Eurovision 2024: Slimane’s chances, favorites, ABBA… everything you need to know about the show

Eurovision 2024: Slimane’s chances, favorites, ABBA… everything you need to know about the show
Eurovision 2024: Slimane’s chances, favorites, ABBA… everything you need to know about the show

the essential
The 68th Eurovision Song Contest takes place this Saturday evening in Malmö, Sweden. 26 countries are competing. Israel’s participation has been the subject of heated controversy this year. Here’s everything you need to know to enjoy the show

Songs in unusual languages, often original outfits and choreographies, endless “twelve points” to choose the winner… Eurovision is back. This 68th edition of the song competition takes place this Saturday evening in Sweden. France has never won Eurovision since “The Bird and the Child” by Marie Myriam in 1977.

Who represents France?

It was the singer Slimane who was chosen by France Télévisions to represent France. He will perform the ballad “Mon amour”, designed to allow him to show all the vocal power of the winner of “The Voice” in 2016. The song was revealed in November 2023 to allow the French public to know it. It remains to convince European viewers. Slimane will sing in 25th and penultimate position this Saturday evening.

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How many countries are competing?

26 countries are competing for this 68th edition. There are France, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain, automatically qualified every year because they are the biggest financiers of Eurovision, Sweden which is the host country, as well as 20 other countries: Serbia, Portugal, Slovenia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Finland, Cyprus, Croatia, Ireland, Luxembourg, Latvia, Austria, Netherlands, Norway, Israel, Greece, Estonia, Switzerland, Georgia and Armenia. Eleven European countries were eliminated on Tuesday and Thursday during the semi-finals of the competition: Malta, Albania, the Czech Republic, San Marino, Belgium, Denmark, Poland, Australia, Iceland, Moldova and Azerbaijan.

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What is the current controversy?

It concerns Israel’s participation in the competition. For several months, voices have been raised to demand that the Jewish state not send a candidate because of the war in Gaza. The organizers maintained the presence of Eden Golan and her song “Hurricane”, a song refused twice because of the lyrics. On Thursday, in the center of Malmö in Sweden, 12,000 people marched against the presence of Israel. A new gathering is planned for this Saturday, May 11. Eurovision aims to be apolitical: any reference to the current war is prohibited by the organization.

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Who is given favorite?

The two main names that come up are Croatia represented by Baby Lasagna and the song “Rim Tim Tagi Dim”, Israeli Eden Golan with “Hurricane” and Switzerland represented by Nemo and the title “The Code”. Israel is one of the countries most frequently cited on betting sites like Eurovision World. There is also Slimane with “Mon amour” rising from 7th to 4th place on the Eurovision World site after his performance in the semi-final. But also Ukraine which sent Alyona Alyona & Jerry Heil to Eurovision with “Teresa & Maria”.

Are there any surprises planned?

Impossible to know in advance by definition. No international stars are announced. A few years ago, Madonna and Justin Timberlake came to sing at Eurovision. The 2024 edition marks the 50th anniversary of the Swedes’ ABBA victory with “Waterloo”. What if they came to sing for the occasion?

Where is Eurovision taking place this year?

Since the winner of 2023 was the Swedish Loreen with “Tattoo”, Sweden was responsible for organizing the 2024 edition. It takes place in Malmö in the south of Sweden at the Malmö Hall Arena which can accommodate 13,000 people. In the current context, very large police forces are mobilized, coming from Sweden, Norway and Denmark.

Who presents Eurovision?

Two Swedish women will present: Swedish television star Petra Mede – who speaks French very well, which is one of the two official languages ​​of Eurovision – and actress Malin Åkerman who has appeared in several American series and films.

Malin AAkerman and Petra Mede will present the 68th edition of Eurovision.
Photo AFP

Who will commentate on the show in France?

It is the duo Laurence Boccolini – Stéphane Bern who will provide commentary for the show, on France 2, this Saturday evening from 9 p.m. There is no doubt that their complicity and sense of humor will make for a great evening! The competition will also be broadcast on the official Eurovision YouTube channel.

Who will announce France’s points?

At the end of the show, this Saturday evening, it is the singer Natasha St-Pier who will announce the points that France awards to each candidate. Eurovision candidate for France in 2001, Natasha St-Pier speaks English fluently. She has just won “Dancing with the Stars” on TF1.

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How to vote?

At Eurovision, you cannot vote for your country’s candidate, which would favor the most populous Nations. The French will therefore not be able to vote to defend Slimane. Voting will be done by telephone or SMS on the numbers which will be displayed on the screen. Since 2023, viewers from countries not participating in Eurovision can vote: they will be counted in the “Rest of the world” category and will have the weight of one additional country.

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