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Bambie Thug. Andres Poveda
eurovision 2024

Ireland's Bambie Thug to compete in first Eurovision semi-final in May

The first semi-final will take place on Tuesday, 7 May.

IRELAND WILL PERFORM in the first semi-final of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

Cork-born artist Bambie Thug will perform their song “Doomsday Blue” in the first half of the semi-final on Tuesday, 7 May to try and book a place in the grand final of the song contest. 

The draw for both semi-finals was held this evening, with the second semi-final set to take place on Thursday, 9 May.

In total, 15 acts will perform in the first semi-final, with 16 set to perform in the second semi-final. 

The top ten acts from each night will qualify for the contest, which will take place on Saturday, 11 May in Malmö, Sweden.

Unlike the grand final, there’s no prolonged buildup to the announcement of the winners – the qualifiers are simply told who’ll be going through.

Six acts will go straight through to the final – last year’s winners Sweden, and the so-called ‘Big Five’ countries of the UK, France, Spain, Germany and Italy. 

These five countries automatically qualify each year as they pay a greater share towards organising the annual contest. 

This year, there have been calls in Ireland and elsewhere for Israel to be excluded from the contest due to the ongoing conflict in Gaza. 

Eurovision has been the focus of protests for many years over Israel’s involvement in the competition, but calls for countries to take a stance have ramped up this year over Israel’s bombardment of Gaza since October, with more than 25,000 people killed.

The Journal reported earlier this month that RTÉ had received hundreds of emails calling on the broadcaster to boycott Eurovision due to Israel’s participation.

Speaking at a press event in RTÉ ahead of the Eurosong contest last week, Bambie Thug, along with competitor Erica-Cody, took the view that Israel should not be allowed to compete.

But the contest’s organisers confirmed in the draw this evening that Israel will perform in the second half of the second semi-final of the contest.

Meanwhile, Iceland has become an early favourite to win the competition.

Palestinian singer Bashar Murad has been named as a participant in the country’s national Eurovision selection contest in March. He will be hoping to represent Iceland with the song “Vestrio Villt” (“Wild West”). 

According to Haaretz, the 30-year-old singer was born in East Jerusalem and his music deals with issues such as gender, identity and life in a Palestinian society.

Demonstrators in Iceland have gathered outside the country’s national broadcaster service, RUV, to demand a boycott of the contest if Israel sends an act.

Last week, RUV announced on its website that it is “uncertain if Iceland will participate at Eurovision” if Israel is allowed to take part.

The national broadcaster said it will make a final decision after the Icelandic national Eurovision selection contest and in consultation with its winner.

If the country chooses to participate, its entrant will perform in the second half of the first semi-final.