Eurovision 2024: Songs with the best shot at winning Another year, another glitter-filled spectacle known as the Eurovision Song Contest. The Grand Final airs Saturday at 3:00 p.m. ET on Peacock in the United States.

Eurovision 2024: Here are the songs with the best shot at glory

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


Tomorrow in Malmo, Sweden, 26 countries are competing in the Eurovision finals. It's the competition that made ABBA and Celine Dion stars. Glen Weldon of NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast is here to give us a preview. Good morning.

GLEN WELDON, BYLINE: Good morning, Leila.

FADEL: So, for all the non Eurovision super fans, let's start with a quick rundown for how this works.

WELDON: Sure. This year, 37 countries nominated 37 different songs to compete. The semifinals were this week, which eliminated a few of those. So as you say, on Saturday, 26 countries will compete against each other. Six of those countries made it through automatically. There's the host country, Sweden, along with the five countries that frankly contribute the most money to the competition. That's France, Spain, Germany, Italy and the U.K. One of the countries with the best shot to win this year is Ukraine. Ukraine usually does well in Eurovision, and that's not just because of, you know, international good will. This is not a sympathy vote, they just really know how to show - choose and stage a song, so it makes a huge impression. This year, their song is called "Teresa & Maria" - it's about faith, and as you might imagine, perseverance. Here's a clip.


ALYONA ALYONA AND JERRY HEIL: (Singing in Ukrainian).

WELDON: So on Saturday, the winner will be chosen through a combination of public votes and a jury vote of music industry professionals. The juries tend to be more conservative. They judge purely on technique, while the public loves everything that is shiny and glittery and over-the-top and on fire.

FADEL: Also all things that I like. What should we be looking out for?

WELDON: Well, musically, you're going to get some ballads, as you always do, lots of bops, and a handful of very stirring anthems about holding up or looking up or standing up or not giving up. Something with up, anyway.

FADEL: Yeah.

WELDON: Visually, it's light shows and sequins and disco balls and dance breaks. But this year is special. I've been telling people it's peak Eurovision because this year, the songs go big, they go hard. And a lot of the performers kind of style themselves as quirky nonconformists who reject the rules of society, man. Like, there's a guy - Finland's entry is a guy who calls himself Windows 95 Man. He emerges half naked from a large, denim egg.

FADEL: What?

WELDON: Like, sure. Here's a clip from the Netherlands. Dutch rapper Joost Klein has an earworm called "Europapa." It's essentially a love song to the European Union itself, you know, the ability to travel the continent freely and very cheaply. It is very Eurovision.


JOOST KLEIN: (Singing in Dutch).

WELDON: You see what I mean.

FADEL: Yeah.

WELDON: So there's also the entry from Croatia, which is another favorite to win it all. The performer is called Baby Lasagna. Here is his song "Rim Tim Tagi Dim," which is about young people leaving their homes in Eastern Europe to find opportunity in the West.


BABY LASAGNA: (Singing) Don't call. Don't write. I'm leaving with the first light. Don't cry but dance. Rim-tim-tagi-digi, dim-tim-tim.

WELDON: And I should say, we can expect some tension in the room tomorrow. There have been protests in Malmo against Israel's participation in the competition this year. They say the war in Gaza is reason enough to ban Israel from the stage.

FADEL: Yeah. I've heard about people calling for a boycott, actually. What are the Eurovision organizers saying about that?

WELDON: Well, the organizers has always maintained that Eurovision is nonpolitical, but there's 37 countries competing. And anytime you've got that much geography on hand, you're going to get geopolitics.

FADEL: Right.

WELDON: It can't be helped. Russia has been banned from competing in Eurovision since the start of the war in Ukraine, which certainly has some parallels with the situation in Gaza. So the idea is to create this perfect, shiny world on the Eurovision stage that is united by music. But just offstage, the ugliness of the real world is always waiting in the wings.

FADEL: That's Glen Weldon, co-host of NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour. Thanks, Glen.

WELDON: Thank you.


Copyright © 2024 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.