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16 facts about our 16 Second Semi-Finalists

09 May 2024 at 19:15 CEST
LADANIVA rehearsing Jako for Armenia at the Second Rehearsal of the Second Semi-Final at Malmö Arena Sarah Louise Bennett / EBU
The Eurovision 2024 Second Semi-Final is just around the corner, and it’s time to find out more about the artists who’ll be performing.

We know the Eurovision class of 2024 can sing, we know they can dance and we know they can put on a show. But what else have they got going on? Let’s take a look at who’s got a collection of rescued pets and who’s performed a duet with pop royalty.

🇲🇹 Malta | Sarah Bonnici – Loop

Sarah has had vocal lessons from a Eurovision star. She’s been taught by Miriam Christine, who was Malta’s Eurovision entry in 1996 and performed In A Woman’s Heart at the Contest in Oslo. It was Miriam who encouraged Sarah to take part in competitions herself. And look where she is now!

🇦🇱 Albania | BESA – TITAN

Unfortunately, it’s a strict no pet rule at the Eurovision Song Contest but BESA has a lot of animal friends watching back home. She has several cats and dogs, who she adopted from the street. She says they’re a huge part of her life.

BESA rehearsing TITAN for Albania at the Second Rehearsal of the Second Semi-Final at Malmö Arena
Alma Bengtsson / EBU

🇬🇷 Greece | Marina Satti – ZARI

Marina has got some great show credits on her resumé. For starters, she’s performed with American jazz artist Bobby McFerrin, the 10-time Grammy Award winner best known for his hit Don’t Worry, Be Happy. And if that wasn’t exciting enough, she has also performed inside a volcano.

🇨🇭 Switzerland | Nemo – The Code

We all know that Nemo’s music video for The Code was set on a train — but the carriage stayed completely still during filming. Nemo said special effects were used with lights and mirrors to make it look like it was moving, and when someone played out train sound effects, they felt like they were on a real train travelling at speed. And they would know, because Nemo has actually performed a show on a moving train before.

🇨🇿 Czechia | Aiko – Pedestal

As well as singing, Aiko also loves pole dancing, and even has a pole at home. She’d have loved to incorporate it into her Eurovision performance, but has got something even more exciting in store. Between Aiko’s hobby and Nutsa Buzaladze’s Firefighter song, there are still no poles on the Eurovision stage this year.

🇦🇹 Austria | Kaleen – We Will Rave 

This is not Kaleen’s first time on the Eurovision stage. In previous years, she’s acted as a stand in for other artists at rehearsals in the arena, which meant she had to learn multiple routines. Some of her favourite moments were working on Eleni Foureria from Cyprus’ Fuego and Saara Aalto from Finland’s Monsters, both in 2018. Now, it’s Kaleen’s time to take centre stage.

The artists of the Second Semi-Final preparing backstage at Malmö Arena ahead of rehearsals for the 68th Eurovision Song Contest Alma Bengtsson / EBU

🇩🇰 Denmark | SABA – SAND

Marcus & Martinus aren’t the only Nordic twins in the 2024 Contest. SABA has a twin sister, who is a well-known performer. When SABA’s sister fell ill during pregnancy, SABA took over her role in the musical Hair, opening the show with the song Aquarius. This was a huge moment for her, but there’s an even bigger one on the horizon…

🇦🇲 Armenia | LADANIVA – Jako

LADANIVA have been fitting in plenty of jamming sessions since they’ve been in Malmö. Backstage, Louis can usually be found with an instrument in hand, and Jaklin singing along. They started pairing their musical styles when they were both studying at the Lille Jazz Conservatory, so it’s only right that they’re putting a little jazz into the Eurovision backstage areas.

🇱🇻 Latvia | Dons – Hollow

We asked Dons which three famous people from any time period he’d invite to dinner if he had the chance. He said he’d choose Freddie Mercury, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Queen Elizabeth II – and we would love to overhear that dinner conversation. We also know his favourite cheese is Dutch buffalo, so perhaps that would be on the menu.

🇸🇲 San Marino | MEGARA – 11:11

MEGARA once performed at a zombie survival event, so we bet they have some top tips in the event of a zombie apocalypse (it probably involves rock music in some way). 

They’ve now got their place on the Eurovision stage, but 2024 wasn’t the first time they made a Eurovision move. In 2023 they competed in Spain’s national selection Benidorm Fest, coming in 4th place and losing out to Blanca Paloma.

The artists of the Second Semi-Final preparing backstage at Malmö Arena ahead of rehearsals for the 68th Eurovision Song Contest Alma Bengtsson / EBU

🇬🇪 Georgia | Nutsa Buzaladze – Firefighter

Nutsa has performed with an icon of pop – none other than Kylie Minogue. The duet came when she was in American Idol in 2023, and they sang Can’t Get You Out Of My Head together. Nutsa ended up finishing in the top 12. How many other people get to say they’ve performed with Kylie?

🇧🇪 Belgium | Mustii - Before The Party’s Over

As well as being a pop sensation, Mustii is also a permanent judge on Drag Race Belgique – how’s that for charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent? To top that off, he’s also starring in Michiel Blanchart's next film La nuit se traîne alongside Romain Duris.

🇪🇪 Estonia | 5MIINUST x Puuluup - (nendest) narkootikumidest ei tea me (küll) midagi 

5MIINUST’s sunglasses are a permanent part of their attire — they’ve only ever taken them off during a performance once, when they won their national selection competition. Marko and Ramo from Puuluup claim that they are two of only three people in the world earning a living from playing the Talharpa.

And, in a fact that perhaps nobody needed to know, 5MIINUST do not wear underpants, while Puuluup do.

🇮🇱 Israel | Eden Golan – Hurricane 

Eden has a 14-year-old chihuahua named Leo and he’s the love of her life. She says Leo’s lost all his teeth, so his tongue is always hanging out. And he’s got pride of place as her screensaver. We’re sure Leo will be watching from home.

The artists of the Second Semi-Final preparing backstage at Malmö Arena ahead of rehearsals for the 68th Eurovision Song Contest Alma Bengtsson / EBU

🇳🇴 Norway | Gåte – Ulveham 

Gåte singer Gunnhild loves cheese, and the smellier the better. She particularly loves Gamle Ole, which is a Danish cheese matured for a very long time. When it comes to Swedish cheese, she’s a big fan of Prästost, so she’s probably had some crackers at the ready while she’s been in Malmö.

🇳🇱 Netherlands | Joost Klein – Europapa

Joost started off as a YouTuber, and he’s brought that into his Eurovision journey. His TikTok videos have included Europapa line dancing tutorials, fake press ambushes and trips around Europe to convince people to give the Netherlands 12 points.

You can listen to all 37 songs of Eurovision 2024 via your favourite streaming service or watch the music videos on our YouTube channel.

The Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Malmö, Sweden on Tuesday 7 May (First Semi-Final), Thursday 9 May (Second Semi-Final) and Saturday 11 May (Grand Final) 2024.

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