Eurovision 2024: National Final Round-Up – Part 2

Hey Guys! How was your St. Patrick’s Weekend celebrations? For me, it was another St. Paddy’s Day abroad – in 2017, I celebrated in Madrid, Spain and this year I had the pleasure of honoring the big man in Cologne with friends and working as a bartender – also Ireland won the Six Nations Rugby Tournament, which was super fun! Did you enjoy the festivities outside of Ireland? If so, let me know where and how it went!

I’m back again with another review of the National Finals for Eurovision 2024. I really enjoyed making the first one and it was exciting to see people listening to the playlist on Spotify! I had a great time writing up part 1 because I came across some pretty cool artists across Czechia, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg and Moldova – I must admit, I’ve been listening constantly to “Anti Princess” by Valeria Pacha from Moldova, it’s my new pre-party tune… a proper bop. If you haven’t read edition one, please be sure to check it out and listen to the some of the amazing music and awesome musicians who are throwing their names in the ring for a chance to perform on the stage of all stages!

In part 2, I’ll be recapping the national finals for: Lithuania, Malta, Norway, Estonia and San Marino – All of these countries are known for sending certified bops to the contest and I’m super excited to listen to the finalists of each selection. Again, I’ll be linking the artists’ names with a clip of their studio cut, so you can all get to experience each song and I’ll give my feedback based on the live final performances. And, each artist could be a winner if you stream their song, so be sure to give them all a listen. So… Let’s get into it!

Lithuania – Eurovizija.LT

Lithuania is one of the stalwarts of the Eurovision contest. The 2024 entry will mark the 24th year of their participation in the contest, however, they’re yet to secure a win (the only Baltic country left to secure a win), with their highest placement being 6th – if the 2020 contest was able to go ahead, I’m confident we’d have seen Lithuania either win or place top 3. And honestly, any Eurovision fan will admit they regularly listen to the incredible songs Lithuania has submitted in the past like Monika Liu, Monika Linkytė and Donny Montell to name a few.

The Lithuanian Broadcaster – Lietuvos nacionalinis radijas ir televizija (or LRT for short), opened the submission period for artists between October 18 and December 11 with over 60 submissions received. The broadcaster held the national final for Eurovizija.LT on the 17th of February 2024 in Klaipeda, Lithuania. With a combination of the votes of a jury (50%) and the public (50%), three songs were selected from the final for a superfinal on the same night. The 10 finalists in Eurovizija.LT were:

The Roop, Silvester Belt and Shower were the three acts who made it to the Superfinal with Silvester Belt winning the selection outright.

David’s Take: I think the best performer and song won the competition, but damn was it a tough competition. The Roop had the biggest expectations, I’d say. Being favourites in 2020 and super popular at the 2021 festival. This national final had some pretty radio friendly but also slightly “predictable” Eurovision songs but the differences in music styles that we were given was quite refreshing – Zalvarinis had some folk/rock, Silvester brough some electronic elements and a couple of acts brought well sung ballads. Silvester Belt’s performance and song brought back memories of Go_A’s “Shum” from 2021 – my personal favourite entry from the last 5 years of Eurovision. A pop/electronic song performed in Lithuanian with incredible aesthetics? I predict it to place in the top 10 and I’m super excited to see what kind of staging they bring to Malmö.

Malta – Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2024

Malta has participated 35 times at the Eurovision Song Contest, has made it to 26 finals and has scored two 2nd place finishes but has yet to win the contest. Through its national broadcaster, Public Broadcasting Services (PBS), the national final for Malta Eurovision Song Contest was scheduled for the 3rd of February. Before this, in Mid-June 2023, a songwriting camp was held to begin the creation process for entries. Through the semi final process, 36 entries were whittled down to 12 entries who would go on to compete in the national final. Malta, over the past 10 years, has brought some legendary Eurovision entries which, similar to Lithuania, Eurovision fans listen to on a regular basis i.e Firelight, Michaela and Destiny to name a few.

The final 12 artists who competed on the 3rd of February were:

David’s Take: This final was a mixed bag. Pretty ballad heavy with a sprinkling of bops. Personal opinion, I don’t think Sarah Bonnici was the correct choice with the song and performance she presented. To be fair, I’d imagine the jury saw it trying to fit the popular mold we’ve seen with performers like Chanel and Eleni Foureira but it just didn’t come off, to me, the same way and I’d personally be surprised if it makes it through to the final. This national final did give us some pretty awesome options that would have slayed the ESC stage – Matt Blxck with “Banana” was the stand out winner and closely followed by Erba’ with “Sirena” – they were pretty amazing performances that would have translated so well to the big stage. Overall, the competition was pretty good and the live vocals were amazing. I especially loved the performance of Greta Tude, which slayed. I’m definitely adding some of these songs to my playlist!

Norway – Melodi Grand Prix 2024

Three time winner Norway is back with a bang. Last year, Alessandra with “Queen of Kings” was a fan-favorite with not just the Eurovision fans but with Europe. If you go on her socials, you see her performing across Europe in sold-out shows. Thinking back on the past 10 years of the contest, Norway has provided us with top quality performances i.e Subwoolfer, Jowst and Keiino to name a few. This year, Melodi Grand Prix was back with a host of incredibly talented artists vying the chance to represent Norway. Along with Melodifestivalen in Sweden, UMK in Finland, Songvappanen in Iceland and Dansk Melodi Grand Prix; it is one of the highlights of the Eurovision selection calender and for music fans, its a great chance to add new songs and discover incredible new artists. The national broadcaster Norsk rikskringkasting (NRK) scheduled semi finals in January which led to the February 3rd Final. Some previous Norwegian Eurovision entries threw their name in the hat including the some of the artists previously listed.18 performances were whittled down to 9 for the Grand Final; these artists were:

David’s Take: Electronic beats were the flavor of the day at Melodi Grand Prix 2024. Gåte were the overall winners with their Norwegian Folk Rock tune Ulveham. I have to say though, KEiiNO really came out swinging with Damdiggida and there were some incredible vocals from Annprincess and Dag Erik with Anne Fagermo. I really enjoyed what was presented this year – a nice mix of electronic, pop, ballads and folk music. I was delighted to see Margaret Berger perform at this years selection contest – I truly believe she was one of the best performers at the 2013 contest with “I Feed You My Love” and was impressed with “Oblivion” at this years MGP. I’m hoping this is her “Statements” by Loreen moment – showcase you still got it and come back in a couple years with a winner. Overall, Gåte were not my favorite of the contest, mostly because the music style is not what I gravitate towards but I think their song will adapt well to the ESC stage.

Estonia – Eesti Laul 2024

28 time participant and 1 time winner, Estonia, are back at ESC 2024 and have come back with the latest edition of their selection process – Eesti Laul. Like the Nordic selection process, Eesti Laul is a calendar must-add for Eurovision fans. Estonia produces incredible artists and each year bring something unique to the stage whether its powerful vocals, immense staging or a standout performance. Some highlights of Estonia at the Eurovision Song Contest include – Victor Crone, Elina Nechayeva and Alika – all of which gave incredible vocal performances. The Estonian national broadcaster Eesti Rahvusringhääling (ERR) opened between September to October 2023 and received over 200 applicants. These applicants were narrowed to provide a final of 10 entries. These finalists were:

David’s Take: What a show! Eesti Laul proving to Estonia and the rest of Europe that the country is brimming with talent. I think Daniel Levi and Uudo Sepp + Sarah Murray were the stand out songs for me from the contest for me. The outright winners were 5miinust and Puuluup and their song was really catchy and exactly the kind of kitsch that we expect to see at Eurovision and what makes it the Eurovision Song Contest – I think it’ll be a qualifier and I’m stoked to see what kind of staging they produce for it. I loved the vocals that we were given at this years’ Eesti Laul and it proved to be a strong showing. Brother Apollo is an artist I’d love to see return in the future and is an artist I would put money on doing well on the ESC stage. Like Lithuania and some other countries in the contest, it’s amazing to see Estonia presenting some songs in Estonian also. Native language songs are amazing and we love to see it!

San Marino – Una voce per San Marino 2024

Thirteen time entrant and yet to score a win, San Marino is returning for the 2024 edition of the Song Contest and Europe rejoices seeing them participate. San Marino, although one of the newest countries to join the Eurovision family, has cemented itself as a legendary producer of artists. Over the past 15+ years, we’ve seen some absolutely fantastic performers from represent San Marino and promote the European Microstate. It would have been easy for San Marino to come to Eurovision and be engulfed by Contest giants but the microstate has shown it can parlay with the rest of ’em. Artists like Serhat, Senhit and Valentina Monetta propelled the country to international prominence. The national broadcaster San Marino RTV (SMRTV) launched the third edition of Una Voce per San Marino to find the Sanmarinese performer. Applications opened in October 2023 until January 2024 and approx. 700 applications were received. Using a semi-final format, 129 acts were pared down to 17 for the final on 24 February. The finalists were:

David’s Take: Una Voce per San Marino gave us ballads, eco themed slow tunes, punk, slight electro beats and pretty solid male vocals! Megara with “11:11” were the winners of the Sanmarinese national selection with an amazing punk anthem that is sure to rock the ESC stage. In recent years we’ve seen how well the rock/metal scene has performed at Eurovision and I think this will join those ranks. Some of the performances I thoroughly enjoyed and would have also loved to see grace the grand stage is Loredana Berté with “Pazza” and Booom! with “Dance Like This” as they had excellent stage presence and performed their songs very well. I think San Marino is providing the edge at this years Eurovision Song Contest and I am excited to see what their staging will be. I reckon it’ll be pretty epic.

These 5 countries went to the public (and juries) but these 5 artists were the culmination of many applicants and live showcases that lead to them being selected to represent these countries. With each entrant who was selected from this list, I’ve excited to see what each of them will produce for the stage, in front of a tv audience of 200 million people! I’m excited to keep reviewing each national final that’s held and I’ll also do a break down of the internally selected artists and what I think of their entries!

From the 5 entries listed in this National Final breakdown I think that Lithuania’s Silvester Belt and San Marino’s Megara are ones to watch in the semis and are likely to make it through to the final. The others will be in for a tough contest given the semi final draws they’ve been given as this year is super strong and has already provided a lot of bops.

I’m so happy when I’m making these reviews as I’m finding new artists to discover and I love sharing these artists with friends, with my readers and adding songs to my Spotify playlists. These songs will be added to a national final playlist I’ve created and I’d love if you guys would have a listen to these songs and give the artists the love they deserve!

I’ll be sure to see you guys soon and I think my next post will be about the internally selected songs, after which, I’ll be making more selection reviews as I am hungry for more amazing music!

See you guys soon!

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