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  • Writer's pictureFleur Menezes

Eurovision 2024 semi-final 1 preview


Image: EBU / Peppe Andersson

Finally, it is Eurovision week!


The 2024 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest is almost here with the first semi-final kicking off at 5:00am in Australia (AEST) on Wednesday 08 May 2024.


15 acts will compete in this semi-final, with only 10 going on to the Grand Final on Sunday. Australia will be represented by South Australian electronic music duo- Electric Fields with the song ‘One Milkali (One Blood)’. They will be the 13th act to take the stage. 


The big 5 countries plus last year’s winning country- Sweden have automatically qualified for the Grand Final. Another 16 acts will vie for the remaining 10 spots on Friday morning Australian time. 


So who else is participating on Wednesday? Keep reading for a recap in the running order of and their odds of getting through.


*Odds are of 06 May 2024 



1. Cyprus

Silia Kapsis - 'Liar'

Odds to qualify: 1/5 (7th)



This is the second year in a row that Cyprus have opted for a Sydney-sider to represent them after Andrew Lambrou finished in 12th place in Liverpool. Silia may be the baby of this year’s contest at 17 but she has been performing since the age of 4.


The pop-dance singer has been composing her own music since she was 12 and released three songs in 2023. She is also an actor and has featured in numerous television projects on Nickelodeon. Silia has presented on Nick News and was nominated for Aussie/Kiwi Legend of the Year at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards in 2023.


Her song ‘Liar’ was released in February after she was announced as Cyprus’ representative in September 2023.



2. Serbia

Teya Dora- ‘Ramonda’

Odds to qualify: 4/7 (10th)



Serbian singer, songwriter, and producer- Teya Dora will be performing her patriotic ballad ‘Ramonda” in Malmö. Ramonda is a flower that is the symbol for the Serbian people's struggle against the Central Powers in World War I during the Serbian campaign. The Ramonda flower has the ability to revive itself before completely drying out.


Teya Dora debuted her music in 2018 but gained popularity with her song ‘Džanum’ in 2023 which went viral on Tik Tok. She studied music in Boston, USA and chose her stage them whilst living there after her classmates could not pronounce her given name Teodora.


Teya Dora won her ticket to Malmö after being crowned the winner of the Serbian national final Pesma za Evroviziju '24. 



3. Lithuania

Silvester Belt- ‘Luktelk’

Odds to qualify: 1/33 (3rd)



Kaunas native Silvester Belt first attempted to perform on a Eurovision stage when he finished in 8th place at Vaikų Eurovizijos nacionalinė atranka, the Lithuanian preselection for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2010. He has gone on to complete a degree in Commercial Music Performance in London and competed in Lithuanian television music competitions such as X Faktorius (Lithuanian X Factor)


He names Australian pop-sensation Troye Sivan as his ‘all time inspiration’. He released his debut single ‘Noise’ in 2017. Belt describes his music as pop, with some electronic, rave and techno influences. 


Belt was the winner of Eurovizija.LT, this year’s Lithuanian preselection competition where he defeated 2020 and 2021 Lithuanian representatives The Roop in the process. ‘Luktelk” is the second song to be fully performed in Lithuanian at Eurovision after Monika Liu’s ‘Sentimentai’ which finished in 14th place in 2022.



4. Ireland

Bambie Thug- ‘Doomsday Blue’

Odds to qualify: 1/13 (5th)



Coining their own term “ouija-pop”, County Cork native Bambie Thug won Ireland’s national final contest Eurosong 2024 with ‘Doomsday Blue’ an electro-metal breakdown. They have won over Eurovision legend Johnny Logan who believes that they could win this year’s contest with “the song’s uniqueness and staging visuals”.


‘Doomsday Blue’ is the performer's first charting song in their homeland. They are open with their diagnosis of ADHD as a child and are a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community stating that "I like being part of a cool queer rising scene. I also didn't have that growing up so it's important to have people you can relate to and have music that speaks to you and allows you more freedom to be yourself – more queer voices is what the world f***ing needs."


Bambie Thug’s music is inspired by breakups, witchcraft, and drug addiction. They list their favourite artists as Dolly Parton, Britney Spears, Nina Simone, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, and Led Zeppelin.



5. Ukraine

Alyona Alyona and Jerry Heil- ‘Teresa & Maria’

Odds to qualify: 1/100 (=1st)



Ukrainian rap sensation Alyona Alyona and YouTube star Jerry Heil won their country’s preselection contest Vidbir 2024. Heil has competed several times at Vidbir but Alyona Alyona is a newcomer, although she was part of the Ukrainian jury in 2021. Prior to entering the music industry she was a kindergarten teacher.


Heil is more known to the greater Eurovision community after debuting at the preselection contest with the unforgettable ‘Vegan’ which finished in 6th place in 2020. She finished in third place with ‘When God Shut the Door’ in 2023. Heil has been creating YouTube videos since 2012 where she performs cover versions of songs.


‘Teresa & Maria’ is a song about hope inspired by Roman Catholic figures Mother Teresa and the Virgin Mary. Both singers have stated that the song does not revolve around the two figures but they are are symbolic of "charity, love and unification"



6. Poland

Luna- ‘The Tower’

Odds to qualify: 1/4 (8th)



"Cosmic pop" princess Luna hails from Warsaw and was internally selected in February. She has an affinity with nighttime, astrology, space and the moon, which inspired her stage name. She also sleepwalks, which she states further enhanced being known as Luna. Her musical inspirations include Nick Cave and Bjork.


Luna has studied the violin at the National Music School as well as legal and political sciences at the University of Warsaw. She has also previously performed in operas and choirs. She released her first song in 2018, although ‘The Tower’ is her first song to reach the Polish charts.



7. Croatia

Baby Lasagna- ‘Rim Tim Tagi Dim’

Odds to qualify: 1/100 (=1st)



Rammstein fan, Baby Lasagna is the former guitarist for Manntra who placed 4th at Croatian national final Dora 2019. However, it was his runaway win at this year’s contest as a solo artist that has almost everyone manifesting a Croatian win at Eurovision. Unbelievably, Baby Lasagna was a replacement entry for Zsa Zsa who withdrew from Dora 2024 at the eleventh hour.


Being a good old country Croatian boy, Baby Lasagna’s music features autobiographical storytelling, while also addressing broader societal issues, particularly those affecting his country of Croatia. His musical style is a mix of rock, emo, goth, pop punk, techno, metal, and house.


Like Ukraine’s Alyona Alyona, Baby Lasagna comes from a teaching background but left that to study public relations at university. He has also studied tourism and sound engineering before settling on a music career.


‘Rim Tim Tagi Dim’ is about the economic emigration of young Croatians for better opportunities. It was supposed to be an album track on Baby Lasagna’s debut solo album, Demons and Mosquitoes but he later saw the song’s potential. ‘Rim Tim Tagi Dim’ reached no.1 on the Croatian music charts shortly after his win at Dora.



8. Iceland

Hera Björk- ‘Scared of Heights’

Odds to qualify: 8 (15th)



Icelandic queen of song Hera Björk makes her return to the Eurovision stage after her 19th place in 2010 with cult favourite ‘Je ne sais quoi’. Björk won the Icelandic national final Söngvakeppnin 2024. ‘Scared of Heights’ is about overcoming fears and finding strength in the face of adversity. As she has skydived before, it is fair to say that Hera is not scared of heights.


Björk has sung as a backing singer at Eurovision on three occasions for Iceland in 2008, 2009 and 2015 and even finished in second place in the Danish preselecton competition Dansk Melodi Grand Prix in 2009. She finished in 4th place in Söngvakeppnin 2019. When she’s not performing, Hera Björk is a licensed real estate agent.



9. Slovenia

Raiven- ‘Veronika’

Odds to qualify: 3/2 (12th)



Multi-talented Slovenian artist Raiven is another internally selected contestant. She is no stranger to the EMA- the Slovenian preselection contest, participating on three occasions. Raiven is most memorable for her second place in 2019 with the song ‘Kaos’. She is a singer, songwriter and harpist. Lately her focus has been in opera.


Raiven started performing at age 4 and took harp lessons for much of her younger years. She then concentrated on jazz music and performing in plays. In 2022, she released an electro-opera concert project called Doloroso. The concert was a sell-out.


Her Eurovision song ‘Veronika’ is described as a dark alternative pop song which was inspired by the story of Veronika of Desenice who was the first woman to be convicted of witchcraft in Slovenia. Legend says that she was reportedly murdered under the orders of her father-in-law, because of her lower status and his opposition of her marriage to his son. ‘Veronika’ was co-written by Bojan Cvjetićanin, better known as the lead singer of 2023 Slovenian representative Joker Out.



10. Finland

Windows95man- ‘No Rules!’

Odds to qualify: 3/43 (4th)



Finnish DJ, Windows95man is better known in his homeland for his visual art where operates his own art gallery in Helsinki. As a DJ, he draws his inspiration from the computer operating system Windows 95. Windows95man will be joined by singer Henri Piispanen on stage for their performance of the unlikely Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu 2024 winning song ‘No Rules!’. The song finished in last place with the juries but topped the televote in the Finnish national final.


Piispanen is the primary songwriter and producer of ‘No Rules!’. He is also a voice actor and television presenter. Windows95man has stated that he chose Piispanen to perform the vocals as he was the only singer he knew with the right vocal range for the song.


Windows95man states that ‘No Rules!’ inspired by his life mantra of not taking everything seriously. It reached no.6 on the Finnish music charts.



11. Moldova

Natalia Barbu- ‘In the Middle’

Odds to qualify: 4 (14th)



Another returnee hits the Eurovision stage this year. Natalia Barbu finished 10th at Eurovision in 2007 with the song ‘Fight’. She has mainly collaborated with Trigon, an alternative jazz-folk jazz-folk outfit based in Chişinău. She is also known in her homeland as a pop rock and gothic rock singer.


Barbu is an accomplished violin player as well.She writes and composes most of her songs herself and has released 4 studio albums and 20 singles since 2001. Her children were her inspiration for “In the middle’ which is about the feeling of love for them. She has stated that she did not write the song specifically for Eurovision, rather that it came ‘straight from the heart’.


Barbu qualified for her second tilt at the crystal microphone by winning the Moldovan national final Etapa națională 2024.



12. Azerbaijan

FAHREE feat. Ilkin Dovlatov- ‘Özünlə apar’

Odds to qualify: 2 (13th)



Azerbaijani singer and songwriter FAHREE changed his career focus to music from law after the COVID-19 pandemic as it was his childhood dream to become a musician. He is very much a newcomer to the music industry, releasing his first single in 2022. He was internally selected to represent Azerbaijan.


FAHREE will be joined on stage by Ilkin Dovlatov who was one of the shortlisted artists for Malmö. Dovlatov was the runner up in The Voice of Azerbaijan.


‘Özünlə apar’ translates to “Take Me with You”. The song will be performed  in English and Azerbaijani. This is the first Azerbaijani Eurovision entry to predominantly feature the  Azerbaijani language. FAHREE was the main songwriter of the song, it tells of his “personal struggles and journey towards self-love and inner peace”.



13. Australia

Electric Fields- ‘One Milkali (One Blood)’

Odds to qualify: 5/6 (11th)



Yet another Australia Decides alum will take to the Eurovision stage. This time it is 2019 runners up- Electric Fields, an electronic music duo based in South Australia who combine modern electric-soul music with Aboriginal culture and sing in Pitjantjatjara, Yankunytjatjara and English. 


Both members, Zaachariaha Fielding and Michael Ross competed on The X Factor Australia before forming Electric Fields in 2015. They have won many music awards including Best New Talent of the Year at the 2017 National Indigenous Music Awards and are fixtures at many music festivals. The duo’s motto is "bypass the barriers", both Fielding and Ross identify as queer and are proud to embrace their feminine identity saying that it “makes them stronger”.


‘One Milkali (One Blood)’ is performed in English and Yankunytjatjara. Fielding has stated that performing in Yankunytjatjara honours his community in Mimili in Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara. The song was inspired by a painting byFielding’s father- Robert Fielding titled “Milkali Kutju”. It symbolises non-indigenous Australians and Aboriginal Australians working together.



14. Portugal

Iolanda- ‘Grito’

Odds to qualify: 2/7 (9th)


Portuguese singer and songwriter, Iolanda received her ticket to Malmö when she was crowned the winner of the Portuguese preselection contest, Festival da Canção 2024. She is no stranger to music television contests including The Voice Portugal. Iolanda co-wrote ‘Mar no fim’ for Blacci for the 2022 edition of the Festival da Canção. Blacci finished in 8th in his semi final.


Iolanda was encouraged by her parents to study music, eventually moving to London to study songwriting at University of Sussex.


‘Grito’ translates as Shout. Iolanda co-wrote the song which she describes as “a scream of self defense and trusting in yourself”.



15. Luxembourg

Tali- ‘Fighter’

Odds to qualify: 1/10 (6th)



After a 31 year hiatus, we welcome back the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg to the Eurovision Song Contest. 23 year old singer, songwriter, actress and vocal coach- Tali is their representative.


She has been playing the piano since she was 7 and later took lessons in singing, songwriting and acting when she was 12. Tali currently resides in New York City where she is studying musical theatre.


Tali co-wrote ‘Fighter’ which is performed in French and English. Tali says that the song is about “how all humans suffer, and how people persevere through suffering.” She further uses the example of living in New York City and "going through so much rejection" in the music industry. ‘Fighter’ reached no.11 on the Luxembourgish charts.



Can I vote?


Australian viewers are eligible to vote in semi-final 1 but cannot vote for Electric Fields.  However, you can vote for your other favourite acts. Follow the live telecast on Wednesday morning for further details



How can I watch?


The show will be broadcast live. You can tune into SBS from 5:00am AEST on May 08 with the show also available on SBS On Demand. SBS will also be airing a prime time repeat of the broadcast at 8:30pm AEST on Friday May 10.



For continued updates on all the Eurovision 2024 news follow Aussievision on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. All links at: https://linktr.ee/aussievisionnet


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