Eurovision Final 2024 Live Updates: What to Expect

Eurovision Final 2024 Live Updates: What to Expect

Alex Marshall

Angelina Mango of Italy performs “La Noia” during dress rehearsal on Wednesday.Credit…Martin Meissner/Associated Press

To its millions of devoted fans, the Eurovision Song Contest is a cultural juggernaut, an exciting competition in which singers and rappers represent their countries and perform for votes. To more casual observers, it’s simply a fun, camp — and often bewildering — night of TV, with extravagant songs and outrageous outfits.

This year, as always, the contest features songs that range from the sublime to the ridiculous. The favorites to win include the Italian pop star Angelina Mango, with the tropical track “La Noia”; Slimane, from France, with “Mon Amour,” a soaring ballad; and Croatia’s Baby Lasagna with “Rim Tim Tagi Dim,” a silly hard rock track about a man who sells his cow and leaves his childhood village.

But the competition also often has political undertones, and the run-up to this year’s event in Malmo, Sweden has been overshadowed by the war in Gaza. For months, thousands of Eurovision fans, as well as dozens of pro-Palestinian organizations, have been lobbying the competition’s organizers to ban Israel because of its war in Gaza.

Eurovision’s organizers refused, and Eden Golan, a 20-year-old pop star, will represent Israel tonight with “Hurricane,” a ballad that obliquely references Israeli grief over the Oct. 7 attacks last year. In Golan’s semifinal on Thursday, some audience members booed as she performed, although others tried to drown out the dim with cheers. Will Golan win over the audience inside the Malmo Arena tonight and the tens of millions watching live on TV and YouTube?

And how will other competitors respond to Israel’s presence at the final? Several of the acts performing in the final, including Olly Alexander, representing Britain, have signed petitions against Israel’s actions in Gaza, and it’s likely that some performers may try to comment on the conflict, directly or indirectly, from the stage.

All Eurovision viewers, no matter where they live, can help choose the winner, and you can read our guide on how to watch (in the U.S., via Peacock) and vote here. Stay on this page to follow all the action throughout the night. I’ll be reporting from Malmo, and we have fashion and music experts standing by.

Here’s what else to know:

  • Hours before the final started, around 5,000 pro-Palestinian demonstrators marched through the city center to protest Israel’s involvement.

  • Organizers have banned the Netherlands’ entry. The European Broadcasting Union, which organizes the contest, said in a statement that it was “investigating an incident” involving the Dutch artist, Joost Klein, and on Saturday morning, a Swedish police spokeswoman said officers were investigating a man “suspected of unlawful threats” toward a Eurovision employee.

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