You are currently viewing NF Season 2024: The Moments That Defined The Season

Photo Credit: LRT, Bashar Murad, RTÉ and

It’s been another amazing national final season where hundreds of artists have been hoping to win the ticket to represent their country in Sweden. As always there have been many memorable moments over the last few months and here in this article, we take a look at some of the most defining moments of the season!

A National Final Heat Where No-One Qualified

The season began earlier than expected as we had our first artist reveals in September and the first proper national final heat was in October! That was the first semi-final of MESC, the national final that has brought many memorable moments in the past. There were four heats of nine and the Top 12 were decided by a jury and the public. However, it was any 12 acts across the heats that could qualify which made for some unique results. For example, six artists in Semi Final 4 made it to the final and in Semi-Final 3, the unthinkable happened – once the final 12 were announced, it was revealed that not a single act qualified from that heat.


For the first time since 2008, Czechia held a national final with a live audience! Seven acts sang at the Roxy Club in Prague hosted by Czech-American singer and actor Adam Mišík for the second year in a row. Adam was also responsible for some of the more memorable moments of the show such as enthusiastically announcing who was performing next and stating that the Czech broadcaster actually paid him to host the show again.

Another memorable moment from the evening wasn’t the songs themselves but the lady in the front of the crowd passionately singing the lyrics whenever the camera panned across to her and basically being the artists’ biggest fan! In the end, the competition was won by Aiko who will sing ‘Pedestal’ hoping to put Czechia high up on the pedestal.

Olly Alexander’s Eurovision Announcement

While many British Eurofans were tuned in to watch the Strictly Come Dancing final one Saturday night in December, they had a surprise coming. Usually just before the public can vote for their favourite dancer, a celebrity announces that the votes are open, and host Claudia Winklemann was joined by Olly Alexander, the frontman of one of the UK’s biggest bands of the mid-2010s, Years & Years, who claimed that he had some news. He exclusively revealed he was representing the UK at Eurovision 2024! This was met by huge cheers and shock in the room and the Eurovision sphere exploded! While it was rumoured, not many people actually believed the UK had someone so famous and so loved in the UK representing the country. Many fans are still in shock even now and it has become clear that the UK are hungry to win.

Olly’s song ‘Dizzy’ was unveiled on March 1st and you can listen to it here!

Tudor Bumbac

Tudor Bumbac is an icon, a legend and he is the moment in the Eurovision sphere. He may be 82 years old but nothing will stop him from trying to make his dream a reality which is to represent Moldova at Eurovision. 2024 was his 6th attempt to represent his country with the song ‘Tudorel’ and although he was somewhat known in the fandom, this year was the year where he became a beloved figure in the community.

He truly is the people’s princess.

While he doesn’t have the best vocals in the world, his jolly and upbeat song made him a fan favourite once again, and even won some fan polls of the National Final. Unfortunately, the juries who voted did not understand his song from an academic perspective and he finished in 28th place out of 30. But maybe, next year he’ll return and do even better!

Bashar in the Wild Wild West

Iceland is one of the coolest countries in Eurovision (sorry) and fans always look forward to seeing which acts would take part in their selection. Eurofans were especially excited to hear Palestinian singer Bashar Murad had been revealed to be one of the semi-finalists for Söngvakeppnin. He was famous for collaborating with the Eurovision 2019 act Hatari. His song was called ‘Wild West’ and when he was first announced, Iceland was predicted to be one of the favourites to win Eurovision!

His performance was strong and featured traditional Palestinian dances and symbolism, but it wasn’t enough to win in the end. He finished 2nd to Hera Björk with her catchy song ‘Scared Of Heights’.

In a world where Palestinian voices are currently being silenced, having Bashar being able to tell his story on the Icelandic and potentially international stage would have been such an important moment.

If you wish to donate any money you can to help Palestinians, Medical Aid for Palestinians is a great organisation which you can help here:

‘You’re Mine

With around 40 countries taking part in Eurovision and over half of them using National finals to decide their songs, you’ll have hundreds of songs in one year! In those hundreds of songs, there is a probability that one or two of the songs will have some unusual lyrics or explore different characters. One of the most talked about and controversial songs of the year was in MGP in Norway: ‘You’re Mine‘ performed by Mileo. The lyrics of the song are from the perspective of a fictional villain male character who has a male love interest and will do anything it takes to be with him, including eliminating everyone else and even ‘burying his girlfriend’. These lyrics caused controversy because some felt that they glorified violence and abuse. Others also felt that the lyrics were creepy and weren’t appropriate for a family audience, especially for a song to go to a massive event such as Eurovision. The song itself divided opinions in the fandom as many loved it, but many also hated it.

Mileo in a now-deleted tweet said that he did send the lyrics to broadcaster NRK to see if they wanted him to make any changes, to which they didn’t and he said that they loved the concept. The overall performance was strong and featured three backup dancers dressed as nurses and he sang very well, but ultimately it wasn’t enough to make the final. Despite this, the song managed to make the Norwegian charts, so far has 1.3 million streams on Spotify, and helped him gain thousands of new fans across Europe so in the end Mileo had the last laugh.


Sticking with Norway, while MGP (Melodi Grand Prix) doesn’t always get the best reception from fans, as some want them to send something different although Norway always does well at the contest! Hoping to be that change was the band Gåte who combined folk music with metal and electronica. ‘Ulveham’ is based on a medieval folk tale which tells the story of a woman who is transformed into a needle, a knife, and then a sword by her evil stepmother, but despite her transformations, the public still loves the woman. She is eventually transformed into a wolf when she exacts her gruesome revenge.

The performance stood out over the rest of the lineup and featured the lead singer Gunnhild Sundli emotionally singing on a spinning platform while the laser show illuminated the dark atmosphere of the performance. It was a close finish but the band won the televote and beat runners-up KEiiNO by just 6 points which was one of the closest finishes of the National Final season!

Welcome Back Luxembourg!

The morning before the Eurovision 2023 final, fans who were eagerly excited for the grand final got an unexpected shock when it was announced that Luxembourg was returning to the contest for the first time in 30 years! Eurofans were intrigued at what the small nation was going to do but it was announced that there would be a national final known as the ‘Luxembourg Song Contest’ held at the famous Rockhal Arena. Luxembourg put on a great production and it felt like a mini Eurovision featuring a massive stage and interval acts featuring former winners Katrina, Ruslana, Alexander Rybak, as well as opening acts, Luxembourg winners Vicky Leandros and Anne-Marie David from 1972 and 1973 respectively.

The eight participants gave it their all, and Tali emerged as the overall winner with her song ‘Fighter’, but it wasn’t all smooth sailing as Tali accidentally dropped an F-bomb in excitement live on TV when she was interviewed halfway through the voting. Not only that but after Tali had received her flowers and the trophy, when she was asked how she felt, as she picked up her microphone, the trophy fell out of her arms and it broke live on stage. Despite the chaos, Tali and the hosts took it with good humour and laughed it off before she sang her reprise. Overall, it was a welcome return and hopefully, Luxembourg will be in the contest for many years to come!


Ireland’s national final Eurosong doesn’t always have the best reputation in the Eurovision community as fans criticise the songs for being too safe and therefore rendering them unable to qualify for the final. This time things were changing, with two songs in particular. Revealed on RTÉ Radio 1 on The Ray D’Arcy Show (which featured many stories about mice) Ailsha’s ‘Go Tobann’ was a folk-metal song that combined traditional Irish instruments and a clever message which took social media by storm and instantly became a fan favourite.

Bambie Thug was another artist on the eyes of fans with their unique and experimental style known as ‘ouija-pop’ with their song ‘Doomsday Blue’, but it was always gonna be a tough contest. Ultimately, Bambie Thug emerged victorious with Ailsha finishing in joint 2nd place. After their victory, Bambie Thug sang their song at a bar in Dublin and partied with the very excited Irish fans.

But the artists weren’t the only stars at Eurosong…

The Spar Hamper

Last year at Eurosong there was an unexpected star of the show, not any of the acts or the host, it was a peanut butter hamper! This hamper was given to everyone in the live studio audience to huge applause and excitement, gaining a bigger reaction than some of the competing acts in 2023 and this year was no different! This time the studio audience was each given a €100 hamper full of groceries from supermarket Spar. This was once again met with applause from the audience as well as confusion and hilarity amongst international Eurofans.

Photo credit: RTÉ

A Star Is Born in Lithuania

In recent years, Lithuania has had a lot more success at Eurovision with consecutive Top 15 results throughout this decade so far. Hoping to keep the momentum going was Silvester Belt. He performed his song ‘Luktelk’ in the first heat. Silvester was a rising star but many thought Eurovision 2020 and 2021 entrants The Roop could take the title. After his debut performance, ‘Luktelk’ took Lithuania by storm and the song jumped to Number 1 on the Lithuanian music charts. The song continued to build momentum and gained a huge amount of support from international fans too.

During his super-final performance, the entire audience in the arena was jumping up and down and willing Silvester to take the victory. After a tense wait, it was revealed he had won the televote and the whole crowd erupted with cheers and gave Silvester a hero’s welcome when he returned to sing his reprise. After his win, Silvester Belt broke records in Lithuania as ‘Luktelk’ had the most ever daily streams for a song in Lithuanian and the second most streamed daily song in Lithuanian Spotify Charts history.


Ukraine once again used Vidbir to decide who would follow TVORCHI as their representative. As the war in the country was still ongoing, Vidbir had to be held under exceptional circumstances: the final itself was pre-recorded but all of the 11 performances were still performed live. Vidbir was a huge triumph that celebrated Ukraine’s diverse music industry and the production was incredible, once again showing Ukraine’s tenacity in these trying times.

Eurovision has always brought Ukrainians together and brought joy to millions. This year is no different. For the first time, the app Diia was used as the platform for Ukrainians to choose their favourite song. Everyone in Ukraine uses Diia as it’s a government app and as a result, millions of people were able to have their say. However, it wasn’t without drama as the app crashed on Saturday evening so results were delayed until Sunday afternoon. This caused controversy and even caused contestant SKYLERR to announce she was withdrawing to which she was told she couldn’t. She still finished in 6th place. Ultimately fan favourites Alyona Alyona and Jerry Heil won in a landslide victory with the televote, with over 60% of total votes going to them with their song ‘Teresa & Maria’.


Returning to MESC, Malta introduced a MESC week where on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, all 12 finalists would be interviewed. The music videos were revealed on Thursday and the live final was on Saturday. There were a few acts on people’s radars: returnees MATT BLXCK, DENISE, Sarah Bonnici, and newcomers ERBA’. Fans especially went wild for Sarah Bonnici’s revamped ‘Loop’ music video and her live performance which featured her and her blindfolded dancers flipping her.

Another memorable moment was MATT BLXCK’s ‘Banana’ where he rode a giant banana on the stage during his live-on-tape performance in the instrumental break. Whatever you think of MATT BLXCK, he always gives us a memorable show! In the end, although Matt won the televote, the juries preferred Sarah Bonnici and she’ll be representing Malta this year!

Zorra and Benidorm Fest

Benidorm Fest has become a popular national final and for the 3rd edition, fans were eagerly awaiting who would follow in the footsteps of Chanel and Blanca Paloma.

One controversial moment was in the second semi-final. Despite winning the televote, the band Mantra was awarded the maximum 40 points but because of the low jury points they received, it pushed them down the scoreboard, and as a result they failed to qualify for the final. This once again raised questions as to whether this was the correct voting system to use, as televote only represented 25%.

The overall winner was Nebulossa who some fans may remember as they took part in Una Voce Per San Marino last year but failed to make it to the final. They took part with their song ‘Zorra’ (Vixen) but it can also be used to mean ‘slut’ in Spanish slang. ‘Zorra’ became an anthem of female empowerment and touched the hearts of the Spanish viewers and the international juries where in a tough contest, they emerged victorious.

If you’d like to know more about the lyrical content and the deeper meaning of the song, click this article!


Joost Klein is a Dutch rapper and YouTuber who has been a fan of Eurovision for years. He was even a volunteer in Eurovision 2014 where he served drinks to fans in Copenhagen! Over recent years, he’s become popular on YouTube and TikTok and wanted to make his dream of representing The Netherlands on the Eurovision stage come true. In December, it was announced that he was chosen. According to Joost, his song ‘Europapa’ was inspired sonically by Eurodance acts like The Vengaboys and 2 Unlimited. It was revealed on February 29th and became another hit amongst fans thanks to its 1990s rave style.

The song was dedicated to his late father and is a ‘love letter to Europe’, as his father always taught him that the world has no borders.

‘Europapa’ was an instant smash in the Netherlands where it broke the record for the most streamed song in the country in 1 day, earning over 1 million streams alone and 1.6 million across the world. Could this momentum make him a televote favourite?

Finding and Breaking Nemo’s Code

Switzerland has had a reputation for sending a ‘male ballad’ to Eurovision but Swiss broadcaster SRF said back in February that this wasn’t the case this time and they weren’t lying! Non-binary artist Nemo was announced as the Swiss representative, singing the genre-defying song ‘The Code’ which was anything but a ballad! Their song talks about their journey of realising they were non-binary with lyrics such as “between the 0s and 1s, that’s where I found my kingdom come”.

The song combined drum and bass and rap in the verses, an anthemic pop chorus, as well as showing off their operatic talents throughout the song. The song was an instant success amongst many fans and Switzerland has since become a favourite to win! Could Nemo be the one to bring Eurovision back home to Switzerland?

UMK in the honourary Eurovision 2024 host city

After a hugely successful UMK last year, not only with Käärijä’s 2nd place finish for Finland but all of the UMK 2023 artists having big hits in Finland with their entries, fans had high expectations for what Finland would bring to the table in 2024.

Once again, in the 7 songs that made it to the final, there was a hugely diverse national final featuring pop, Eurodance, rock, R&B, rap, and a ballad. Many of the names were well-established artists in Finland such as Sexmane and UMK 2022 returnees Cyan Kicks.

Tampere was the host city of UMK (and the honorary host city of Eurovision according to their adverts) and the whole production felt like an advert for why they should host Eurovision again! The show was a celebration of Finnish talent, opening with host and UMK 2023 contestants Benjamin and KUUMAA performing a duet of their songs ‘Hoida Mut’ and ‘Ylivoimainen’. The interval act featured megastar Erika Vikman and Käärijä performing together before the famous man in green sang ‘Cha Cha Cha’ to a rapturous reception. It felt like a winner’s return!

Sara Siipola was the hot favourite to win with her emotional ballad ‘Paksana’ which was loved by many fans and a lot of them thought she would win with no issue! However, in the end, the Finnish public preferred Windows95Man and his song ‘No Rules!’ The performance featured him emerging from a giant denim egg wearing his Windows 95 T-shirt and skin-coloured underwear before putting on his blue shorts and spinning around holding two tubes that fired pyro which the audience loved!

Una Voce Per San Marino

San Marino has given us one of the most unique selection processes of any country recently. Una Voce Per San Marino, although a recent NF, has always brought in some unexpected names. In 2022, we had Achille Lauro, last year Eiffel 65 took part and this year we had Corona who sang 90s dance smash hit ‘Rhythm Of The Night’ featuring on one of the competing songs. We also had Italian music legend and Sanremo 2024 contestant Loredana Berté competing with her song ‘Pazza’. She expressed her hope to go to Malmö to not only sing her song for millions of people but to annoy her Swedish ex-husband Björn Borg!

San Marino also had an AI round where singers worked with software to create a song to compete in their NF. One of the singers who did this was famous jazz singer Dana Gilespie who sang ‘The Last Polar Bear‘.

But in the end, the winner was Spanish act Megara who won with their rock song ’11:11′. Megara took part in the Spanish selection Benidorm Fest in 2023 but this time they won for San Marino over 2nd place Loredana! This wasn’t without some confusion from the crowd who didn’t realise Megara were about to perform again and the host worryingly asked the audience “Why are you leaving?”

Baby Lasagna

Baby Lasagna’s journey to Eurovision was not a straightforward one. When he applied for Dora 2024, it was revealed he did not make the shortlist of 24 songs and would be the first reserve entry if someone dropped out. Luckily for Baby Lasagna, this was exactly what happened as Zsa Zsa decided to withdraw. As soon as his song ‘Rim Tim Tagi Dim’ was revealed, fans instantly loved it but fans were also shocked that Croatian broadcaster HRT initially rejected such a catchy and unique song. His journey was even more remarkable because his song was only intended as an album filler track and he hadn’t performed live on stage solo before!

However, his catchy and fun song does have a deeper message. Baby Lasagna tells the story of a young man who wishes to leave his life behind in the Croatian countryside and his family’s farm for a new life in the city. It also talks about his fears and what he will miss when he leaves his family. This story relates to many young people not just in Croatia but across Europe.

His main competition were 2023 representatives Let 3 who were singing ‘Babaroga’ but ultimately the Croatian juries and the public overwhelmingly preferred Baby Lasagna. In the televote alone, Baby Lasagna won 247 points compared to the second-placed act receiving 27 points. He has since become the bookies’ favourite to win Eurovision! Could Baby Lasagna’s fairytale Eurovision dream continue and could he give Croatia their first Eurovision victory as an independent country?

Teya Dora Triumphs

PZE year on year is one of the biggest and most diverse national finals of the year so it’s no surprise that Serbia are one of the most successful countries in Eurovision in recent years. Many of Serbia’s biggest stars take part and this year was no exception. Breskvica and Teya Dora are very successful singers not just in Serbia but across the Balkans and beyond. They were also joined by Serbian 2022 beloved contestant Konstrakta so it was always going to be a tense competition.

In the end, Teya Dora’s emotional ballad ‘Ramonda’ emerged victorious as her dark but simple performance really stood out. In a year where there’s so many countries trying to appeal to the televote by sending fast and unique entries, could something like this really stand out in May?

Melfest Is Still The One

Melodifestivalen, as always, is one of the best-produced and popular national finals of the season and features an array of popular talent and familiar faces. This year was no different! The lineup featured Danny Saucedo, Dotter, Marcus and Martinus, Medina, Samir & Viktor, and Smash Into Pieces to name a few.

There were also some popular newcomers such as the elusive but successful Fröken Snusk, television personality Gunilla Persson and up and coming pop star Jacqline where all three made big impressions.

During the final, all 12 acts sang their hearts out, but one memorable moment was a supposedly surprise 13th entry, Bjornzone, singing ‘Still The One’. They were a fictional band made up of famous Swedish stars of all ages; Björn GustafssonFilip BergLoa FalkmanCasper JanebrinkVictor LeksellAdam LundgrenUlrik MuntherBoris René, and Eurovision stars Eric Saade and Måns Zelmerlöw. This performance, which parodied 90s boybands like The Backstreet Boys, delighted viewers and was kept a surprise until the final performance!

After the results were finalised, Marcus and Martinus won with their slick pop anthem ‘Unforgettable’ and one of the year’s most unique stagings so far.

Danny promises everything’s gonna be alright

Back in September 2023, Daniel (Danny) Estrin, the lead singer of Australia 2023 representatives Voyager, announced that he had been diagnosed with cancer. Thousands of fans, as well as many of his fellow Eurovision friends, expressed their well wishes for him to recover soon. During the Melfest final, Danny presented the international jury votes to Australia to a huge ovation.

Voyager have since said on social media that Danny has been responding well to his chemotherapy. All of us at Phoenix wish him the best and continue to have Danny, his family, and his band in our thoughts.

And with that, the 2024 NF season comes to an end!

Whether you’re watching Eurovision or not this year, we hope that you enjoyed this national final season. Thank you for reading, and we can’t wait to update you with more Eurovision news! Here’s to another exciting NF season in 2025!

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