language spoken in Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands (also known as the APY Lands of South Australia): Fielding’s home base. That an aboriginal language and culture get recognition and attention in an ESF entry is a beautiful and important statement by Team Australia – especially given the discrimination that still exists in the country towards (among others) Aboriginals. 

  1. Portugal: iolanda – Grito

A work of art. The proof that less is more. Goosebumps. Just some reactions to this year’s Portuguese entry, Grito by iolanda. An entry that may take some getting used to, but is actually a gem. The song is not really appreciated, as it is almost at the bottom with the bookmakers. Unjustified if you ask me, just for the fact that Portugal dares to do something different. No trendy tunes, but a pure Portuguese piece of culture. Wouldn’t it be a shame if this entry did not make it to the finals?

  1. Luxembourg: TALI – Fighter

Luxembourg is back! After an absence of 31 years since the last participation in 1993, the country will again participate in the Eurovision Song Contest. The honour goes to the 23-year-old Tali Golergant, stage name TALI. Her song Fighter is partly in French and partly in English. One of the song’s co-authors and co-producers is Dario Faini. He had also previously worked on the popular song Soldi for Mahmood (2019). He also contributed to Italy’s entry for this edition. But back to Fighter, according to TALI, the song is about “persevering and finding strength even in the toughest moments in life”; a typical Eurovision theme. A special ‘Eurovision version’ has also been made of this song in which the song has become a bit more dynamic. The act itself is not super original, but that does not matter to the real Eurovision fans, they are happy that Luxembourg is back.

Second Semi-Final: Thursday, 09 May, 2024, 21:00 CEST

  1. Malta: Sarah Bonnici – Loop

Well, one thing is clear – Sarah Bonnici can dance! The melody is rather simple, but the hypnotic beats and Sarah’s charisma can elevate the song to an experience, a journey through the loop of electronic sounds. The artist’s style is perfect for this bop and will be a great stage act but still, there is the danger of it being slightly boring. A good party song is always nice, but Loop feels like we have seen it already. Therefore, team Malta should do something more innovative with the staging on the big night or the question still stands – will a sexy lady dancing around a bunch of good-looking guys be enough to redeem for the last place last year?

  1. Albania: BESA – TITAN

If there is one country being underrated year after year at the ESC, it is certainly Albania. Sure, this country’s entry may not be to your taste. But let’s be honest, with TITAN by BESA the Balkan country once again sends a steady and powerful song. The singer’s range is mega and the song is well put together. In the comments under the music video, many people say BESA reminds them of singer Sia – you know, the one from Chandelier. It seems to me that BESA can’t get a better compliment, and it’s not unjustified. Now the only thing left to do is to vote for her because as it seems now Albania will not even make it to the final. Sad. 

  1. Greece: Marina Satti – ZARI

The music video of the song ZARI starts with a very sweet, Love Actually-like airport scene, guided by traditional Greek tunes. After that a harder beat follows and we find ourselves between the traditional hotspots of Athens while singer Marina Satti raps and sings about a tumultuous love and letting what needs to happen happen. The aesthetic of the music video is very cool and also serves as an advertisement for Greek tourism. Not only do we see some hotspots like the Acropolis, but tzatziki, gyros and Greek folk dancing are also widely promoted. The choreography is clearly made to be copied on TikTok. While the lyrics or melody itself don’t stand out, it is fun to see a mix between very modern and traditional Greek music.

  1. Switzerland: Nemo – The Code

One fan described this song as a ‘vocal roller coaster’, and I think that’s very accurate. It is a very cool mix of different genres, and the video clip is also fun to watch. Personally, I’m very curious how it will play out live on stage in May! The song is about Nemo’s non-binary identity, hence the lyrics ‘I broke the code’ and ‘Somewhere between the O’s and ones, That’s where I found my kingdom come’. The Eurovision Song Contest bookmakers are also keeping an eye on the song; at the time of writing, it’s already in first place! In other words, this is a song to watch out for!

  1. Czechia: Aiko – Pedestal

A “self-love, post-breakup anthem” is how Aiko describes her song Pedestal. Her song has two versions: one with ‘vulgar’ language and a specially adapted version in which the language is changed for it to comply with the Eurovision rules. For example, “I’m tired of explaining your shit” has become “Pathetic and I’m over it”. Aiko says she wrote the song when she was ‘very angry’ and you can hear that. The song fits completely into the Olivia Rodrigo Zeitgeist, so perhaps she will get some votes with this. Her live versions allegedly improve every time, so hopefully, she will continue that trend all the way to Malmö. The act itself is not super special, Aiko is on stage together with two dancers. By the way, Aiko would not have been their entry if it had been up to the Czechs. Based on the Czech vote, she finished in fifth place (out of seven) in the national selection show, but because of the international voters (who counted for 70%), we will still see her in Malmö.

France: Slimane – Mon Amour (already qualified for the finals)

Name something more stereotypical than France bringing a French ballad about love to Eurovision. Slimane is undoubtedly a talented singer who has achieved great success within France for his previous works. He has great control over the dramatic yet beautiful vocals which carry this song from start to finish. There is little doubt that Mon Amour will most likely be a song that the juries will love and the audience might appreciate as a break from the other high-beat songs represented this year. However, despite its strengths, I personally can’t seem to fall in love with the song. For me, it is so expected that it leaves me craving something different. 

  1. Austria: Kaleen – We Will Rave

Austria brings the zeros to Malmö with Kaleen’s quintessential Eurovision song We Will Rave. Zeros? Yes! For anyone who grew up in the era, the song will surely evoke nostalgic feelings. It is a true Eurodance song that you expect on the Eurovision stage, but certainly not cliché. The song is inspired by techno music, although it may not necessarily be a rave song, which the title implies. Still, it’s extremely danceable, and dancing Kaleen can certainly do, as she shows in the music video. All the more interesting to see if she will show those moves live during her performance in Malmö. Although it is a song that fits well on the Eurovision stage, it is certainly unique enough to secure a place in the left row!

  1. Denmark: SABA – SAND

Don’t be misguided by the title, SAND is not a summer tune to be blasted by the pool. Well, Denmark is not exactly famous for its sandy beaches anyway, so it makes sense that the song is more serious. It was written by Melanie Wehbe about an ex-partner, but SABA has said that for her the song represents her lifelong mental health struggle and the feeling of losing control while everything you hold onto is slipping through your fingers. And this connection between artist and song can easily be felt in SABA’s performance, blending catchy beats with soulful vocals. Being the favourite and getting an easy win at the Melodi Gran Prix, SABA’s show on stage was rather conservative despite all the beautiful lightwork so we’re looking forward to seeing how the promise of scaling it up for Malmö will work out. SABA’s strong artistic presence and the experience of the songwriting duo Thander-Wehbe, who have already worked on major Eurovision songs, might be Denmark’s opportunity to finally get through the semifinals for the first time since 2019!

  1. Armenia: LADANIVA – Jako

The music video of Jako by the Armenian band LADANIVA immediately transports you to a traditional Armenian village. Between chickens, gaslights and traditional clothes, it reminds me of tight-knit communities. Meanwhile, the singer of the band sings about freedom and 

breaking tradition by doing what she wants. The melodic tunes make it easy to sing along to the song and give it the potential to be stuck in your head days after hearing it. The music style seems to be traditional Armenian, but is, in fact, influenced by many other styles like Russian, South American and Indian music, but also by reggae and jazz.

  1. Latvia: Dons – Hollow

Much less flashy than the typical Eurovision entries, and lacking the extravagant stage sets, props, costumes, backup dancers and lights, Latvia’s song Hollow may fall under the radar. However, this is not to say that it is bad, quite the opposite. The song is far from hollow, sung with heart, and power, and backed by a dramatic orchestra accompaniment. A quality performer does not need extravagance and flash to make an impact, and Dons proves this with a fierceness in his eye that will likely take the audience’s collective breath away. 

Spain: Nebulossa – ZORRA (already qualified for the finals)

Electropop duo Nebulossa, consisting of singer María “Mery” Bas, also known as Spain’s Madonna, and keyboardist and producer Mark Dasousa will represent Spain at the Song Contest with the song ZORRA. For those of us who don’t speak Spanish, it sounds like an upbeat song full of disco vibes, but in Spain itself, Nebulossa’s win has caused quite a stir. The song’s title, ZORRA is the female version of the well-known word “zorro,” which means “fox”. With “zorro,” you probably also think of the masked character of the same name, but in its feminine form it is often used as an insult, like words like “slut”. This led to a debate about whether such a song is appropriate for the Song Contest, with it seeming that proponents who see the song as an anthem for the feminist movement in Spain have won, as we will see Nebulossa beaming on stage in May.

  1. San Marino: MEGARA – 11:11

This year, San Marino will be represented by Spanish alternative rock band MEGARA. MEGARA previously tried to secure a spot on the Eurovision stage as Spain’s representative in 2022 and 2023, and again in 2024, they competed in the pre-selection of Benidorm Fest (the national music competition from which the Spanish entry has been determined since 2022). Unfortunately, it was not a success this year either. Nevertheless, they did find their way to Malmö through Una Voce per San Marino 2024, the preselection for San Marino’s Eurovision entry. Their song 11:11 was modified by adding some Italian parts and voila: MEGARA is competing in Eurovision! 11:11 can definitely be called a rock song, with a synth here and there that also makes it a bit glam. It fits within the trend of rock entries that has prevailed since Måneskin’s win.  Does it stand out? Not necessarily. At least it’s not as iconic as the 2019 entry (Say Na Na Na by Serhat).

  1. Georgia: Nutsa Buzaladze – Fire Fighter

For the first time since 2016, Georgia is hoping to secure a final place again, and with Nutsa Buzaladze’s entry, that is not out of the question. The singer made a name for herself by taking part in American Idol in 2023, having already won Georgia’s version of X Factor in 2015. The music video has super tight choreography and it will undoubtedly look good on stage too. The song itself is entirely in English and very easy to follow, but at the same time also lacks a bit of originality. Still, the total package might just be good enough for a spot in the grand final. 

  1. Belgium: Mustii – Before the Party’s Over

Before the Party’s Over from Mustii is not for everyone, but one cannot deny that especially the last part of this song makes it a real earworm. It slowly builds and builds and builds, just like many songs do, and ends with an epic finale where the vocals you were waiting for finally hit you. Mustii is not wasting any time, he certainly makes sure that it is known by all that he will make his moves even before the party is over. The song is smartly written and Mustii has a powerful vocal range. However, it misses some variety, as the real exciting part is towards the end and it contains quite some repetition. Overall, the song is good but not great! Let’s say it ends up around tenth place, which would be a great result!

  1. Estonia: 5MIINUST & Puuluup – (nendest) narkootikumidest ei tea me (küll) midagi 

5MIINUST is an Estonian hip-hop group, while Puuluup is an Estonian ‘nu-folk’ duo. Their collaboration results in an interesting mix of folk, hip-hop and upbeat techno. But they make it work! Translated, the song title is ‘We (sure) know nothing about (these) drugs’. Apparently, it was inspired by a comment about drugs made by a band member during a car trip. Another fun fact is that this entry now holds the record for the longest title in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest. I’m eager to hear how the commentators will tackle pronouncing it!

Italy: Angelina Mango – La noia (already qualified for the finals)

Italy’s Eurovision entry this year, La noia by Angelina Mango, makes me want to go to Italy, drink a Negroni or Aperol Spritz with friends, and enjoy the Mediterranean life in Rome. And I think this is exactly what the song wants, as La noia means “the Boredom” and Mango sings about breaking free from a sometimes boring life, trying to find something more meaningful. The song does this with exciting sounds, a catchy hook, and the beautiful Italian language. Italy’s Eurovision entries are always quite strong, think here about Mahmood’s Soldi who came in second in 2019 and, of course, Maneskin who won in 2021. If Angelina Mango delivers, she may end up in this list of strong Italian contenders. I expect this song to do well with televoting, where a top 10 entry for La noia would be absolutely deserved. 

  1. Israel: Eden Golan – Hurricane

The Israeli entry is chosen based on the preselection show HaKokhav HaBa. This year, the show was won by Eden Golan. However, the selection of the song with which Eden Golan will represent Israel has been quite controversial. In fact, the first two entries were rejected by the EBU. The first entry was titled October Rain. Both the title and the lyrics would refer to the October 7 attacks, which initiated the current war between Israel and Palestine and was, therefore, rejected by the EBU. The second entry Dance Forever was also deemed too politically charged by the EBU, as this song would refer to the Nova festival. In the end, the song Hurricane was approved. Whether it stands a chance is rather questionable, as Israel’s participation in itself is already strongly debated. Want to read more about the conflict? Then I can recommend reading this and this article. 

  1. Norway: Gåte – Ulveham

Norway has brought to Eurovision this year a song which combines both folk and rock. The lead singer does a great job at powerfully presenting the more raw vocals without losing control. The song, entirely in Norwegian, is interesting to listen to and is not easy to forget. I am also looking forward to seeing how Norway will stage this song in May. However, there is a risk that this song could be less memorable than other strong contenders this year, such as Ireland and Italy. Gåte’s Ulveham could end up being as memorable as Go_A’s Shum or as forgettable as Alvan & Ahez’s Fulenn. I hope it is more the former than the latter, as this song is one of the ones I am looking forward to most. 

  1. Netherlands: Joost Klein – Europapa

If Eurovision was a song, it might be Europapa by Joost Klein and no, I am not saying this as a biased Dutchie. The song is an ode to Europe where there are no borders, just like when you want your dreams to come true. At the same time, the song has an emotional message and serves as a letter from Joost to his father. All this is wrapped up in a catchy song that will stay in your head all day. Anyone longing for the 90s will be able to relate to Europapa because of the references to the Dutch gabber culture and, to top it all off, a dance break with some happy hardcore. Europapa is probably the proof that the Netherlands does not just opt for safe, calm songs à la Duncan Laurence, but actually knows how to party. We will see you on the dance floor in May!

Grand Final: Saturday, 11 May, 2024, 21:00 CEST

The finals will ultimately reveal which country and artist(s) will walk away with the honour this year. Who can call themselves the winner of the Eurovision Song Festival 2024? May 11 promises to be an exciting evening! 

Now of course, we could end by saying that all entries are winners and so on, but we won’t do that this year (wow!)… After all, we have already determined our favourites ourselves. Shaping Europe hopes one of these entries will win (and that the rest of the list finishes high):

  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Croatia
  • Ireland
  • Lithuania
  • The Netherlands
  • Serbia
  • Switzerland

Which country are you cheering for this week?

This article has been written by all the Shaping Europe editors.

Image: Shutterstock