Baby Lasagna is early bookies’ favourite to win Eurovision 2024

Baby Lasagna's Eurovision song is about a young Croatian who leaves home to become a "city boy".

Baby Lasagna's Eurovision song is about a young Croatian who leaves home to become a "city boy". Photo: Getty

The Eurovision Song Contest, a music kitsch-fest watched by some 200 million people, is opening in Malmo, Sweden, with its “turquoise carpet” gala in what fans say is a wide-open year with half a dozen countries in with a shot at the title.

Bookmakers have Croatia, Switzerland and Ukraine as the top three title contenders, while streaming data from Spotify suggests a strong chance for the Netherlands, Italy or host nation Sweden.

“This year is so exciting because there are four or five countries who really have a good shot at winning,” William Lee Adams, editor of Eurovision fan site Wiwibloggs, told Reuters.

“Eurovision is so boring when you have one clear favourite months in advance but this year there is so much left to play for.”

Croatia’s contestant Baby Lasagna (real name Marko Purisic, 28) has overtaken Switzerland as bookmakers’ favourite with the song Rim Tim Tagi Dim about a young Croatian who leaves his home aspiring to become a “city boy” with better opportunities.

The song contest, which has been held since 1956, has increasingly embraced inclusivity and acceptance among the LGBTQI community.

That’s the theme of Swiss rapper and singer Nemo, 24, who will perform The Code – a drum-and-bass, opera, rap, and rock song about their journey of self-discovery as non-binary.

Ukraine, which won the contest two years ago months after it was invaded by Russia, is represented this year by duo alyona alyona, 28, and Jerry Heil, 32, with Teresa & Maria, a folk-inflected pop song with a strong dance beat and fast-paced rap.

The winner normally hosts the following year, but 2023’s contest was held in Britain because of the war.

Another top contender is Joost Klein, 26, of the Netherlands with his song Europapa, which mixes pop tunes with happy hardcore.

Klein, who lost his parents at a young age, says the song is about an orphan who travels around Europe trying to find himself, as his father taught him to believe in a Europe without borders.

Also in the running is Italy’s Angelina Mango, 23, with her song La Noia which translates to Boredom.

Host country Sweden is seen as having a chance for back-to-back wins, represented by Norwegian twin brothers Marcus and Martinus Gunnarsen performing their song Unforgettable.

Four-time winner Israel, represented by Eden Golan, 20, is also ranked by bookmakers in the top 10.

Her song Hurricane was Israel’s third proposed entry after the European Broadcast Union rejected two songs over lyrics deemed political.

The 68th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest takes place at the Malmo Arena in Malmo, Sweden, with the semi-finals on Tuesday and Thursday and the grand final on Saturday.


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