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  • Writer's pictureFleur Menezes

Eurovision 2024 semi-final 2 preview


Image: EBU / Peppe Andersson

Now that semi-final 1 has been run and done, it is time to focus on semi-final 2 which will be telecast at 5:00am in Australia (AEST) on Friday 10 May 2024. 


Who will join Cyprus, Serbia, Lithuania, Ireland, Ukraine, Croatia, Slovenia, Finland, Portugal and Luxembourg as qualifiers in the Grand Final?


Read on to see a recap of the participating countries and their odds of qualifying.


*Odds are as of 06 May 2024 



1. Malta

Sarah Bonnici - ‘Loop’

Odds to qualify: 4/1 (16th)



Former accountant and Junior Eurovision dancer Sarah Bonnici is well known in Maltese singing competitions. She has participated in Maltese preselection Junior Eurovision competitions in 2009 and 2010, finishing third in the former. Bonnici was selected to accompany winning entrant Nicole Azzopardi in 2010 as a backing dancer.


Bonnici placed 12th at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2022 with ‘Heaven’ written by fan favourite Aidan Cassar. In 2018, she participated in the first edition of X Factor Malta but did not make it to the final stage.


Bonnici says that ‘Loop’ is a “positive love song.”



2. Albania

Besa - ‘Titan’

Odds to qualify: 2/1 (12th)



Besa is a veteran of the Albanian music scene, releasing her first single in 2003 and first album in 2006. She performs in Albanian, English and French covering genres such as pop ,electronic and R&B. Prior to winning the public vote at Festivali i Këngës 62 in December, she reached the semi finals of the Romanian national final Selecţia Naţională în 2009.


She was a judge on The Voice of Albania in 2017. Besa’s original Festivali i Këngës song was titled ‘Zemrën n'dorë” which translates to “Heart in hand”. For Eurovision it has been revamped to ‘Titan’. Besa says the song is a “ballad with a lot of contrast.”



3. Greece 

Marina Satti - ‘Zari’

Odds to qualify: 1/13 (=3rd)



Greek singer, songwriter, actress, and music producer Marina Satti started her music career learning the classical piano. She is also trained in classical voice and jazz. Satti also tried her hand at studying architecture at university but decided to concentrate on music. She is influenced by Greek, Arab, and Balkan music although names Björk as her inspiration.


She is highly regarded in the world music scene and has performed with Bobby McFerrin. Satti was internally selected to represent Greece at Eurovision. Her song ‘Zari’ translates as “Dice” and is a song that demonstrates the “real characteristics of young Greek people and their culture”, it is also about luck. ‘Zari’ reached no.1 on the Greek charts and has been certified double platinum.



4. Switzerland

Nemo- ‘The Code’

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



One of the favourites to take the crystal microphone home is multi-instrumentalist and rapper Nemo. They hail from a small city called Biel/Bienne which is bilingual in German and French. Nemo plays the violin, piano and drums.


Nemo first came into prominence in 2016 when they went viral on social media releasing an album shortly afterwards. Nemo previously only sang in German but has added English language songs to their repertoire since 2020. Nemo’s songs feature themes such as gender identity, mental health and finding one‘s place in this world. They also produce songs for other artists. Nemo finished in fifth place of their homeland’s version of The Masked Singer in 2021/2022.


‘The Code’ is a personal song that describes the singer’s experience of coming to terms with their non-binary identity, Nemo stated “I don’t feel like a man or a woman... I had to break a few codes”. Nemo is passionate about standing up for the “entire LGBTQIA+ community”.




5. Czechia

Aiko- ‘Pedestal’

Odds to qualify: 7/2 (15th)



Current Brighton UK resident Aiko has released three albums since 2018. She writes most of her songs which focus on love, solitude and self-understanding. She is the first Czech female artist to contribute to the global Spotify Equal Campaign. Aiko is passionate about inclusivity and equality within the music industry. Some of her songs have been featured in the TV shows such as Teen Mom and Love Island UK.


Aiko won the Czech preselection contest ESCZ 2024 and therefore a ticket to Malmö. ‘Pedestal’ according to the singer is “a self-love, post-breakup anthem" She wrote it to release her anger after a relationship break.



6. Austria

Kaleen - ‘We Will Rave’

Odds to qualify: 2/9 (9th)



Accomplished dancer, singer and choreographer Kaleen will represent Austria at Malmö,this year. Slipping on her ballet shoes at the age of 2, she won her first national championship at 7. In 2014, she reached the final of German television show “Got to Dance”. She has been employed as a choreographer and director by Austrian national broadcaster Österreichischer Rundfunk (ORF) since 2020.


No stranger to the Eurovision Song Contest institution, she has been prominent behind the scenes since 2018. 'Her roles include:


  • Stand-in singer for the rehearsals (2018)

  • Dancer and choreographer for interval acts (2018) 

  • Creative director for Spain and Bulgaria at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest (2021-22)

  • Creative director for Spain (2022)

  • Overall stage director (2022) 

  • Stage performance director for Austria, Armenia, Germany, and Georgia (2023)


Kaleen founded her own record label in 2021, Wifi Records. Her first album “Stripping Feelings” was released in September 2023. She was internally selected by ORF and will perform her techno-inspired pop track “We will rave’ at Eurovision.



7. Denmark

SABA - ‘Sand’

Odds to qualify: 8/5 (11th)



Danish singer, musical theatre actress, model and former soccer player SABA only entered the music industry last year when she replaced her twin sister in the role of Dionne in the musical “Hair”. SABA also created her teeth whitening business- CoalCure in her teenage years. She sold the business to Morten Wagner CEO of Dating.dk, a Danish dating website.


In 2020, SABA and her twin sister Andrea featured in a documentary called "Min sindssyge tvilling" ('My insane twin') which focused on SABA’s battle with bipolar disorder and mental vulnerability. SABA is an ambassador for the Danish Depression Association and a strong activist for minorities and the LGBTQ+ community.


‘Sand’ is about the feeling of losing control. SABA won Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2024, defeating 2014 Danish Eurovision contestant Basim in the super final. She was inspired to enter the contest after seeing Loreen win Eurovision for the second time in 2023.



8. Armenia

LADANIVA - ‘Jako'

Odds to qualify: 1/10 (=5th)



Taking their name from a Russian car brand, French-Armenian world music duo LADANIVA will represent Armenia at Eurovision this year. The duo formed in 2019 in Lille, France after meeting at a jam session in a music bar. LADANIVA consists of Armenian singer Jaklin Baghdasaryan and French multi-instrumentalist Louis Thomas.


Baghdasaryan emigrated to France with her mother in 2014, she has been singing since her childhood. Thomas is an accomplished jazz musician. Both studied at the Conservatoire de Lille. Their musical style is inspired by music from around the world, particularly traditional Balkan music, maloya, Armenian folklore, jazz and reggae. They also draw inspiration from their travels to Latin America, Africa and Réunion Island.


‘Jako’ is derived from Baghdasaryan’s first name. It was her childhood nickname. The song’s message is for young women to “think freely and to be whoever they want to be, society is to blame for imposing artificial limitations and norms, saying that these cause girls to lose sight of who they really are since they are often told how to act''. Baghdasaryan further states "They used to call me 'Jako' when I was little. Growing up I have always been told that girls should behave, be humble, dress normally, not talk too much, not do crazy things."


LADANIVA were internally selected by the Armenian broadcaster.



9. Latvia

Dons - ‘Hollow’

Odds to qualify: 3/1 (13th)



One of Latvia's most popular singers, Dons has been performing since he was 4 and is grateful to his parents for giving him a lot of freedom in his younger years. He grew up idolising iconic Queen frontman Freddie Mercury and took piano lessons. He later taught himself how to play the guitar and sing. Dons decided that he wanted to be a career musician when he first performed in public at age 16. He is also a voice actor, yoga practitioner and is trained in culinary arts. He runs the Engure Café with Kaspars Roga, the drummer of Brainstorm- Latvia's debut contestants who placed third at Eurovision in 2000.


Dons came to prominence in 2003 when he appeared in Latvian television show ”Talantu Fabrika (lit. 'Talent Factory')” which he won. He met his future wife Linda “Lily” Kalniņa on the show and they later released a duets album in 2004 earning them a nomination at the Latvian Music Recording Awards. They later based themselves between London and Los Angeles. Dons has released 9 albums since. He and Lily divorced in 2013. Dons has won numerous music awards. He has appeared on stage many times.


Dons tried his luck at the Latvian national final twice in 2010 and 2014 before winning Supernova 2024, finishing in second place both times. In 2015 and 2017, he was a judge. ‘Hollow’ is about “insecurities can hold us hostage”. The song reached no,1 on the Latvia Domestic Streaming charts.



10. San Marino

Megara- ‘11:11’

Odds to qualify: 5/2 (14th)



Madrid four-piece band Megara won Una Voce per San Marino 2024 and therefore the right to represent the microstate at Eurovision. Originally ‘11.11’ was intended for the Spanish preselection competition Benidorm Fest 2024 but the broadcaster Radiotelevisión Española (RTVE) did not select it. To comply with Sammarinese selection regulations, verses in Italian were added. Megara previously finished in fourth place at Benidorm Fest 2023 with the song ‘Arcadia’.


Describing their fusion of electronic, dance and rock genres as “f***sia rock”, the band was formed in 2015 by guitarist Tio Rober Bueno and vocalist Kenzy Loevett. Vitti Crocutta and Raphaela Tache joined them shortly after. Megara was the supporting act on the Spanish leg of iconic Japanese kawaii metal band- Babymetal's World Tour in 2023.


‘11.11’ refers to an "angel number" in numerology which is tied to "spiritual awakening, self-awareness, and personal growth".



11. Georgia

Nutsa Buzaladze- ‘Firefighter’

Odds to qualify: 1/6 (7th)



Georgian wunderkind Nutsa Buzaladze was part of a children's group at age 5 before taking piano lessons at 8 years of age. She participated in Georgia's Got Talent in 2011 which propelled her solo career. In 2014, she won the famed New Wave Music Festival. 


Buzaladze competed in The Voice of Turkey where she was coached by 2009 Turkish Eurovision contestant Hadise. She has also competed in Georgian versions of “Your Face Sounds Familiar” and “Dancing with the Stars”. Most recently she finished in the Top 12 of the 2023 edition of American Idol performing “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” with Australian pop icon Kylie Minogue in the process.


She has also sung the American national anthem at NBA and MLB games.Buzaladze placed second in the Georgian selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 before being internally selected to represent her country in 2024. ‘Firefighter’ was selected from 300 submitted songs. Buzaladze was involved with the creative process.



12. Belgium

Mustii - ‘Before the Party's Over’

Odds to qualify: 1/4 (8th)



Brussels native Mustii is an author, actor, singer and songwriter who is best known as a judge on the French edition of Belgium's Drag Race. He is an accomplished stage actor appearing as Benvolio in “Romeo and Juliet” in his first theatre role.He has appeared in many television shows and movies, most being French language production. Mustii has won numerous awards in stage, screen and music. He released his first single in 2014 and album in 2018. Mustii was internally selected by Belgium’s french language broadcaster Radio-télévision belge de la Communauté française (RTBF).


‘Before the Party's Over’ tells of a person’s struggles and the "realisation that we need to look for our inner fire to fight it because we are running out of time” Mustii has said that it was important for him to maintain his musical style with the song. ‘Before the Party's Over’ reached the top 10 in both major regions of Belgium- no.8 in Wallonia and no.10 in Flanders.


Famed stylist Elke Oost has designed Mustii’s costume for his Eurovision performance. She has worked with US acts The Smashing Pumpkins and Madonna in the past,



13. Estonia

5miinust and Puuluup - ‘(Nendest) narkootikumidest ei tea me (küll) midagi’

Odds to qualify: 3/8 (10th)


Estonian for 5 is “viis” and 5MIINUST is a hip hop outfit that was formed in 2015. The first came into prominence in 2018 after releasing their two albums in 2016 and 2017 which both reached the top 20. This gave them the status of having two of the 18 most successful albums in 2018. The following year they had three singles that reached no.1 on the Estonian music charts. The group has won Artist of the Year at the Estonian Music Awards on two occasions, and been nominated for a further two in the same category.


Puuluup is a nu-folk duo or as they describe it “zombie-folk”. They formed in 2014 and have released two albums to date. Both groups are huge fans of each other and released a collaborative album in April 2024. They met at the Estonian Music Awards and decided a fusion of hip hop and folk was something that they wanted to explore further.


‘(Nendest) narkootikumidest ei tea me (küll) midagi’ translates to “We (sure) know nothing about (these) drugs” or as it is affectionately known by Eurovision fans “The drug song”. It is described as an ‘intelligent humour” song that was inspired by 5MIINUST members, Marko Veisson and Põhja Korea travels where they were raided by the police for drug possession. The two are not drug addicts, not wealthy and they are innocent hence they “really don’t know about these drugs”, but had to convince the police that they were telling the truth. The song then delves into how wealth and poverty can influence the way police perceive people.


5MIINUST x Puuluup won Eesti Laul 2024, the Estonian preselection competition.



14. Israel

Eden Golan - ‘Hurricane’

Odds to qualify: 1/13 (=3rd)


Eden Golan started performing at age 9. Her mother is of Ukrainian-Jewish descent and her father is of Latvian-Jewish descent.


Golan won the Israeli talent show HaKokhav HaBa which was used to determine this year’s Israeli contestant at Eurovision.



15. Norway

Gåte - ‘Ulveham’

Odds to qualify: 1/10 (=5th)



Trøndelag band Gåte fuses folk with metal and electronica for their unique sound. Forming in 1999 and releasing their debut EP in 2000, they have cemented themselves in the Norwegian music scene for some time. The band have taken a couple of hiatuses along the way, most notably from 2010 to 2017 when some band members undertook individual pursuits.


Many of Gåte's songs are rearranged versions of traditional Norwegian folk tunes. Norwegian poet Astrid Krog Halse is another source of inspiration for the band. With the distinctive voice of Gunnhild Sundli, Gåte has sold more than 100,000 albums and has performed at some of the world’s biggest venues.


‘Ulveham’ is the first Norwegian entry since 2006 to be sung in Norwegian. It is based on a Scandinavian mediaeval story dating back from a thousand years ago. The story is about a young girl with an evil stepmother who transforms her into a needle, a knife, and then a sword. The people in her village rally behind the young girl through her transformations which angers her stepmother. The stepmother now with child then transforms the girl into a wolf. The girl in turn pounces on stepmother, kills her and subsequently drinks the blood of her unborn half-brother.




16. Netherlands

Joost Klein- ‘Europapa’

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



Another favourite to win the crystal microphone, YouTuber Joost Klein is a musician, rapper, singer who combines mainstream pop with hardcore and pop punk. He has released eight albums which have charted in his home country as well as the Flanders region of Belgium.


The Friesland performer has also had singles that have reached no.1 in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. He regularly plays at festivals and has performed in sell-out concerts in the Netherlands. Klein has also written a book of poems titled Albino, which was published in November 2018 after taking inspiration from his father whom he lost to cancer in 2010. Klein’s mother passed away in 2011 due to a cardiac arrest. He was raised by his older brother and sister afterwards.


Klein was internally selected to perform at Eurovision. He describes his song,‘Europapa’ as a very Dutch 1990s-style song. It is a letter to Klein’s late father who taught him that the world has "no borders". The song reached no.1 in the Netherlands and Flanders. It also reached the Top 40 in Lithuania.



Can I vote?


No, Australia participated in semi-final 1 so Australian viewers are not eligible to vote in semi-final 2. However, you can sit back with your cup of coffee and bowl of Weet-Bix and enjoy the show. No pressure at this time around.



How can I watch?


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



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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