Music

Luxembourg, Ireland & 8 More Countries Advance to Eurovision 2024 Grand Final

The first of three live broadcasts of the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest yielded the initial results of the competition, with 10 countries out of 15 moving forward into the grand final on Saturday (May 11) and five countries going home.

Most notable among the 10 winning countries are Luxembourg, which returned to the pan-European competition this year after a 31-year absence, and Ireland, which holds the record for the most wins with Sweden at seven each.

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However, Ireland has failed to qualify for the grand final 11 times since the semifinals were introduced in 2005. Bambie Thug breaks that spell with “Doomsday Blue,” a self-described “electro-metal breakdown.” Thug (real name: Bambie Ray Robinson) is the first nonbinary artist to represent Ireland in Eurovision and will be the first Irish contestant in the competition since Ryan O’Shaugnessy placed 16th with “Together” in 2018.

Thug’s entry is expected to place high in the grand final rankings. If they end up in the top five, it will be Ireland’s biggest Eurovision success since Marc Roberts’ “Mysterious Ways,” which finished second to Katrina & the Waves winning U.K. entry “Love Shine a Light” in 1997.

Talia, an Israeli-born singer living in Luxembourg, will be the first person from that small European country — the only grand duchy (a country ruled by a monarch with the title of grand duke or duchess) remaining in the world — to sing in Eurovision since Modern Times placed 20th with “Donne-Moi Une Chance” in 1993.

The other eight countries that qualified for the grand final are Croatia, Cyprus, Finland, Lithuania, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia and Ukraine. The five countries relegated out, by public vote during the live broadcast, are Australia, Azerbaijan, Iceland, Moldova and Poland.

The oddsmakers have Croatia heavily tipped to win; it would be that nation’s first victory in 30 attempts, although Riva, a band from Croatia, triumphed in 1990 when their country was still part of Yugoslavia.

A second semifinal will be broadcast live on Thursday (May 9). There will be 16 countries fighting for a spot in the grand final top 10 that night: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Israel, Latvia, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland.

Pre-qualified, and thus able to skip the semifinals, are the host country (Sweden) and the “Big Five” (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom), so-named because they contribute the largest amounts to the production budget.

Semifinal No 2 of the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest will be live on Peacock in the U.S. on Thursday starting at 3 p.m. ET/noon PT. The grand final will also be live, on Saturday at the same times.

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