Eurovision 2024 favourites: Our Top 10, from Croatia’s Baby Lasagna to Ireland’s Bambie Thug

From zany novelty songs to club bangers and heartfelt ballads, the competition at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest is fierce. We take a look at our favourites

Roisin O'Connor
Music Editor
Saturday 11 May 2024 17:44 BST
Eurovision fans react after 'unique' Bambie Thug becomes first Irish finalist since 2018

Support truly
independent journalism

Our mission is to deliver unbiased, fact-based reporting that holds power to account and exposes the truth.

Whether $5 or $50, every contribution counts.

Support us to deliver journalism without an agenda.

Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


The Eurovision Song Contest 2024 is underway, with all qualifying countries now revealed and preparing to perform in tonight’s final.

Eurovision is typically known for its uplifting atmosphere, as fans celebrate each country’s musical talents along with plenty of dramatic staging, zany costumes and tremendous vocal performances.

This year’s event, however, is the subject of considerable controversy due to organisers the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) refusing to ban Israel from participating, amid calls for a boycott over its ongoing war on Gaza.

Protests are expected to take place outside the Malmö Arena in Sweden, which is hosting this year’s contest after its delegate Loreen was crowned the 2023 winner with her song “Tattoo”.

On Tuesday 7 May, the first semi-final took place, and saw favourites Bambie Thug (Ireland) and Baby Lasagna (Croatia) sail through to the final, along with Finland’s Window95Man and delegates from Luxembourg, Serbia, Ukraine, Portugal, Lithuania and Cyprus.

The second-semi final on Thursday 9 May saw Latvia, Austria, Norway, Greece, Israel, Estonia, Switzerland, Georgia and Armenia qualify. Netherlands contestant Joost Klein, who also qualified, has been barred from the competition following an investigation into an “incident” that occurred after Thursday’s semi-final (9 May).

The UK is guaranteed a spot in the final thanks to its status as one of the “big five” countries who make the largest contribution to the event, along with France, Italy, Germany and Spain. Sweden is also guaranteed a spot after winning last year’s contest.

As the competition heats up, here are our top 10 favourites to win the Eurovision Song Contest 2024, in no particular order.

Irish singer-songwriter Bambie Ray Robinson, aka Bambie Thug representing Ireland
Irish singer-songwriter Bambie Ray Robinson, aka Bambie Thug representing Ireland (TT News Agency/AFP via Getty Images)

Ireland’s 2024 Eurovision contestant Bambie Thug is a big favourite at this year’s competition.

Bambie, who goes by they/them/their pronouns, is the first Irish contestant to make it through to a Eurovision final since 2018. They were voted through after the first semi-final thanks to their jaw-dropping performance of “Doomsday Blue”, a dramatic composition that melds elements of industrial metal, pop, opera and techno.

“I think it’s got something there for everyone,” Bambie has said of their song. “There’s spoken word at the start, there’s a pop chorus then there’s a screamy part and there’s a soulful, almost croony middle-eight, and then there’s the electro-metal breakdown where I get to scream my lungs out. I’m just a show-off, basically!”

“Doomsday Blues” contains all the key elements of a hit Eurovision entry: it’s bold, ambitious and includes excellent staging, with Bambie featured in witchy garb while surrounded by demonic-looking backing dancers.

Baby Lasagna performs during the first semi-final of Eurovision 2024
Baby Lasagna performs during the first semi-final of Eurovision 2024 (AP)

The current favourite to win bears some similarities to Finland’s 2023 runner-up Kaarji and his song “Cha Cha Cha”, whom many believed was robbed of the crown by Sweden’s Loreen.

Like “Cha Cha Cha”, Baby Lasagna’s track “Rim Tim Tagi Dim” is a pulsating techno-influenced joyride, with a chugging guitar riff, pounding drums and singer Marko Purišić singing in a deep growl: “Ayy, I'm a big boy now/ I'm ready to leave, ciao, mamma, ciao/ Ayy, I'm a big boy now/ I'm going away and I sold my cow.”

The staging for this is also nuts, with neon cows, goats and horses projected on the giant stage, pyrotechnics, a nun/washer woman who also dances, and a balaclava-clad band. There’s even a patented dance move (a sort of march-on-the-spot with elbow-thrusting) and clapping interlude for fans to get involved in. Perfect Eurovision fodder, and very entertaining!

Nemo – “The Code”, representing Switzerland

Nemo is representing Switzerland at Eurovision 2024
Nemo is representing Switzerland at Eurovision 2024 (TT News Agency/AFP via Getty Ima)

Swiss delegate Nemo, who uses they/them/their pronouns, explores themes of gender identity with their elaborate anthem “The Code”, which riffs cleverly on the Habanera aria from Georges Bizet’s 1875 opera Carmen and will likely also draw comparisons to many of the classic James Bond themes.

It’s suitably dramatic, with vocal trills, belts and some big falsetto notes towards the climax. Oh, and rapping. With their angelic face, gorgeous costumes and excellent live delivery, Nemo is another tough one to beat, and certainly a deserving winner.

Angelina Mango – “La noia”, representing Italy

Angelina Mango will represent Italy at the Eurovision final
Angelina Mango will represent Italy at the Eurovision final (Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images)

Angelina Mango has some big shoes to fill after the successes of past Italian delegates including rock band Maneskin, who won in 2021, hip-hop artist Mahmood, (who finished in second place in 2019, then in sixth place in 2022), and Marco Mengoni, who came fourth last year.

We’re confident she’ll do just fine, though, with her uplifting and carefree song “La Noia”, which makes us long for hot summer days and heady nights thanks to its breezy guitar and Mango’s catchy pop melodies.

Mango has already enjoyed success as a pop singer in Italy with singles including “Che t’o dico a fa” and “Ci pensiamo domani”. She also happens to be the daughter of Laura Valente, former singer of the Italian pop band Matia Bazar, and the late Giuseppe Mango (known to fans simply as “Mango”), who tragically died after suffering a heart attack during a concert in 2014. Which means this will likely be a very emotional moment for Mango when she performs her song to the world.

Tali – “Fighter”, representing Luxembourg

Tali during the first semi-final of Eurovision 2024
Tali during the first semi-final of Eurovision 2024 (TT NEWS AGENCY/AFP via Getty Ima)

Tali’s French-language, Latin-inflected song is sure to charm the Eurovision voters when she performs it at the grand final. It’s not dissimilar to Spanish contestant Chanel’s 2022 crowd-pleaser “SloMo”, with its sensuous dancing and immediately catchy chorus.

Interestingly, she recalls Woodkid in the English-language section of the track, before ramping up the drama with, you guessed it, bursts of flame and some fantastic backing harmonies. Merveilleuse!

Marina Satti – “ZARI”, representing Greece

Marina Satti is representing Greece at Eurovision 2024
Marina Satti is representing Greece at Eurovision 2024 (Getty Images)

Marina Satti has to be voted through to the second semi-final in order to win a place in the final on Saturday, but we’re not worried. Her bop “ZARI” plays to her heritage and makes the most of her enchanting voice, redolent of Spanish star Rosalia.

Like Rosalia, Satti also incorporates reggaeton, but also the Greek version of bagpipes, tsampouna, and plenty of vocoder on the vocals. It might sound strange to some listeners, but Satti and her co-writers have actually managed to pull off a very contemporary pop jam that could easily make its way onto our summer playlists.

Kaleen – “We Will Rave”, representing Austria

Austria’s Kaleen is hoping to dazzle Eurovision fans
Austria’s Kaleen is hoping to dazzle Eurovision fans (TT News Agency/AFP via Getty Ima)

Eurovision is never short of a club banger, and this year there are at least three for audience members to bop along to. One of our favourites is “We Will Rave” by Austria’s Kaleen, who channels Cascada with her pulsating Noughties-style dance tune.

It’s a breathless performance, so the only risk is that it struggles to stick in the audience’s minds long enough to convince them to cast their votes, over arguably more memorable tracks from Croatia, Ireland and Switzerland.

That said, the racing synth beat is so undeniably catchy, and Kaleen’s performance so confident, it’s doubtful you’ll be able to get this earworm out of your head for some time.

Alyona Alyona and Jerry Heil “Teresa & Maria”, representing Ukraine

Alyona Alyona and Jerry Hall during the first semi-final at Eurovision
Alyona Alyona and Jerry Hall during the first semi-final at Eurovision (TT News Agency/AFP via Getty Ima)

Ukraine’s rousing 2024 anthem “Teresa & Maria” comes from Ukrainian singer-songwriter Jerry Heil, who rose to fame around 2019 with her hit song “Okhrana otmjena”, along with her popular YouTube channel.

Meanwhile, rapper and former teacher Alyona Alyona takes her influences from hip-hop stars such as Eminem, Nicki Minaj and Missy Elliot, and has been compared to Azealia Banks by The New York Times.

“Teresa & Maria” is inspired by Roman Catholic saint Mother Teresa and the Virgin Mary, and delves into themes of responsibility, divinity and love. The duo sailed through the first semi-final, so you’ll definitely get to see them competing on Saturday.

Windows95Man – “No Rules!”, representing Finland

Windows95Man performing in the first semi-final at Eurovision 2024
Windows95Man performing in the first semi-final at Eurovision 2024 (TT News Agency/AFP via Getty Ima)

Another wild offering from everyone’s favourite underdogs, who to date have only won the contest once since their debut performance in 1961. That was with Finnish metal band Lordi and their song “Hard Rock Hallelujah”, still one of the most memorable Eurovision performances of all time.

“No Rules!” by Windows95Man might just outdo them, however, thanks to duo Windows95Man’s extraordinary staging, which includes a giant denim egg and some questionable costumes (or lack of).

Eurovision organisers will have to hope that he manages to avoid dropping his shorts during the very risque choreography at the grand final, after they were voted through the first semi-final on Tuesday 7 May.

Joost – “Europapa”, representing the Netherlands - DISQUALIFIED

Joost performing at Eurovision semi-final
Joost performing at Eurovision semi-final (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Competing with Windows95Man, at least in terms of pure weirdness, was Joost and his Europop banger “Europapa”. However, on Saturday (11 may), hours before the contest was due to begin, the singer was disqualified.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in