Eurovision 2024 semi-finals live: Watch as Ukraine and Ireland progress to final (2024)

Summary

  • Croatia, Ukraine, Finland and Ireland are among the first 10 countries to have qualified for Eurovision's Grand Final on Saturday

  • Tonight's semi-final also saw Serbia, Portugal, Slovenia, Lithuania, Cyprus and Luxembourg get through

  • The ‘Big Five’ countries (United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, France, Italy) get automatic access to the final - as does the host, which this year is Sweden

  • This year's contest is being hosted in the coastal city of Malmö in southern Sweden

  • There'll be another semi-final on Thursday, where 16 more countries will compete for a place in the final

Live Reporting

  1. Shock for Australia, joy for fan favourites including Ireland, Croatia and Ukrainepublished at 22:45 7 May

    22:45 7 May

    Mark Savage
    Music correspondent

    Eurovision 2024 semi-finals live: Watch as Ukraine and Ireland progress to final (1)Image source, Corrinne Cumming / EBU

    Australia - a wild card entry since 2015 - is one of the biggest cheerleaders of Eurovision, so it'll be a huge shock to see their act Electric Fields going home. The country has only failed to qualify once before, in 2021.

    It's also a bad night for returning Eurovision legends. Both Iceland's Hera Björk and Moldova's Natalia Barbu were hoping to improve on their first Eurovision placements (in 2010 and 2007 respectively) - but both of them failed to qualify.

    The bookmakers largely proved right tonight. Fan favourites from Ireland, Croatia and Ukraine all sailed through to the final, while low-ranked tracks from Azerbaijan and Poland were rejected.

    Ireland will be particularly pleased. They've been booted out of the semi-final at eight of the last 10 contests - and the edgy, gothic performance of Bambie Thug was a bold move away from safe ground. For now, at least, it's paid off.

    And from a viewers' perspective, tonight's results bode well for Saturday's Grand Final. All of the big set-piece performances survived - so we'll get to see Finland's Windows95Man in his underpants all over again, for better or worse.

    The fun begins all over again on Thursday, when the second semi-final takes place. Until then, thanks for watching and, in the immortal words of Nick Ross, "don't have nightmares, do sleep well".

  2. The results are in...published at 22:19 7 May

    22:19 7 May

    Eurovision 2024 semi-finals live: Watch as Ukraine and Ireland progress to final (2)Image source, Alma Bengtsson / EBU

    So, now we know the 10 acts who will progress to Saturday's Grand Final.

    In order of announcement, they are:

    1. Serbia
    2. Portugal
    3. Slovenia
    4. Ukraine
    5. Lithuania
    6. Finland
    7. Cyprus
    8. Croatia (pictured)
    9. Ireland
    10. Luxembourg

    One of them could be the winner - but before the final, there's another semi-final to go on Thursday.

  3. Benjamin Ingrosso is about to storm the stagepublished at 22:02 7 May

    22:02 7 May

    Mark Savage
    Music correspondent

    Eurovision 2024 semi-finals live: Watch as Ukraine and Ireland progress to final (3)Image source, Getty Images

    After a touching tribute to former contestant Nicole Josy, the half-time show continues with an appearance by Swedish star Benjamin Ingrosso.

    He came seventh in Eurovision 2018. A respectable placing, you might think, but not for his fellow countrymen.

    "In Sweden, if you don't come top five, you're the worst, so I was a disappointment," he told the official Eurovision Song Contest podcast, external.

    But his career has gone from strength to strength ever since - and he recently scored a viral number one hit with the single, Kite.

    The singer will play that track tonight as part of a "super-medley" of his hits, while dressed in a Saturday Night Fever-ish bright white suit (He seems to have forgotten his shirt, but I don't think anyone will mind).

  4. Voting has now closedpublished at 21:55 7 May

    21:55 7 May

    Mark Savage
    BBC Music correspondent

    Time's up! The votes are now being tallied and verified.

    As a reminder, every country will award points to their 10 favourite acts. First place gets 12 points, second place gets 10 and everyone else is scored between one and eight.

    We'll find out who's progressing to the final - and who's going home broken-hearted - very soon.

  5. In pictures: A look at the second half of the showpublished at 21:48 7 May

    21:48 7 May

    Mark Savage
    Music correspondent

    With voting at the half-way stage, the tense wait to find out who qualifies is almost over.

    While we bite our fingernails, here are some images from the show's second half.

    Eurovision 2024 semi-finals live: Watch as Ukraine and Ireland progress to final (4)Image source, Sarah Louise Bennett / EBU

    Eurovision 2024 semi-finals live: Watch as Ukraine and Ireland progress to final (5)Image source, Alma Bengsston / EBU

    Eurovision 2024 semi-finals live: Watch as Ukraine and Ireland progress to final (6)Image source, Reuters

    Eurovision 2024 semi-finals live: Watch as Ukraine and Ireland progress to final (7)Image source, Reuters

    Eurovision 2024 semi-finals live: Watch as Ukraine and Ireland progress to final (8)Image source, Reuters

    Eurovision 2024 semi-finals live: Watch as Ukraine and Ireland progress to final (9)Image source, Reuters

    Eurovision 2024 semi-finals live: Watch as Ukraine and Ireland progress to final (10)Image source, Reuters

    Eurovision 2024 semi-finals live: Watch as Ukraine and Ireland progress to final (11)Image source, Reuters

    Eurovision 2024 semi-finals live: Watch as Ukraine and Ireland progress to final (12)Image source, Reuters

  6. Johnny Logan is about to take the stagepublished at 21:42 7 May

    21:42 7 May

    Mark Savage
    BBC Music correspondent

    Eurovision 2024 semi-finals live: Watch as Ukraine and Ireland progress to final (13)Image source, Getty Images

    Until last year, Johnny Logan was the only singer to have won Eurovision twice.

    He took the title in 1980 with the syrupy classic What's Another Year, and triumphed again in 1987 with the impassioned ballad Hold Me Now. The latter was eventually voted the third-best Eurovision winner of all time.

    A fixture of Ireland's folk circuit for years, Eurovision made Logan a star - and he went on to score international hits with songs like 24 Hours, A State of Happiness and Visions of Glory (with Monsterrat Caballé).

    In 2024, Swedish diva Loreen equalled his Eurovision record, scoring her second win with the dance anthem Tattoo.

    Eternally suave, Logan has travelled to Malmö to honour her victory. Tonight, he performs an orchestral cover of her first Eurovision entry, Euphoria, from 2012. Watch out for the high note at the end.

  7. Let the voting commence!published at 21:37 7 May

    21:37 7 May

    The lines are now open for the public vote.

    As Petra and Malin have explained, you can place up to 20 votes for your favourite act(s), but you can't vote for your own country, so don't even think about it.

    You'll notice that the UK, Germany and Sweden are missing from the video montage they show to refresh your memory. That's because they all get automatic passes to the final.

    Why is that? Well, the UK and Germany are part of the so-called "big five" group of countries - whose broadcasters make the biggest financial contribution to the contest. Sweden also qualifies in recognition of their victory in Liverpool last year.

  8. In pictures: The first half of the showpublished at 20:59 7 May

    20:59 7 May

    Mark Savage
    Music correspondent

    We're now at the half-way point of Eurovision 2024's first semi-final - here's a quick recap of the sights so far.

    Eurovision 2024 semi-finals live: Watch as Ukraine and Ireland progress to final (14)Image source, Corinne Cumming / EBU

    Eurovision 2024 semi-finals live: Watch as Ukraine and Ireland progress to final (15)Image source, Corinne Cumming / EBU

    Eurovision 2024 semi-finals live: Watch as Ukraine and Ireland progress to final (16)Image source, Alma Bengtsson / EBU

    Eurovision 2024 semi-finals live: Watch as Ukraine and Ireland progress to final (17)Image source, Reuters

    Eurovision 2024 semi-finals live: Watch as Ukraine and Ireland progress to final (18)Image source, Reuters

    Eurovision 2024 semi-finals live: Watch as Ukraine and Ireland progress to final (19)Image source, Reuters

    Eurovision 2024 semi-finals live: Watch as Ukraine and Ireland progress to final (20)Image source, EPA

    Eurovision 2024 semi-finals live: Watch as Ukraine and Ireland progress to final (21)Image source, Reuters

    Eurovision 2024 semi-finals live: Watch as Ukraine and Ireland progress to final (22)Image source, Reuters

  9. Olly Alexander is up nextpublished at 20:29 7 May

    20:29 7 May

    Mark Savage
    Music correspondent

    Eurovision 2024 semi-finals live: Watch as Ukraine and Ireland progress to final (23)Image source, Getty Images

    Olly Alexander is the highest-profile pop star the UK has sent to Eurovision in a long time.

    A chart-topping artist as part of the pop group Years & Years, he arrives in Malmö as a solo act, with the bubbling synth-pop sound of his song Dizzy.

    A life-long Eurovision fan, he has promised to "fly the flag for the country in the gayest way possible”. So expect some cavorting with scantily-clad men in a "dystopian locker room" in the next three minutes.

    While his odds aren't as high going into the competition as Sam Ryder two years ago, Eurovision host Graham Norton has high hopes.

    "Having a bona fide pop star representing the UK this year is a great start," he said in an interview earlier this week, adding:

    Quote Message

    Olly has already done all the things that it’s impossible to prepare someone for - he has played to huge crowds, he can relate to the cameras, and he is used to high pressure situations.

    Quote Message

    Add to that, the fact that the song is a massive bop and I think we could do really well this year."

  10. As the music starts - five moments to watch out forpublished at 20:12 7 May

    20:12 7 May

    Eurovision 2024 semi-finals live: Watch as Ukraine and Ireland progress to final (24)Image source, Sarah Louise Bennett / EBU

    This isn't a full-blown live page (we're keeping our powder dry for Saturday's grand final) so there won't be a running commentary during the performances.

    With that in mind, here's a couple of moments you won't want to miss over the next 90 minutes.

    1) Ireland's bewitching entry

    Ireland have had a rough decade at Eurovision. The seven-time winners have failed to qualify for the final at eight of the last 10 contests. Hoping to change that is singer-songwriter Bambie Thug, whose song Doomsday Blue is one of this year's most outlandish entries.

    Combining hyperpop, electro-metal and screamcore it will either stop you in your tracks or send you running for the hills. Their performance is one for the ages.

    2) Olly Alexander's space gym

    Former Years and Years singer Olly Alexander knows how to work a stage, and his Eurovision performance is no exception.

    In the words of his official press release: "Olly Alexander’s Eurovision performance transports viewers into a post- apocalyptic dystopian boxing gym locker room, aboard a spaceship hurtling toward Earth through a black hole in 1985!"

    We've all been there.

    3) Can Croatia win?

    It's never happened before - but this year's entrant, Baby Lasagna, are currently the bookmakers' favourites.

    Amazingly, the band only scraped into the contest after the original winner of Croatia's national selection contest pulled out. Singer Marko Purišić has brought along a good luck charm: A one-eyed, stuffed cat toy. See if you can spot it on stage.

    Eurovision 2024 semi-finals live: Watch as Ukraine and Ireland progress to final (25)Image source, Getty Images

    4) Watch out for those Jorts

    Bottled chaos. That's the vibe we're getting from Finnish performance artist Windows95Man. His song is called No Rules and its an ode to living your life without limits.

    Unfortunately, his performance falls foul of Eurovision's rules on full-frontal nudity... so he spends his three minutes on stage disguising his nether regions behind strategically placed microphone stands and camera rigs... Until a pair of jorts descends from heaven and saves the day.

    5) Luxembourg's return

    Thirty-one years after their last appearance at Eurovision, Luxembourg are back, Back, BACK!

    But can they make up for lost time with the Francophone pop banger, Fighter? Singer Tali Golergant certainly gives the performance her all. And she's last in the running order, which is traditionally a strong position to win votes from.

    In fact, the two acts who played last in last year's semi-finals both topped the public vote.

  11. Tonight's running orderpublished at 20:04 7 May

    20:04 7 May

    And just like that, the first semi-final of Eurovision 2024 is under way.

    Tonight's running order was decided by the Swedish broadcaster SVT, based on an allocation draw. Alongside the 15 hopefuls, we'll also see performances from the UK, Sweden and Germany, who get an automatic pass to the final.

    Here's who we'll see over the next two-and-a-half hours:

    1. Cyprus: Silia Kapsis - Liar
    2. Serbia: Teya Dora - Ramonda
    3. Lithuania: Silvester Belt - Luktelk
    4. Ireland: Bambie Thug - Doomsday Blue
    5. United Kingdom: Olly Alexander - Dizzy (already qualified)
    6. Ukraine: Alyona Alyona & Jerry Heil - Teresa & Maria
    7. Poland: Luna - The Tower
    8. Croatia: Baby Lasagna - Rim Tim Tagi Dim
    9. Iceland: Hera Björk - Scared of Heights
    10. Germany: Isaak - Always On The Run (already qualified)
    11. Slovenia: Raiven - Veronika
    12. Finland: Windows95Man - No Rules
    13. Moldova: Natalia Barbu - In the Middle
    14. Sweden: Marcus & Martinus - Unforgettable (already qualified)
    15. Azerbaijan: Fahree feat. Ilkin Dovlatov - Özünlə Apar
    16. Australia: Electric Fields - One Milkali (One Blood)
    17. Portugal: Iolanda - Grito
    18. Luxembourg: Tali - Fighter
  12. Eurovision royalty takes the stagepublished at 20:03 7 May

    20:03 7 May

    Eurovision 2024 semi-finals live: Watch as Ukraine and Ireland progress to final (26)Image source, EBU

    Three beloved Eurovision legends are opening tonight's show with a spectacular performance titled: "United By Music" (which also happens to be the Eurovision motto).

    Chanel, Eric Saade and Eleni Foureira are all former contestants who, although they didn't win, went on to become huge pop stars in their own right.

    They've been invited back to reassure tonight's performers "that you don't have to actually win the contest to be a winner," according to the official blurb.

    Eleni kicks us off with the fiery dance number Fuego - a runner-up in 2018 that gave Cyprus its highest-ever Eurovision score of 436 points.

    Up next, in a volley of strobe lights, is Sweden's Eric Saade, whose song Popular won the bronze medal in 2011.

    Cast in the mould of Sweden's biggest pop export Max Martin (Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, Taylor Swift), the second half of the song remains ludicrously and enjoyably over the top. The audience in Malmö have been singing along at every rehearsal.

    Finally, we catch up with 2022 contestant, Chanel, whose Super Bowl-level choreography kicked off Eurovision's current trend for complicated dance breaks.

    She'll be performing SloMo - the song gave Spain its highest score of all time: 459 points.

  13. How does the voting work?published at 19:50 7 May

    19:50 7 May

    Mark Savage
    Music correspondent

    This gets complicated... but bear with me.

    The results of tonight's semi-final are entirely decided by a public vote, as follows.

    Participating countries

    Every country who performs in the show (including the UK) gets a say. You can cast your vote by phone or SMS*, on the official Eurovision app, or directly on www.esc.vote, external.

    Voting begins as soon as the last act leaves the stage, and is open for roughly half an hour. Viewers are not allowed to vote for their own national act.

    (UK viewers cannot vote by text).

    Non-Eurovision countries

    In addition, fans in countries which are not participating in Eurovision are allowed to choose their favourite song from the semi-final - in what is called a "rest of the world" vote.

    Counter-intuitively, the voting period for those countries started yesterday, after the second dress rehearsal ended. It closes briefly during tonight's performances, and re-opens again when the "main" voting period begins.

    Allocation of points

    When the vote closes, the top 10 most popular songs in each participating country will be allocated points. The top choice gets 12, the second choice gets 10, then eight to one points for the rest. (Why do they skip nine and 11? Just because).

    The 10 songs that have received the most votes from the Rest Of The World will be allocated points using the same scale.

    At the end of the show, all the scores are totalled up, and 10 countries qualify for Saturday's grand final.

  14. Images from the turquoise carpetpublished at 19:38 7 May

    19:38 7 May

    Eurovision 2024 semi-finals live: Watch as Ukraine and Ireland progress to final (27)Image source, EPA

    Eurovision kicked off in earnest on Sunday night, with the time-honoured turquoise carpet event - in other words, the opening ceremony.

    Acts from all 37 participating nations strutted their stuff. Click here to see some of the best shots.

  15. Meet the hostspublished at 19:37 7 May

    19:37 7 May

    Eurovision 2024 semi-finals live: Watch as Ukraine and Ireland progress to final (28)Image source, Getty Images

    Following in Hannah Waddingham's footsteps is an unenviable task for anyone, but Sweden has us in good hands with the presenting duo of Petra Mede and Malin Åkerman.

    Petra is one of Sweden's most beloved TV hosts, who has hosted Eurovision twice before, in 2013 and 2016. Fluent in Swedish, English, Italian, French and Spanish, she was also the voice of Destiny in the Swedish version of Pixar's Finding Dory.

    Malin is a Hollywood actress, who has starred in films such as Watchmen, 27 Dresses and The Proposal - and recently performed as a squirrel in the US version of The Masked Singer.

    Born in Stockholm but raised in Canada, she says she's "very excited and a little nervous" to be steering the Eurovision ship alongside Petra.

  16. Welcome to the first semi-final!published at 19:12 7 May

    19:12 7 May

    Mark Savage
    Music correspondent

    Eurovision 2024 semi-finals live: Watch as Ukraine and Ireland progress to final (29)Image source, Getty Images

    This is where it all begins. Fifteen acts will perform at the first semi-final of Eurovision 2024 - but only 10 will qualify.

    Some of the bookmakers' favourites will take to the stage at Sweden's Malmö Arena in the next couple of hours - including Croatia's Baby Lasagna and Ukrainian duo Alyona Alyona and Jerry Heil.

    For the first time ever, we'll also get to see performances from some of the acts who've pre-qualified: Including the UK's Olly Alexander.

    And during the interval, there's a special appearance from two-time Eurovision winner Johnny Logan (1980, 1987). The Irish crooner will be paying homage to another double winner - Sweden's very own Loreen - by performing a cover of her 2012 song Euphoria.

Eurovision 2024 semi-finals live: Watch as Ukraine and Ireland progress to final (2024)

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