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Eurovision 2024. Favorites in the final. Whistling and shouting during an Israeli song

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We know the full list of this year's Eurovision 2024 finalists. Among others, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Austria, Greece and Israel will perform in Saturday's concert. During the performance of the representative of the latter country – Eden Golan – whistles, boos and shouts could be heard.

The final of Eurovision 2024 is getting closer. After last year's victory of the Swedish song “Tattoo” performed by Loreen (the singer also won in 2012 with the song “Euphoria”), Sweden won the right to host Eurovision, hosting the competition for the seventh time. For the third time in history, Eurovision takes place in Malmö – the third largest city in the country in terms of population.

Changed voting rules in the semi-finals have been in force since last year. The European Broadcasting Network (EBU) has decided that only viewers will decide who gets to the final, and not, as was previously the case, the combined votes of viewers and jury panels. The jurors watched the dress rehearsals before each concert. If the vote in any country is considered invalid, the jury's votes will be taken into account.

The first semi-final of the 68th Eurovision Song Contest took place on Tuesday. Among the 15 songs fighting for promotion was also “The Tower” performed by the Polish representative Luna. Although the singer did great, the competition – including this year's favorites – turned out to be stronger. Finally, on Tuesday, the following teams reached the final: Serbia, Portugal, Slovenia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Finland, Cyprus, Croatia, Ireland and Luxembourg.

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The favorites did not disappoint

On Thursday, 16 teams took to the stage at the Malmö Arena, fighting for 10 places in the final, as well as three of the “Big Five” countries: France, Spain and Italy, which have a guaranteed participation in Saturday's concert. Just like on Tuesday, this time the favorites did not disappoint. Bookmakers and Eurovision fans predict that the Swiss song “Code”, performed by Nemo, has a good chance of winning this year. The 24-year-old representative of Switzerland in Malmo is non-binary and does not use generic personal pronouns. They also prefer to have their name inserted into the sentence instead of a personal pronoun.

READ ALSO: The most popular songs of Eurovision 2024. List

Nemo caused a wave of admiration already during the national preselections. The song “Code” – co-produced by Poles: Wojciech Kostrzewa and Nikodem Milewski – combines elements of several musical genres and aesthetics: pop, rap, drum and bass and opera. However, in Nemo's text, they included a personal journey they went through in the process of finding their own gender identity.

“Europapa” by Dutch creator Joost Klein has a good chance of winning. The lively song, in the spirit of Dutch dance music legends 2Unlimited and Vengaboys, hides in the lyrics the personal experiences of a musician who lost his parents at a young age. At the same time, it is an ode to the united Europe that he visited in search of himself.

SEE ALSO: Eurovision 2024. How to vote and how are the votes counted?

The performances of: Aiko (Czech Republic), Kaleen (Austria), Mustii (Belgium), 5miinust, Puuluup (Estonia) and Gate (Norway) also aroused great enthusiasm among the audience.

Ultimately, the second final ten consists of: Dons (Latvia), Kaleen (Austria), Joost Klein (Netherlands), Gate (Norway), Eden Golan (Israel), Marina Satti (Greece), 5miinust, Puuluup (Estonia), Nemo (Switzerland) ), Nuca Buzaladze (Georgia) and Ladaniva (Armenia).

This year's favorites – from Thursday's performances – also include three proposals representing the “Big Five” countries: France, Spain and Italy. Due to the changes adopted in this year's competition rules, for the first time in history, vocalists from these countries could perform live in the semi-final concerts, even though they do not have to fight for a place in the final. France is represented this year by Slimane with the moving ballad “Mon Amour”. This year, the Spanish duo Nebulossa arouses admiration with the song “Zorra”. “La noia” performed by Angelina Mango is this year's candidate for victory from Italy.

Whistling and booing during the performance of the Israeli representative

Israel's participation in this year's edition of Eurovision aroused a lot of attention and controversy, which is taking place in the shadow of protests and calls for the exclusion of the Israeli representation in connection with the war in the Gaza Strip, which is the Israeli government's response to the Hamas attack on October 7 last year.

Israel this year is represented by the song “Hurricane”, performed by 20-year-old Eden Golan. Although bookmakers and some Eurovision fans predict that Golan will finish her participation in Eurovision among the ten best teams, the artist did not have it easy. First, her performance during Wednesday's dress rehearsal was disrupted by pro-Palestinian shouts and boos. During the semi-final concert, expressions of opposition and reluctance towards her presence on stage were also heard: whistles and boos.


It is worth adding that the original lyrics of the song were changed following the objections of the Eurovision organizer. Eden Golan's original song was titled “October Rain” and, according to the EBU, it contained political references to the Hamas attack on Israel. “Hurricane” was the third Israeli proposal. Two previously submitted songs were deemed political songs.

The EBU itself considers Eurovision to be an apolitical event. “Despite this, it excluded Russia from participating in Eurovision in 2022 after several European public broadcasters called for the country's exclusion following the invasion of Ukraine,” Reuters recalled on Thursday.

Swedes “love Eurovision too much”

Already in the semi-finals, the Swedes proved that they can organize a Eurovision show like few others. Thursday's semi-final opened with a short recording in which the hosts of the competition – Swedish comedian and TV presenter Petra Mede and Swedish-American actress Malin Åkerman – sang “Tattoo” by Loreen with changed lyrics describing how to get from Stockholm to Malmo. They then welcomed the audience and viewers in a short monologue in which they joked about some Eurovision stereotypes.

During the voting break, the hosts invited the audience to sing together the songs that had won in previous editions. Helena Paparizou with “My Number One” (Greece 2005), Charlotte Perrelli with “Take Me to Your Heaven” (Sweden 1999) and Sertab Erener with “Everyway That I Can” (Turkey 2003) appeared on stage. ).

Then, one of the hosts, Petra Mede, with the participation of invited guests, performed a satirical, musical piece “We Just Love Eurovision Too Much”, in which various aspects of the competition were highlighted in a humorous way, including the Swedish victories in Eurovision. The Finn Käärijä also appeared on stage with his last year's hit “Cha Cha Cha”. After the results were announced, Herreys performed the song “Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley”, which won the Eurovision Song Contest for Sweden in 1984.

A short history of Eurovision

The Eurovision Song Contest has been organized since 1956 by the European Broadcasting Network, and its formula is inspired by the oldest European song festival, the San Remo Festival. Since then, only one edition of the competition has not been held – in 2020, due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the EBU canceled the competition that was to be held in the Netherlands.

Every year, the final is broadcast to many countries on all continents. And according to official estimates, the competition attracts up to 600 million viewers. According to the EBU, last year the final concert attracted a total of 162 million viewers in the 38 countries where it was broadcast.

Interestingly, in 2015, during the 60th edition of the competition, the Australian team took part as a full participant. This was the first time that a country that was not an active member of the EBU could take part in Eurovision.

This year, teams from 37 countries took part in the competition. 26 of them qualified for the final – ten from each semi-final, plus the Big Five (France, Spain, Germany, Italy and Great Britain) and Sweden – the host country of the competition.

Main photo source: JESSICA GOW/EPA/PAP

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