Eurovision 2024 final: When does Ireland’s Bambie Thug sing, can they win, and which are the hardest countries to beat?

Everything you need to know about this year’s Eurovision Song Contest final, which sees Ireland compete for the first time since 2018

Ireland’s Bambie Thug performing Doomsday Blue at the first semi-final of Eurovision 2024 at the Malmö Arena, Sweden. Photograph: Andres Poveda

When is it on?

The Eurovision final takes place on Saturday, May 11th, at 8pm in Malmo, Sweden. This follows two semi-finals on Tuesday, May 7th, and Thursday, May 9th. Bambie Thug delivered a spectacular performance for Ireland in the first semi-final, making it the first time Ireland has qualified for the final since 2018. Our Eurovision expert Laura Slattery will be on hand to cover the final live on

Where is it on?

Sweden won with Loreen’s Tattoo in 2023, equalling Ireland’s record seven victories in the contest. The event takes place in Sweden’s third-largest city, Malmö. It previously hosted the competition in 1992 and 2013. The venue is the 12,600-capacity Malmö Arena.

How did Bambie Thug perform on Tuesday?

In interviews after the semi-finals, Bambie Thug said they were “completely dissociated” and having an out of body experience. “I am super proud ... Our team is very small, and I am an independent artist and it is incredible we have reached here,” they said.

Their mother Laura told RTÉ's Morning Ireland programme of her pride.


“I’m feeling so proud and I just can’t wait for Saturday. I think we’re going to have a ball. We’ve been having a ball here,” she said. “There’s a huge [Irish] contingent here and everybody is really supportive. As you can hear here, we just we’re never going to get away from this. You know, we will live on with this for so long. And we will just celebrate and celebrate. It’s fantastic.”

Bambie Thug’s song, Doomsday, is also a stealthy Valentine to Harry Potter. The first line of the tune references “Avada Kedavra” – a forbidden curse in Potter-lore that “kills the victim on impact, instantaneously and painlessly”.

In pictures: Bambie Thug’s spellbinding performance at Eurovision to secure final placeOpens in new window ]

Which other countries have qualified for Saturday’s final?

From the first semi-final, the qualifying acts are as follows, in order of when they were announced: Serbia, Portugal, Slovenia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Finland, Cyprus, Croatia, and Luxembourg.

Latvia, Austria, Netherlands, Norway, Israel, Greece, Estonia, Switzerland, Georgia and Armenia emerged from the 2nd semi-final on Thursday.

The “big five” – the UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy – as the biggest donors to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), have already made the final along with Sweden’s contestant Marcus & Martinus.

Also worth noting is that we have additional Irish interest in the final. Latvia’s entry was co-written and produced Liam Geddes, who hails from Mayo and is based in Ratoath, Co Meath. Hollow will be performed by well-known Latvian artist Don, who also co-wrote the song.

Where will Bambie Thug perform in the running order – and is a good draw?

They will perform 10th in the final – which may prove to be a good draw. Songs in the second quarter of the show have a decent chance of doing well, with only songs in the last quarter of the draw historically doing better, according to statistician Dr Liam Brierley from the Universities of Liverpool and Glasgow.

Here is the full running order:

  1. Sweden
  2. Ukraine
  3. Germany
  4. Luxembourg
  5. Netherlands
  6. Israel
  7. Lithuania
  8. Spain
  9. Estonia
  10. Ireland
  11. Latvia
  12. Greece
  13. United Kingdom
  14. Norway
  15. Italy
  16. Serbia
  17. Finland
  18. Portugal
  19. Armenia
  20. Cyprus
  21. Switzerland
  22. Slovenia
  23. Croatia
  24. Georgia
  25. France
  26. Austria

How does voting work?

In the final, audience votes will make up half of the result, while juries of five music professionals in each participating country will make up the other half.

The juries will rank the songs based on composition and originality of the song, quality of the stage performance, the artists’ vocal capacity, and their overall impression of the act.

Each country will award points from 1 to 8, 10 and 12.

Non-participating countries around the world will also be able to vote, and will collectively have the weight of one additional voting country.

New to this year’s Eurovision, viewers outside the participating countries can vote 24 hours before the final.

Who will be on the Irish jury?

The spokesperson for the Irish jury at the final will be Paul Harrington, who won the 1994 contest for Ireland. Other members of the jury are kept secret until after the final has aired, as part of EBU rules.

Bambie Thug interview: ‘I fully support anyone boycotting Eurovision. I’m not going to ask them to watch because I’m in it’Opens in new window ]

Eurovision Music Quiz: What is Bambie Thug’s full name?Opens in new window ]

Who is most likely to win?

The front-runner is Croatia with the relentless Rim Tim Tagi Dim by Baby Lasagna, aka 28-year-old Marko Purišić, whose sound blends metal, house music and pop with odds of 8/11 (Sample lyric: “I’m a big boy now, I’m going away and I sold my cow”).

Switzerland is second favourite with The Code by Nemo – a sort of turbocharged version of Freddie Mercury singing Barcelona. In third place, according to the bookies, is Ukraine with Teresa & Maria by Alyona Alyona and Jerry Heil – a lush and seemingly sincere love letter to Mother Teresa and the Virgin Mary.

Ireland is an outsider at fourth favourite with odds of about 11/1 – not that Bambie Thug seems bothered. “Our country hasn’t been here since 2018, and I am the first non-binary artist to qualify. See you Saturday.” they said.


Flying the flag for Ireland at tonight's Eurovision semi-final is Macroom, Co Cork’s Bambie Thug. The London-based non-binary singer, who describes their menacing and theatrical sound as “Ouija pop”, will follow in the footsteps of Dana, Jedward and Johnny Logan with their entry Doomsday Blue. It’s a skillfully assembled attention-grabbing piece that has been embraced by the Eurovision family – though it does represent a stark departure for Ireland, which has generally resided at the cuddlier end of the song contest spectrum. Check out our website for all you need to know ahead of the first semi-final tonight @Bambie @Eurovision #eurovision #bambiethug #crownthewitch

♬ original sound - The Irish Times

What should we look out for?

The song contest is being presented by Swedish comedian and actress Petra Mede and Swedish-American actress Malin Akerman, with commentary on RTÉ by Marty Whelan, of course.

The show reached 162 million people in 2023 through public service markets.

The opening and interval acts are being kept a secret for now, but it has been confirmed that Loreen, who won the competition for Sweden in 2023, will be returning to Eurovision for an “extra-special performance”.

Podcast: Is it fair to pressurise Bambie Thug to boycott Eurovision?Opens in new window ]

Any controversies?

The participation of Israel has become a flashpoint. In Malmö, Israeli entry Eden Golan, who made it through to the final from the 2nd semi-final on Thursday, has been advised not to leave her hotel room except for performance and official Eurovision events.

On Thursday, campaigner and environmentalist Greta Thunberg joined thousands of pro-Palestine demonstrators in Malmo who marched across the city in protest against Israel competing in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Greta Thunberg has joined pro-Palestine protests in Malmo against Israel competing in the Eurovision Song Contest. Video: Reuters

Golan arrived in Malmö wearing a pin showing solidarity for Israeli citizens held hostage by Hamas. She has already been forced to change her song, which breached the Eurovision rule against non-political lyrics. It was initially called October Rain – widely interpreted as a reference to Hamas’s attacks on October 7th. The track has been retitled Hurricane, though Golan insists the song did not break the regulations. “I was kind of shocked when the European Broadcasting Union didn’t approve the song,” Golan said. “I don’t think the first version was political.”

More than 400 Irish artists signed a petition urging Bambie Thug to boycott the contest in protest at Israel’s actions in Gaza, while more than 1,000 Swedish artists called on Israel to be banned