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2024

Malmö Messages: And we are complete!

photo: EBU/Sarah Louise Bennett With the ten finalists from the 2nd semifinal, we are complete. All the finalists are known. The 10 countries getting through to the Grand Final tonight are: Latvia Austria Netherlands Norway Israel Greece Estonia Switzerland Georgia Armenia

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The second semifinal

photo: EBU/Sarah Louise Bennett The hosts Petra Mede and Malin Åkerman open the show with their own version of “Tattoo.” Malta In the Maltese act by Sarah Bonnici, there is a lot of movement and dancing. Later during the act, she is blindfolded, as are her dancers. Despite so much movement, Sarah manages to sing remarkably well. Albania Besa wears a turquoise gown with gemstones. The stage also includes several dancers, which might make it look a bit messy. However, many dancers are projected onto LED screens. Besa’s voice sounds a bit sharp here and there. Greece First, we see her purple boots, then the whole Marina Satti. She is also flanked by four dancers, but it looks much more organized. Greece has chosen a sophisticated entry not meant for casual listeners. A lot happens during this entry. Marina continues to sing well. Switzerland Nemo takes the viewer into his story with the song “The Code,” managing to crack the (binary) code. Their clothing says it all. Nemo has so far managed to enhance their narrative through fashion statements. Nemo jumps, skips, shows himself to be a balancing artist… and continues to sing crystal clear. We do not know if this is a winner, but we definitely respect their skills. Czechia You would expect Aiko to be standing on a pedestal during her performance. That’s not the case, but we find that the ceiling (one of the cubes) is very low. Aiko has four… Her nipples are no longer visible. Pay particular attention to the high note that Aiko effortlessly hits. Aiko surprises! During the first semifinal, Nicole (from Hugo) received a tribute, and in this semifinal, Jahn Teigen (ESC 1978, 1982, 1983) is honored. We are treated to a journey through Eurovision history with several participants who did not finish very high. France Slimane, dressed in white, starts singing while lying down, then sits up. Everything is shot in close-up, which makes the song even more intimate. Slimane pulls out all the stops in terms of his singing ability. The song has its distinct fans, but others are completely on the opposite end of the spectrum. Austria It’s interesting to put someone on stage who has held various other roles at the contest. Singing is clearly not Kaleen’s strongest suit. Regardless of how enjoyable the song may be found, the singing is forgotten in Austria. However, the act looks absolutely tight, and Kaleen knows very well what she is doing in terms of dance. Denmark It seems like you only see a singer sprinkling some sand and singing her song. However, we also see a second Saba in the background… A hologram, as it turns out, because at one point she disintegrates into sand. Occasionally, Saba tends to sing too loud, which makes the whole thing seem a bit shouty. Armenia Cheerfulness all over, garnished with typical Armenian sounds. Singer Jaklin Baghdasarian of Ladaniva plays a leading role throughout the act. The other band members and backing band stand behind her, but at one point, the flutist also comes forward. We see all sorts of things in the background: trumpets, chickens, and the artists themselves. Latvia Looking at his Instagram account, he is very cheerful and humorous: the Latvian Dons. But seeing him standing there in his sleeveless leather outfit amid a circle, and hearing his very serious ballad, we notice little of that. There is nothing wrong with this song, but that might also be the problem. Spain Both the singer and the dancers are dressed in black. The singing isn’t fantastic, but Nebulossa certainly knows how to throw a party in the hall. And of course, halfway through the act, the dancers strip off their clothes and continue dancing with bare chests and buttocks. At the end, a keyhole appears behind the singer Mery. The Spaniards really throw a party. San Marino We stick with the Spanish language, as San Marino sends the Spanish group Megara. Singer Kenzy Loevett is briefly flanked by two dancers in scary Easter bunny suits. Everything is pink and black in this act. It’s all rock, and the group tries to match the scariness of Bambie Thug, but it remains rather tame for a horror show. Georgia Nutsa Buzaladze is dressed in gold and stands in a circle of fire, which at one moment looks like a sun, the next a burning hoop. Nutsa is flanked by four dancers, and gives her all in terms of singing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good. For Georgia, it’s definitely not a done deal. Belgium We had already seen photos of Mustii amid a circle of microphones, but he starts alone on stage. He then stands on a rotating platform. Later, he goes into this circle. Mustii is dressed in white. The singing we hear here is very cautious, with Mustii consciously staying below the high notes. He did not, as we previously reported, take his shirt off. But towards the end, we see the whole hall going wild with the Belgian entry! Estonia 5miinust and Puuluup are having a party on stage. The title of the song is, as previously mentioned, the longest ever. Whether the party really come across with all the “hey hey hey” is still a question. Possibly a finalist position for Estonia, but that is by no means certain. Italy Angelina Mango starts lying down, with roses projected under her. She has a sort of henna-like print depicted. This print also continues with the dancers. There are so many prints all over. There are so many details that you occasionally don’t see Angelina and her dancers at all. The singing is fine where it concerns Angelina. She ends a cappella. That takes skilsl, and Angelina has them. Italy will finish high, but perhaps not win. Israel The Israeli entry is the only ballad in this latter stage of the second semifinal. Just before she starts singing, Eden Golan leans back in a circle with lights. Five dancers flank her,

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Malmö Messages: yesterday’s pressconference

photo: EBU/Sarah Louise Bennett Yesterday, after winning the tickets to the final, the 10 winners headed to the winners’ pressconference. We of Eurovision Universe were present at this press conference. Cyprus Silia Kapsis said it was a huge opportunity to be here. She was super proud and super happy. About her country of birth, Australia, she said she was proud as well that the Australians showed their culture. It was her goal to make her country proud and after this, to grow as a pop artist. Serbia Teya Dora said it was crazy; the rehearsals, the performance; it was all super exciting and she was happy. She wants to make her country proud and give the best she can, with the best placement. She loves it that so many people watched her performance. And about Konstrakta, who was in the introduction film, she loved her amazing energy. Lithuania Silvester Belt thanks the audience. To all the bullies from the past he has a message: “I know you are struggling. And to the little boy I was: I love you so much”. The biggest challenge this week was sleeping. About singing in the Lithuanian language he said: “only Lithuanians wanted me to sing in English. Everybody else said I should sing in Lithuanian.” Ireland Bambie Thug said they are completely dissociated after this succes, but also that they are super proud. They have a small team and they are en independent artist, yet they reached this. And also, they are the first non binary artist in the contest. Bambie revealed that they met the rules of the EBU: texts like Ceasefire and Free Palestine were not allowed, so Crown The Witch was the only text left. On the question what made them special, Bambie answered “What makes me special is that I’m a queer”. Ukraine Alyona Alyona explained that she and Jerry Heil raised fund to rebuild Ukrainian schools. She called for donation. Half of the money is there, but you can donate via United24. “Children are our future”, Alyona Alyona stated. Jerry also stated that it was great to be in Malmö now. It was a super possibility to say thank you for your help. And yes, they felt pressure, because they felt Ukraine expected something from them. Croatia The performance was way better than the rehearsals. Before going on stage, Baby Lasagna tried to empty his mind, but before him Poland performed; that song got stuck in his mind. About his first place in the odds he said that odds are just numbers, it’s not over ’til it’s done. He felt comfortable in Malmö as Eurovision is, in his opinion, the next level of professional, with all the sound- and camerawork. The energy to him was fine. Slovenia Raiven said she was grateful. She was unsure about the result and doubting all the time. That meant going to the final was a huge surprise for her. When it comes to making music and visuals she went with her instinct. “The staging is really me, and I am very satisfied with it”, she said. About the fact that she was called Eurovision’s opera diva, she said that it is great to hear that people checked her background. Finland It was our own Kal (!!) who had the opportunity to ask windows95man a question. Due to the lyrics of the song “No rules”, Kal was interested to know which of the many rules of Eurovision had to go in his opinion. “More nakedness! For everybody!”, windows95man replied without any hesitation. Windows95man also told that he got help in preparing for the show. Before the show the men do some physical exercises. Portugal Iolanda from Portugal thinks that music can be whatever you like. She wrote the song in her grandmothers house. Her message is that you can do a lot with not so much money. She designed the act with the stage director and the choreographer. She also added that she believes music connects. Luxembourg “I nearly had a heart attack”, Tali explained, “It was brutal, but the camera was approaching and I thought…. maybe”. In Tali’s opinion Eurovision is a beautiful contet that unites. She was thrilled and was hoping to inspire other countries to return to Eurovision. “Music is my life, my therapy, my everything”, Tali stated.

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In the Spotligh Joost Klein dream big

In the Spotlight: Joost Klein (dream big)

Tomorrow, the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest will take place in the Malmö Arena. Sixteen countries compete for a spot in the final. One of them is Joost Klein, representing the Netherlands. But who is he? Let’s give him a spotlight. Hans and Ella Klein (Joost’s parents) already had 2 children aged 15 and 14, when Joost was born on November 10, 1997 in Britsum (province of Friesland). Despite growing up in a loving family, Joost did not have an easy childhood. He was bullied for his white-blonde hair and introverted character.At the age of 12, he lost his father to a serious illness, and less than a year later he lost his mother.His life was turned upside down. Despite the loving care and support of his brother and sister, Joost has to temporarily stay with a host family.Joost finds comfort in making and posting YouTube videos. He is building his own community there, including other upcoming artists, with whom he will collaborate later.  Career YouTube In 2008, Klein started a YouTube channel called “EenhoornJoost” (UnicornJoost) at the age of 10. His videos ranged from sketches to mini-docs. In 2015, his channel now had 50,000 subscribers. Later that year, he was named a YouTube talent, and his number of subscribers increased to almost 88,000.Around 2017, Klein stopped making YouTube videos and focused more and more on making music and video clips, which he did under the name Joost Klein.  Music In 2016, Klein released his first album called “Homeless.” In 2017 and 2018 he was briefly signed up to musiclabel Top Notch, but Klein decided to set up his own label: Albino Records. On January 18, 2019, he released his first album on his own label: “Albino”.  During the years that followed, Joost released several albums and often appeared on stage at major festivals. In between all the music, he also releases a poetry collection (Albino) in 2018. In 2022 he performs “Florida 2009” for the first time. The song is dedicated to his parents. He wrote the first part shortly after the death of his father, the second part shortly after the death of his mother. (subtitles available) The song “Europapa” was selected from more than 600 entries through an internal procedure. In December 2023, Klein was presented as the representative of the Netherlands at the Eurovision Song Contest. The committee consciously chose a different genre than had been usual for the Dutch entry, in the hope of being able to distinguish itself from the other participants. The song is both an ode to Europe and to Klein’s parents. The first person in the text is a child who travels through Europe to discover himself and to tell his story to others.The end of the song contains a message that Klein received from his father during his upbringing: “the world has no boundaries”. Eurovision in Concert  In Amsterdam, last april, during the Eurovision in Concert weekend, our reporter Kal spoke with Joost. Will Joost manage to make it to the final? No doubt about that. Will he win the Eurovision Song Contest? We’ll know this Saturday.           

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Malmö Messages: results are in!

photo: EBU/Alma Bengtsson This is it for tonight, the results are in. Ten countries head to the final on Saturday. Below you will find those countries listed: Serbia Portugal Slovenia Ukraine Lithuania Finland Cyprus Croatia Ireland Luxembourg  

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The first semifinal

Finally, the moment has arrived: we get to see the full first semifinal. Only now can we truly judge if and how good it is. In the opening of the show, we see ’12 points’ and old footage, after which the cubes rise. This is followed by Eleni Foureira, then Eric Saade, and subsequently, Chanel also makes an appearance. Then the presenters Malin Åkerman and Petra Mede make their entrance, dressed in clashing pink and orange. Cyprus: Now that we can hear the entire song, it’s noticeable that Silia Kapsis’s singing has improved considerably during rehearsals. She and the dancers are dressed in white against a turquoise background. And yes, the shirts come off, at least the dancers’ shirts. And, of course, there’s a dance break. Serbia: In a cloudy sky, on a rock, Teya Dora sings her song. Later in the act, she steps off her rock. The act barely resonates because not everyone understands why there’s a flower at the end of the act. Serbia might struggle; there’s a risk it might be overshadowed. Lithuania: We now effortlessly recognize the song with the ‘lady Mondegreen’ lyrics. Silvester Belt’s entry does make an impact. The song is accessible to a wide audience, which cannot really be said for several other entries this evening. Ireland: Bambie Thug is doing their best to put on a terrifying act. With a devil on stage, a witches’ circle, and a pentagram, the artist definitely stands out. Whether the average viewer understands what’s happening is questionable, even as Bambie Thug exorcises the devil at the end and remains in an outfit in the transgender colours. For fans of beautiful singing: Bambie Thug has a beautiful singing voice, but also lets out a lot of screams. Then the hosts chat, during which the attentive (and somewhat older) viewer might notice a reference to Lill Lindfors (the 1985 host). United Kingdom: We previously reported that Olly Alexander had said this was the most homosexual act ever. Having seen the entire act, we can wholeheartedly agree. Whether this entry is suitable for very young viewers is debatable, but perhaps you had already sent them out of the room during the previous act. Ukraine: On the floor, we see blue and yellow, the Ukrainian colors. The song is beautifully performed by Jerry Heil. As Alyona Alyona starts to rap, we see concrete colors. On the cubes, silhouettes of people are projected. Altogether, it’s very impressive and could possibly be a winner. Poland: Luna sings from a chessboard. The two towers in the center play a major role in the song, along with a black, a white, and a red king. It’s a chess game for three players, and Luna seems to have entered it. She, too, overcomes forces from the past. Croatia: There’s a lot happening; the song is about young people leaving the country in search of greener pastures. The song is ranked number one by the bookmakers. It could well finish very high. It certainly swings, but it will require some skills from Baby Lasagna to properly convey the message. Iceland: After several acts where a lot has happened, Hera Björk is somewhat of a breather. Unfortunately, this challenging song doesn’t really stand out compared to the rest. But perhaps that’s precisely its strength. Of course, we wish Hera Björk the best in the contest. Then there’s a video; watch closely, because it’s brief. We definitely see a role for Arcade and Dancing Lasha Tumbai. Germany: Then, out of competition tonight, comes Isaak, who has brought his fire pit indoors. He sings that he’s always on the run but meanwhile doesn’t move from his spot; an interesting contradiction. It would be nice if Isaak could shake off the curse of the lower ranks. We fear that’s wishful thinking. Slovenia: Then the ode to Veronika of Desenice follows. Certainly, a good singer, but whether this act will clearly convey what Raiven intends to spotlight is doubtful. The viewers will hear and see how well it’s sung, but unfortunately, the televoters aren’t generally moved in large numbers. Finland: We see a whirlwind show from Windows95man. For three minutes, something happens that keeps the viewer engaged. The joke with the underwear and the attempt to suggest a naked Windows95man does the trick. However, Windows95man cannot sing; that’s what Henri Piispanen is for. And he does it quite well. Moldova: Really, no one believes in a final spot for Natalia Barbu anymore. It’s a shame because the graphics are certainly worth noting. Only, we had already noticed that when Natalia Barbu seems to get wings, she’s not positioned correctly for the camera. We still want to point out her dress, which is special. The song, unfortunately, is not. Sweden: Of course, the hall goes wild, the Norwegian twins Marcus & Martinus representing Sweden are incredibly popular. A music video, a slick show. The show by the twins from Norway, competing for Sweden, is solid. But whether the song is strong enough for a high score could be doubted. Azerbaijan: The Azerbaijani act consists of a woman who seems to come out of the water on the LED screens, waving her hands. These hands later reappear on stage. Fahree and Ilkin Dovlatov sing the song with this ensemble in the background. Whether the traditional Azerbaijani singing (mugham) comes across and makes it to the final is doubtful. Australia: An act that does make an impression. Especially singer Zaachariaha impresses with strong vocals. Initially, he stands at the front singing the song with the background singers. Later, there’s a lot of dancing and movement, and it turns into a cheerful, friendly performance. Australia might make it to the final. Portugal: A calming moment in this busy evening. No frills, a well-singing singer, and several masked dancers, all in white. Iolanda’s high note certainly makes a big impression in the press center. After so much commotion, it just might be that Portugal suddenly makes it to the final. Luxembourg: The act from

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In the spotlight: Baby Lasagna

In the spotlight: Baby Lasagna

Tomorrow is finally the day; the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest takes place in the Malmö Arena. 15 countries compete for a spot in the final. One of them is Baby Lasagna, representing Croatia. But who is he? Let’s give him a spotlight. Baby Lasagna is a project, created by Marko Purišić, who was born on July 5, 1995 in Umag, Croatia.  He has a younger brother named Martin, who is also a musician. Coming from a teachersfamily Marko expressed that he would have most likely become a teacher too if he had not decided to pursue a musical career instead.  He did however, work as a children’s assistant in an elementary school for a year until quitting to study public relations in Zagreb. Purišić had previously also studied tourism and sound engineering. Career From 2011 to 2016 and 2018 to 2022, Purišić was as guitarist for Manntra, a Croatian rock band. They  participated in Dora 2019,  (The national final for the Eurovision Song Contest) securing the fourth position with the song “In the Shadows” with a total of 12 points.   Following his tenure with the group, he transitioned to pursue a solo career in 2023.  On 21 October 2023, Purišić released his debut single “IG Boy” under the pseudonym Baby Lasagna . Two months later, in December 2023, his second single “Don’t Hate Yourself, But Don’t Love Yourself Too Much” was released. Dora 2024 Baby Lasagna was on the B list for the National Song Contest in Croatia, and was told very last minute that there was a dropout and he could take the vacant spot. The rest is history; he came, saw and conquered convincingly.    The song Rim Tim Tagi Dim serves as the third single for Baby Lasagna’s debut solo album, “Demons and Mosquitoes“. The song is to capture a national dilemma, as Croatia has been described as a country of emigration. More people are leaving the country than ever before. The song explores the mass exodus of young people leaving Croatia, and the effects it has on those leaving and those that are left behind. The title Rim Tim Tagi Dim literally means nothing. Google it (I did), you won’t find a translation. Rim Tim Tagi Dim is more of an expression of a rhythm. Eurovision in Concert  In Amsterdam, last april, during the Eurovision in Concert weekend, our reporter Kal spoke with Marko. Croatia and the Eurovision Song Contest After the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1992, the various former states also continued independently of each other in the Eurovision Song Contest. Croatia made its debut in 1993, along with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia. The country has been represented at the Eurovision Song Contest almost every year since that year. Of the countries belonging to Yugoslavia, Croatia achieved the best results in the first years. Between 1995 and 2001, with one exception, the top 10 was achieved every time. The Croats achieved their best performances in 1996 and 1999, when the country finished fourth. Will Baby Lasagna manage to make it to the final? No doubt about that. Will he win the Eurovision Song Contest? We’ll know on Saturday.        

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Malmö Messages: the non-participants

photo: EBU/Chloe Hashemi Recently, at the Oslo preparty to be exact, our reporter Kal spoke to several artists. Not all of them will be on the Eurovision stage in Malmö this year. That is why we want to highlight two interviews now; not with 2024 participants, but still very interesting. The first one is an interview with Luke Black! Luke was last year’s Serbian participant. Kal and Luke met before in Liverpool, so it was nice for both of them meeting again! Dag Erik Oksvold and Anne Fagermo participated in Norsk Melodi Grand Prix this year with the song “Judge tenderly of me”. Kal met the duo that became 5th in the Melodi Grand Prix final. Will we see them again in Melodi Grand Prix? More nice things to come! Keep an eye on all our channels!

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Malmö Messages: the turquoise carpet

photo: Loreen on the turquoise carpet last year, EBU/Corinne Cumming Today, the artists will walk the red carpet; it’s the annual opening party of the Eurovision Song Contest. However, the event has been significantly scaled down for security reasons. As such, almost all fan media have been denied permission to cover it. You can watch the event live here, 15.30 CET:

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