Eurovision 2024 nominees: our top 10, from Bambi Thug to Baby Lasagna

The 2024 Eurovision Song Contest is underway, with all the qualifying countries now revealed and on their way to the grand final on Saturday (11 May).

Eurovision is usually known for its colorful atmosphere, where fans celebrate each country’s musical talent alongside plenty of dramatic performances, funny costumes and phenomenal vocal performances.

However, this year’s event is the subject of major controversy due to the refusal of European Broadcasting Union (EBU) organizers to ban Israel from participating, amid calls for a boycott over its ongoing war on Gaza.

It is expected that protests will take place outside the Malmo Arena in Sweden, which is hosting the competition this year after its delegate Lauren was crowned the winner of the 2023 edition with her song “Tattoo.”

On Tuesday 7 May, the first semi-final was held, and saw candidates Bambi Thug (Ireland) and Pepe Lasagna (Croatia) reach the final, alongside Finnish team Window95Man and delegates from Luxembourg, Serbia, Ukraine, Portugal, Lithuania and Italy. Cyprus.

The second semi-final match on Thursday, May 9, saw Latvia, Austria, the Netherlands, Norway, Greece, Israel, Estonia, Switzerland, Georgia and Armenia qualify.

The UK’s place in the final has been secured thanks to its status as one of the ‘Big Five’ countries making the biggest contribution to the event, alongside France, Italy, Germany and Spain. Sweden also secured a place after winning last year’s competition.

As the competition heats up, here are the top 10 favorites to win the Eurovision Song Contest 2024, in no particular order.

Irish singer-songwriter Bambi Ray Robinson, also known as Bambi Thug, represents Ireland (TT/AFP via Getty Images)

Irish Eurovision 2024 contestant Bambi Thug is the favorite in this year’s contest.

Bambi, who uses ‘they/them/their’ pronouns, is the first Irish contestant to reach the Eurovision final since 2018. They were voted out after the first semi-final thanks to their stunning performance of ‘Doomsday Blue’. It is a dramatic composition that mixes elements of industrial metal, pop, opera and techno.

“I think there’s something for everyone,” Bambi said of their song. “There’s a spoken word at the beginning, there’s a pop chorus, then there’s a screaming part, there’s an energetic, almost friendly part, and then there’s the electrical breakdown where I can scream my lungs out. I’m just showing off, basically!”

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“Doomsday Blues” has all the essential elements of a successful Eurovision entry: it’s bold, ambitious and includes excellent theatrics, with Bambi appearing in a witch costume while surrounded by devilish-looking dancers.

Baby Lasagna performs during the Eurovision 2024 semi-final (AP)

The current favorite to win bears some similarities to Finland’s 2023 runner-up Kargi and his song “Cha Cha Cha”, which many believe Sweden’s Loren stole the crown from.

Like “Cha Cha Cha,” Baby Lasagna’s “Rim Tim Tagi Dim” is a fun, techno-influenced ride, with a roaring guitar riff, pounding drums and vocalist Marko Burisić singing in a deep growl: “Ayy, I’m big boy now/I’m ready to leave Chow, mama, chow/ Aye, I’m a big boy now/ I’ll go away and sell my cow.

The theatrical presentation of this is also crazy, with neon cows, goats and horses projected onto the giant stage, fireworks, a nun/washerwoman who also dances, and a band wearing masks. There’s even a patented dance move (a sort of march on the spot with an elbow thrust) and an applause break for fans to participate in. Perfect material for Eurovision, and very entertaining!

Nemo – the “symbol” representing Switzerland

Nemo represents Switzerland at Eurovision 2024 (TT/AFP via Getty Emma)

Swiss delegate Nemo, who uses they/them/them pronouns, explore themes of sexual identity through their elaborate anthem “The Blade,” which cleverly plays the habanera aria from Georges Bizet’s 1875 opera Carmen It will also likely draw comparisons to many classic James Bond themes.

It’s suitably dramatic, with vocal frills, belts and some big falsetto notes towards the climax. Oh, and rapping. With their angelic face, adorable costumes, and excellent live delivery, Nemo is another tough character to beat, and definitely a worthy winner.

Angelina Mango – “La noia”, Italian actress

Angelina Mango will represent Italy in the Eurovision final (Danielle Venturelli/Getty Images)

Angelina Mango has some big shoes to fill after the successes of previous Italian delegates including rock band Maniskin, who won in 2021, and hip-hop artist Mahmoud, (who came in second place in 2019 and then in sixth place in 2019). 2022), and Marco Mengioni, who came in fourth place last year.

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We’re confident she’ll do well, with her upbeat and laid-back song “La Noia”, making us long for hot summer days and lively nights with its breezy guitar and catchy pop melodies from Mango.

Mango had already enjoyed success as a pop singer in Italy with singles including “Che t’o dico a fa” and “Ci pensiamo domani”. She also happens to be the daughter of Laura Valenti, the former singer of Italian pop band Mattia Bazaar, and the late Giuseppe Mango (known to fans simply as “Mango”), who tragically passed away after suffering a heart attack during a concert in 2014. Which means this It will likely be a very emotional moment for Manju when she performs her song to the world.

Tali – “fighter” representing Luxembourg

Next during the first semi-final of Eurovision 2024 (TT News/AFP via Getty Emma)

Talley’s song in Latin-accented French is sure to attract Eurovision voters when she performs it in the grand final. It’s no different than 2022 Spanish contestant Chanel’s “SloMo”, which delighted audiences with its sensual dancing and instantly catchy chorus.

Interestingly, she brings to mind Woodkid in the English section of the track, before ramping up the drama with bursts of flame and some great backing harmonies. Mervilious!

Marina Satti – “ZARI”, Greek actress

Marina Satti will represent Greece at Eurovision 2024 (Getty Images)

Marina Sati will have to be voted through to the second semi-final in order to win a place in the final on Saturday, but we’re not worried. Her pop hit “ZARI” plays on her heritage and makes the most of her enchanting voice redolent of Spanish superstar Rosalía.

Like Rosalía, Satie also incorporates reggaeton, but also the Greek version of bagpipes, tsambouna, and a lot of vocoder on the vocals. It may sound strange to some listeners, but Satie and her co-writers have actually managed to produce very contemporary pop music that could easily make its way onto our summer playlists.

Kalin – “We’ll rave” representative of Austria

Austrian Kalin hopes to wow Eurovision fans (TT/AFP via Getty Emma)

Eurovision is never short of a rowdy club, and this year there are at least three for audience members to enjoy. One of our favorite songs is Austrian Kalin’s “We Will Rave,” which channels Cascada with its pulsating, New Decade-style dance tune.

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It’s a breathless performance, so the only danger is that it struggles to stay in the audience’s minds long enough to persuade them to cast their votes, to memorable scores from Croatia, Ireland and Switzerland.

However, the musical’s racing beats are so undeniably catchy, and Kaleen’s performance is so confident, it’s doubtful you’ll be able to get that earworm out of your head for quite some time.

Alyona Alyona and Jerry Hill “Teresa and Maria” representing Ukraine

Alyona Alyona and Jerry Hall during the first Eurovision semi-final (TT/AFP via Getty Emma)

Ukraine’s hot 2024 anthem “Teresa & Maria” comes from Ukrainian singer-songwriter Jerry Hill, who rose to fame around 2019 with her hit song “Okhrana otmjena”, along with her popular YouTube channel.

Meanwhile, rapper and former teacher Aliona Aliona takes her influences from hip-hop stars like Eminem, Nicki Minaj and Missy Elliott, and has been compared to Azealia Banks by New York times.

“Teresa and Maria” is inspired by the Roman Catholic saint Mother Teresa and the Virgin Mary, and delves into themes of responsibility, divinity and love. The pair both made it through the first semi-final, so you’ll definitely see them competing on Saturday.

Windows95Man – “There are no rules!”, representing Finland

Windows95Man performs in the first semi-final of Eurovision 2024 (TT/AFP via Getty Emma)

Another wild display from everyone’s favorite underdogs, who have so far only won the competition once since their debut in 1961. That was with Finnish metal band Lordi and their song “Hard Rock Hallelujah”, which remains one of the most underrated Eurovision performances. Absolutely forgettable. time.

“No rules!” by Windows95Man They may be outdone, however, thanks to an exceptional show by the Windows95Man duo, which includes a giant denim egg and some questionable costumes (or lack thereof).

Eurovision organizers will have to hope he can avoid dropping his shorts during the risky choreography in the grand final, after they were voted off in the first semi-final on Tuesday 7 May.

Joost – “Europapa” representative of the Netherlands

Dutch delegate to Eurovision 2024, Joost Klein (TT News/AFP via Getty Emma)

Rivaling Windows95Man, at least in terms of sheer weirdness, is Ghost and his Europop crew nicknamed “Europapa”.

As mentioned, Eurovision is clearly trying to bring back the club’s star; Joost is on hand with this crazy, relentless bop that flits from Dutch to English and mentions everything from “escargot” to “fish and chips.” Do we understand that? No, do we like it anyway? definitely.

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