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The Eurovision legends who almost returned to the Contest in 2024

19 April 2024 at 15:56 CEST
Konstrakta representing Serbia at the Eurovision Opening Ceremony 2022 at Galleria Grande, La Venaria Reale EBU / Corinne Cumming
During the pre-selection season of 2024, we had over 20 artists make a bid to return to the Eurovision Song Contest. We round up the names we very nearly saw compete again in Malmö.

The 68th Eurovision Song Contest sees two artists coming back to the competition to do it all over again, after more than a decade since competing for the first time. 

In Moldova back in February, viewers of Etapa Națională voted for Natalia Barbu to represent them in Malmö, with her song In The Middle. This comes after the artist gave Moldova a Top 10 finish on the country's third outing at the Contest in 2007, with her song Fight

And another winner with the public, Hera Björk, performed her way to victory at Iceland's pre-selection Söngvakeppnin for a second time in 2024, when the Icelandic public chose her song Scared Of Heights to represent them in Sweden. Eurovision fans will be familiar with Hera's outing at the 2010 Contest in Oslo, when she represented her country with the Grand Finalist Je Ne Sais Quoi.

But this delectable duo of chanteuses weren't the only artists that were hoping for another trip to the Contest in 2024. If you followed national final season ahead of Malmö, you'll no doubt have spotted a fair few Eurovision faves popping up with new pop offerings. 

We've done a roundup of all of the artists that had such a good time at the Eurovision Song Contest last time around, they wanted to join the party again for Malmö 2024.

Recent Returnees

The lads from Let 3 didn't take long after disembarking from their ferry across the mersey and onto their tractor trip back to Croatia, before deciding they'd like to do it all over again. 

After providing Liverpool 2023 with the ultimate crowd-pleaser, Mama ŠČ!, the boys in the band made another attempt to represent their country, by participating in Croatia's pre-selection Dora with their song Baba Roga. The performance even included a cameo from Severina, who competed for Croatia at Athens 2006!

Let 3 competed against another former Croatian Eurovision artist in the Dora 2024 lineup; Damir Kedžo, who was selected to represent Croatia at the Contest in 2020, also took part with his song – Voljena ženo.

Over the Balkan border in Serbia, the national final Pesma za Evroviziju welcomed back its winner from just two year earlier, in 2022. The artist Konstrakta gave Serbia a 5th-place finish in Turin with her song In Corpore Sano, and already in 2024, she was raring to return to the Contest that brought her such great international acclaim. At Pesma za Evroviziju in March she participated with Novo Bolje.

Vidbir in Ukraine was another Eurovision national final that tempted back a recent Grand Finalist that had left a lasting impression on fans. After his success with Under The Ladder at Lisbon 2018, MÉLOVIN decided to take part in Vidbir again, with the equally ambitious DREAMER.

And after a party-starting turn at Tel Aviv 2019 with Spirit In The Sky, the band KEiiNO had already attempted to return to the Contest in 2021, with Monument. In January they took part in Norway's Melodi Grand Prix once more, with the '90s-esque rave anthem Damdiggida.

Back for the Baltics

The three Baltic nations have long been holding esteemed Eurovision pre-selections, showcasing the best of what the countries have to offer within their eclectic music scenes. So it's no surprise that once their artists have done their thing at the Eurovision Song Contest, they're more than happy to compete domestically again. 

Up north in Estonia, Laura Põldvere made another bid to represent her country at Eurovision. Laura has previously performed for Estonia at the Contest twice - in 2005 as part of the group Suntribe, and again in 2017, singing Verona with Koit Toome. At Eesti Laul 2024, Laura participated with Here's Where I Draw The Line.  

In Lithuania, Silvester Belt had to fend off challenges from no less than three former Eurovision stars to win Eurovizija.LT and represent his nation at the 68th Contest.

Lithuania had its own recent returnee, too - in the form of The Loop. The band had represented their country at the 2021 Contest (as well as being the chosen act in 2020), where they gave Lithuania a Top 10 placing in the Grand Final with Discoteque. The boys were back for another shot at a high score in 2024, when they competed with their song Simple Joy.

Andrius Pojavis had already ventured to Malmö to perform for Lithuania in 2013 with Something, but clearly he fancied taking the trip across the Baltic Sea once more in 2024. Andrius performed Sing Me A Hug at Eurovizija.LT in February.

A 10-year anniversary was occasion enough to tempt the singer Vilija to aim for Eurovision glory a second time. The artist had first represented Lithuania at the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna in 2014, with the song Attention. A decade on and Vilija was competing at Eurovizija.LT with Save Me.

And over in Latvia, we had Agnese Rakovska return to participate in Supernova with her song AI. The name of the artist might not be familiar to many Eurovision fans, but the voice should be; Agnese was part of the band Triana Park, who represented Latvia at Kyiv 2017 with the song Line.

Malmö Memories and Anniversaries

One of the big fan faves of Malmö 2013 was the Norwegian entry I Feed You My Love by Margaret Berger. Since then, the artist had stayed silent on any hopes of a return to Eurovision, until 2024 - and a potential return to Malmö! Margaret took part in Norway's pre-selection Melodi Grand Prix with her song Oblivion.

Norway's Melodi Grand Prix also had one artist returning to compete while celebrating an especially big Eurovision anniversary. 40 years after representing Norway at the 1984 Contest as a member of Dollie de Luxe, the artist Benedicte Adrian came back to the Norwegian national final as part of Mistra, performing Waltz of Death

Two more Eurovision anniversaries inspired their artists enough to take part in the 2024 national final season also.

In Germany, Max Mutzke returned to compete again 20 years after his Eurovision Song Contest Top 10 placing in 2004. Back then, he got everyone revved up with Can't Wait Until Tonight. And at the German pre-selection Eurovision Song Contest – Das deutsche Finale 2024 in February, he reacquainted himself with viewers via Forever Strong.

And we also had Basim make moves to come back after he too had scored a Top 10 finish at the Contest. 10 years ago in 2014, Basim's Cliche Love Song proved a hit on home soil, as Denmark hosted one year after their win. A decade on, and Basim came close to representing Denmark once more - with his song Johnny.

Songs for Sanremo

The much loved Festival di Sanremo is something of an anomaly during Eurovision pre-selection season, in that the winner of the annual competition - which has been running for 74 years - won't necessarily end up going to the Eurovision Song Contest. It's a choice that is given to the artist by the Italian broadcaster Rai the day after their Sanremo win.

Nevertheless, we did get to enjoy the sounds of several artists who had once represented Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest make a return to the 74th edition of Sanremo, with the potential of them returning to Eurovision too.

Back in February, Sanremo saw no less than 5 artists who had sung for Italy, take part at the competition at Teatro Ariston.

In the lineup and across the 5 nights of the festival, we got to hear new songs from: Mahmood (2022 and 2019); Diodato (2020); Il Volo (2015); EMMA (2014); and Ricchi E Poveri (1978).

We had another former Italian Eurovision act pop up during pre-selection season in 2024, too - when the duo Jalisse, who represented Italy at the 1997 Contest in Dublin, participated in Una Voce Per San Marino, with their song Il Paradiso è Qui.

They weren't the only '90s artists to campaign for a return to Eurovision over a quarter of a century later in 2024. Though in Poland, its two '90s Eurovision legends - Edyta Gorniak from 1994 and Justyna Steczkowska from 1995 - did so via an internal selection, so their songs weren't represented in a national final. The same applied for Azerbaijan's Aisel, who made a bid to represent her country again in 2024 (after singing X My Heart in 2018), via submitting her song Game Of Chess for an internal selection.

 

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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