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Who will win Eurovision 2024? Here are Euronews Culture's predictions

Euronews Culture's Eurovision 2024 predictions
Euronews Culture's Eurovision 2024 predictions Copyright Eurovision - YouTube
Copyright Eurovision - YouTube
By David MouriquandTheo Farrant, Elise Morton, Anca Ulea, Jonny Walfisz
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"12 POINTS TO..." Here are our predictions on which act will win Eurovision this year.

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The Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals are next week, before the Grand Final on Saturday 11 May.

Putting aside all the controversy and security concerns, the Euronews Culture team have picked their hot favourites for glory.

Theo Farrant’s top pick: Nemo – The Code (Switzerland)

If I had to put my money on a Eurovision winner this year, it would be 'The Code' by Nemo, representing Switzerland.

Why? Well, firstly, it's my favourite out of the bunch; an incredibly original and catchy song. Secondly, it's currently the bookies' number one darling.

'The Code' is pretty batshit. It mixes drum and bass, pop-rap and opera. Imagine what you'd get if you locked Chase & Status, Macklemore, and Pavarotti in a studio and forced them to create a Eurovision contender. While that might sound like a recipe for disaster, the Swiss entry somehow manages to avoid sounding gimmicky and instead offers something that Eurovision has never really heard before. It’s both bonkers and brilliant.

A big part of the magic is the stunning vocal performance by non-binary 24-year-old Nemo, who I anticipate we'll be hearing a lot more from after the competition. The song reflects their journey of self-discovery and acceptance through a simple metaphor of binary computer code.

While the lyrics are pretty straightforward, they pack a punch. Gradually building in intensity, shifting between styles and vocal deliveries, 'The Code' culminates in a climax of pure orchestral grandeur that would make James Bond blush. Soaring strings and energetic drums accompany Nemo as they erupt into a powerful falsetto for the final chorus.

When it comes to staging, the song has huge potential to be a visual spectacle. I'm imagining computer codes being projected onto the stage, flashes of pyrotechnics over the lyrics “I went to Hell and back to find myself on track”, and fabulous otherworldly costumes.

If Nemo is able to deliver the song on the night, which would be a great feat considering the challenging vocal lines, I believe it could easily make history for Switzerland again, joining previous legends like Lys Assia and Céline Dion.

Better start saving for Eurovision 2025, folks, because Geneva ain’t cheap! TF

Anca Ulea’s top pick: Joost Klein – Europapa (Netherlands)

Okay, let’s talk about 'Europapa'.

First off, have you ever heard a more Eurovision-sounding name for a song?

This year’s Dutch entry by 26-year-old Joost Klein is an effervescent techno-pop banger and just an outrageously good time. He clearly understood the assignment and he deserves some recognition by Eurovision voters.

In the official music video released on 29 February, which already has over 21 million views, Klein takes cues from early-2000s cartoons. His exaggerated expressions and surrealist costumes, including a 10-gallon cowboy hat and a blue suit with comically-large shoulder pads, are high camp worthy of a Eurovision final.

But unlike some Eurovision acts from across the years, Klein makes sure his song isn’t detached from the country he’s representing. On the contrary, there are a lot of things that make 'Europapa' very, very Dutch.

The Friesland native performs in front of a windmill, sits in a “Last Supper”-inspired dinner scene with previous Dutch Eurovision acts S10 and René Froger, and pays homage to Gabber, the distinctly Dutch techno subculture that emerged in the 1990s.

So 'Europapa' is catchy, it’s campy and it’s undeniably Dutch. But the real reason I think it deserves success at Eurovision is the story behind the song. Despite its bubbly surface, Europapa is a deep reflection on Klein’s relationship with his deceased parents. The lyrics mention his father, who died of cancer when Klein was 12, followed by his mother a year later. According to Klein, the song is a tribute to his father’s optimistic view of the world.

“‘Europapa' is about an orphan who travels throughout Europe (and beyond) to find himself and tell his story,” Klein said. “At first, people don't recognise him, but he goes on seizing any opportunity he gets to let himself be seen. 'Europapa' is a tribute to my father. When bringing me up, he passed on to me an expansive view of the world"

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The last time the Dutch won the song contest was in 2019, with Duncan Laurence’s now ubiquitous 'Arcade' - but it’s been an uphill battle for the Netherlands since then.

Could Joost Klein be the winner the Netherlands have been waiting for? Bookmakers currently rank the Dutch candidate third, with a 15% chance of winning the final. I, for one, can’t wait to see his performance onstage. AU

Jonny Walfisz’s top pick: Baby Lasagna - Rim Tim Tagi Dim (Croatia)

I’m gonna say what we’re all thinking. Last year’s Eurovision Song Contest was rigged. Of course it was. The 50th anniversary of ABBA winning with their song ‘Waterloo’ this year meant the organisers had to have the competition return to Sweden. Even with ABBA’s own insistence that they won’t join the night for an on-stage reunion in Malmö, the city has already announced it will open ‘ ABBA World ’ and the show itself will feature a massive tribute to the group.

To organise this fix, Sweden put forward Loreen as their entry last year. Given she won in 2012 with her song ‘Euphoria’, it was a frankly unsporting decision. Nonetheless, her enjoyable if ‘Euphoria’-adjacent song ‘Tattoo’ netted them the win, thanks mainly to the heavily (read as: suspiciously) stacked Jury Vote in her favour.

The 2023 winner should have, of course, been runners up Finland. Käärijä’s song ‘Cha Cha Cha’ received the lion’s share of the transparently-legitimate Televote. Deservedly so. It was a breath of fresh air with its combination of chintzy Euro-pop, Nordic metal, and outlandish live visuals.

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We can’t change the past but we can atone via future actions. That’s why Croatia deserves to win this year. After two years of overly safe winners, they’re the country with the most bizarre entry to 2024’s competition. Weirdos used to win Eurovision regularly. That's the whole point of Eurovision. We used to be a continent.

Before we even discuss the song, it’s clear the Croats are onto something by electing an act called Baby Lasagna to represent them. Is it a reference to their geographic and cultural neighbour Italy? That would almost make sense. According to Wikipedia, Baby Lasagna – real name Marko Purišić – came up with his name while having a headache in Novigrad. Of course!

‘Rim Tim Tagi Dim’ was written by Mr. Lasagna himself and is reminiscent of last year’s ‘Cha Cha Cha’ in the way it utilises the quintessential Eurovision aesthetic of pairing heavy metal instrumentation with folk trappings of the native country. It’s a head banging, foot stomping, sing-along nonsensical insta-classic.

Mr. Lasagna says the song is about young rural men leaving the countryside for opportunity in foreign countries. It’s time this young rural man is allowed to return home from Malmö, bringing the Eurovision Song Contest with him for 2025. JW

David Mouriquand’s top pick: Bambie Thug – Doomsday Blue (Ireland)

I can foresee Italy’s Angelina Mango with her song ‘La Noia’ doing well this year, and having put myself through all the songs (my ears are screaming bloody murder), my colleague Theo speaks the truth: the odds are strongly in Switzerland’s favour. However, for the sake of argument, consider Ireland’s entry Bambie Thug and their song ‘Doomsday Blue’.

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The half Irish, half Swedish non-binary artist (real name Bambie Ray Robinson) hails from County Cork, and their song stands out not only for its electro-metal-pop genre splicing that contrasts with some of the more obvious Eurovision-sounding entries this year, but also because of its themes of unrequited love, betrayal, as well as the various occult references throughout.

Hardly surprising considering witchcraft is reportedly a big part of Bambie Thug’s life, and the fact they invented their own genre of music called "Ouija-Pop", after the Ouija board which, let’s not forget, allowed Regan to communicate with Captain Howdy. I’m stopping myself there, otherwise this prediction piece will turn into another one of my tirades about how The Exorcist is the greatest film of all time.

The magic can be heard from the initial incantation “Avada Kedavra, I speak to destroy / The feelings I have, I cannot avoid / Through twisted tongues, a hex deployed on you.”

Who hasn’t had thoughts of hexing an ex? Be honest, now. It’s imminently relatable. 

And yes, before everyone gets their Goth Barbiecore capes in a twist, Bambie has addressed the fact that the “Killing Curse” popularised by the Harry Potter franchise feels somewhat odd because of J.K. Rowling’s controversial stance on transgender issues. They stated that they were "not a fan" of the author, but instead a "fan of being clever with language".

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Now that’s out of the way, Bambie’s story is also one worth dwelling on. According to Bambie, they initially applied for Eurosong 2024 to "curse out" memories of being raped in May 2023 by an unnamed acquaintance. By being selected this year, have become the first ever non-binary Eurovision participant (upon selection, that is – they join the aforementioned Nemo this year for this distinction) - which is both worth celebrating and also somewhat surprising considering the contest’s LGBTQIA+ representation and following.

And if you needed another reason to champion Bambie Thug, take into consideration that their inclusion in Eurovision has brought some conservative Irish figures out of their shit crypts, with many labelling Bambie too “woke” and too “Satanical” to represent Ireland. There was even an Irish Catholic priest, Father Declan McInerney, who criticised Bambie and sermonised about how "the poor devil can neither sing nor dance".

All wrong, padre. If there’s one thing the devil can do, it’s boogie. And Eurovision could do with a bit more darkness, a soupçon of despair dispelling, and far more witch screams over pop choruses and guitar riffs. Vote Bambie Thug. DM

Elise Morton’s top pick: alyona alyona & Jerry Heil - Teresa & Maria (Ukraine)

I’ve long been a fan of Ukrainian superstars alyona alyona and Jerry Heil, so a Eurovision entry featuring both was bound to be a winner in my book!

Their track, 'Teresa & Maria' is just as good as their past collaborations, with alyona alyona displaying her rapping talents alongside Jerry Heil’s distinctive singing voice.

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What’s more, their highly catchy song celebrates the courage and strength of women, and reminds us that even the greatest “divas” in history were just “human beings”… What’s not to like?

The linguistic geek in me also loves that the song is largely in Ukrainian, a language I studied for a year at university and still really enjoy hearing. Hearing different languages, rather than everything being in English, always makes Eurovision much more interesting.

To get to know the solo work of these two very different but equally great artists, I’d recommend taking a listen to 'Big and Funny' by alyona alyona and 'Dream' by Jerry Heil, who first shot to fame when she posted videos of herself singing on YouTube.

Ukraine’s entry last year, 'Heart of Steel' by Tvorchi, came in sixth place, but I’m hopeful Ukraine could win a place in the top five – or perhaps even clinch the victory, like Kalush Orchestra in 2022. The bookies suggest they’re in with a chance! EM

The Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals are on Tuesday 7 and Thursday 9 May before the Grand Final on Saturday 11 May.

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