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Can Israel win the Eurovision song contest tonight?



Singer Eden Golan during an Eurovision performance
Singer Eden Golan performing Hurricane for Israel at the Second Semi-Final at Malmö Arena | Photo: Corinne Cumming / EBU

As I’ve watched hashtags multiply on social media in the days leading up to the final of Eurovision 2024 tonight, I can’t help but wonder about the chances of 20-year-old Eden Golan, the singer representing Israel this year, actually winning the song contest. Despite all the boycotts surrounding the country’s entry, could she still emerge victorious and take home the iconic glass microphone?.

Following Loreen‘s victory in Liverpool with the song Tattoo in 2023, this year the 68th edition of Eurovision is taking place in Sweden, with the Grand Final broadcast live from Malmö Arena this Saturday, May 11th.

However this edition of the Eurovision hasn’t been plain sailing.

There have been several campaigns to block Israel from taking part in this year’s contest following the outbreak of war in the Middle East. In January, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which hosts the event, issued a statement affirming that “the Eurovision Song Contest is a non-political music event and a competition between public service broadcasters who are members of the EBU. It is not a contest between governments”. The official Eurovision website also has a dedicated FAQ section answering frequently asked questions such as “Why is the Israeli entry eligible to compete?”, “Why is Israel still a Member of the EBU when Russia was suspended?,” and “Will there be more security than usual this year, because of the fact the Israel is competing?

On social media, the public has been divided over the past few months on whether Israel should remain a contestant at the Eurovision. But an online campaign on Twitter/X and Instagram to have the country removed from the competition seemed to have attracted more support from accounts with zero followers or in private mode, which could be an indication of bots – automated accounts that are programmed to perfoem certain activities such re-tweeting, liking, following, or replying to content using AI.

Some of those reacting to the presence of Israel at the Eurovision song contest are real citizens, though.

Furkan Gözükara, a PhD Computer Engineer, has shared a footage of the Israel Eurovision entrant, Eden Golan, who was born in Israel to Russian parents, being booed during a dress rehearsal on May 9th.

“This is how Israel is protested inside Eurovision 2024 rightfully and justly If you don’t see booing on TV that is because they remove it with AI,” claims Gözükara.

Los Angeles-based American singer-songwriter and pianist John Ondrasik, shared footage of his interview on Fox Tonight where he asked singers such as Bruce Springsteen and Barbra Streisand to join him in “standing with our fellow artist Eden Golan, a 20 year old Jewish singer, who has to be escorted in armoured caravans, due to the hate and antisemitism of tens of millions”.

It has been reported that Eden Golan was confined to her hotel room, while in Malmo, Sweden’s third largest city, to rehearse and perform at Eurovision,  after a series of threats against the Israeli delegation.

Twenty-six of the 37 entrants will compete in Saturday’s final of the Eurovision.

Why is Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest?

According to the organisers of the Eurovision contest, through their website, the song contest “is open to all members of the European Broadcasting Union which represents broadcasters from right across Europe and the Middle East.

The Israeli public service broadcaster has been a member of the EBU since 1957 and has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest for 50 years”.

Israel was allowed to compete this year after it agreed to modify the lyrics of its entry, a song ballad understood to be a reference the Hamas massacre on 7 October.

How to watch the Eurovision 2024 Grand Final

The Eurovision Song Contest 2024 Grand Final will be broadcast live on Saturday 11 May 2024 at 8pm (BST) on BBC One, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 2 and BBC Sounds.

Swedish comedian Petra Mede will be hosting Eurovision for the third time, alongside Swedish-American actress Malin Åkerman who is making her Eurovision hosting debut in Malmö.

Multi-award winning actor, Joanna Lumley, will be joining the BBC Eurovision family as the United Kingdom’s Eurovision spokesperson, where she will deliver the results of the UK’s National Jury live during the Grand Final on Saturday 11 May.

What is the running order of the 2024 Eurovision Grand Final?

1. Sweden – Marcus & Martinus – Unforgettable

2. Ukraine – alyona alyona & Jerry Heil – Teresa & Maria

3. Germany – ISAAK – Always On The Run

4. Luxembourg – TALI – Fighter

5. Netherlands – Joost Klein – Europapa

6. Israel – Eden Golan – Hurricane

7. Lithuania – Silvester Belt – Luktelk

8. Spain – Nebulossa – ZORRA

9. Estonia – 5MIINUST x Puuluup – (nendest) narkootikumidest ei tea me (küll) midagi

10. Ireland – Bambie Thug – Doomsday Blue

11. Latvia – Dons – Hollow

12. Greece – Marina Satti – ZARI

13. United Kingdom – Olly Alexander – Dizzy

14. Norway – Gåte – Ulveham

15. Italy – Angelina Mango – La Noia

16. Serbia – TEYA DORA – RAMONDA

17. Finland – Windows95man – No Rules!

18. Portugal – iolanda – Grito

19. Armenia – LADANIVA – Jako

20. Cyprus – Silia Kapsis – Liar

21. Switzerland – Nemo – The Code

22. Slovenia – Raiven – Veronika

23. Croatia – Baby Lasagna – Rim Tim Tagi Dim

24. Georgia – Nutsa Buzaladze – Firefighter

25. France – Slimane – Mon Amour

26. Austria – Kaleen – We Will Rave

Marcio Delgado is a Journalist, Producer and Influencer Marketing Manager working with brands and publications in Europe, America and Asia.


Cannes opens with French comedy and honorary award for Meryl Streep



Actress Juliette Binoche hands an award to Meryl Steep
Meryl Streep receives a honorary Palme D’Or from Juliette Binoche | Photo: Andrea Rentz

The 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival officially opened last night with Quentin Dupieux’s Le Deuxième Acte (The Second Act), and an honorary Palme d’Or awarded to American actress Meryl Streep.

Presented Out of Competition as a world premiere on the Croisette last night, May 14, this four-part comedy was also released in all French cinemas on the same day. The film stars Lea Seydoux, Vincent Lindon, Louis Garrel and Raphaël Quenard playing squabbling actors filming a movie produced and directed by artificial intelligence.

The opening ceremony of the 77th Festival de Cannes, hosted at the  Grand Théâtre Lumière, also had American actress Meryl Streep as a guest of honour.

Streep received the Festival’s Honorary Palme d’or, 35 years after winning the Best Actress award for Evil Angels, her only appearance in Cannes until last night.

“My mother, who is usually right about everything, said to me: ’Meryl, my darling, you’ll see. It all goes so fast. So fast,″ added Streep. “And it has, and it does. Except for my speech, which is too long,” said the three time Oscar award-winning actress.

Last year French Film director Justine Triet won the Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or for her murder mystery film “Anatomy of a Fall” becoming the third female filmmaker ever to win the prize, which was first awarded in 1955. 

The 77th Cannes Film Festival is set to run until May 25th, when the Palme d’Or winners will be revealed, 2024.

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Exhibition in Madrid reveals science and technology behind Pixar’s films



Exhibition in Madrid reveals science and technology behind Pixar’s films
The Science Behind Pixar can be seen at CaixaForum Madrid until 8 September.

CaixaForum Madrid is currently hosting The Science Behind Pixar exhibition, created by the Museum of Science, Boston, in collaboration with Pixar Animation Studios. The exhibition is divided into eight sections, corresponding to the steps in the process Pixar uses to transform an idea into a film. With specific examples from some of their most famous films, the public will be able to experiment with the techniques behind the modelling, rigging, surfaces, sets and cameras, animation, simulation, lighting and rendering of animated films.

This is the third collaboration between the ”la Caixa” Foundation and Pixar Studios. In 2015, Pixar: 25 Years of Animation, represented a thorough review of this pioneering company’s work in computer animation in its 25 years of history. Subsequently, Pixar, Building Characters (which has travelled to five CaixaForums since 2020) focused on the visual design of the Pixar characters to best transmit the story and fit in with the other elements of the film. Now, the eight sections of The Science Behind Pixar will give visitors an insight into every stage of the technical process used by Pixar’s artists and computer scientists

The aim of the new exhibition is to peel away, layer by layer and in a way that is attractive for all audiences, the scientific, computer and mathematical concepts that lie behind our favourite Pixar characters. To do this, the exhibition is organised into eight sections, each of which explains in depth one specific step of Pixar’s technical process: Modelling, which allows characters to be created in 3D; Rigging, in which the virtual bones, muscles and joints are developed; design of Surfaces and Sets; Animation, which brings the story to life; Simulation, which provides automated movements; Lighting, which enhances the emotional impact, and Rendering, which turns 3D scenes into 2D images.

Throughout 815 square metres in CaixaForum Madrid, visitors will learn about all these steps that Pixar pays passionate attention to in order to bring its worlds and characters to life. Dozens of interactive and audiovisual elements will reveal what is hidden behind Pixar films, from the first-ever computer-animated feature film – Toy Story – which opened over two decades ago, to the release of Turning Red.

To better understand the science and maths that go into creating the worlds and characters of Pixar’s films, visitors will see audiovisuals and hear first-hand from members of the studios’ production teams. They will also be invited to experience different roles within the production pipeline, through screen-based activities and physical interactive elements.

In the Sets & Cameras section, for example, visitors will discover how camera placement and angles created a bug’s-eye view for A Bug’s Life; in Modelling, they will try their hand at creating a digital sculpture from an artist’s sketch and in Lighting they will use lights to solve challenges similar to ones Pixar faced in creating underwater scenes with virtual light in Finding Nemo. The exhibition route also includes human-size recreations of many Pixar film characters, such as Buzz Lightyear (Toy Story), Dory (Finding Nemo), Mike and Sulley (Monsters, Inc.), Edna Mode (The Incredibles) and WALL·E (from the film of the same name).

Throughout the months that the exhibition will remain at CaixaForum Madrid, the ”la Caixa” Foundation will be offering various activities to bring the art and science of Pixar closer to all audiences. In addition, the general public can take a guided tour and families can choose between the family tour and the animated stories workshop-tour, where visitors can make a short, animated clip to understand all the phases of the creative process after visiting the exhibition.

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Switzerland wins Eurovision song contest with non-binary singer



Non-binary singer Nemo, winner of the Eurovision 2024
Singer Nemo performed ‘The Code’ for Switzerland | Photo: Alma Bengtsson

After the very last set of scores had come in, The Code, performed by rapper Neno, was announced as the clear champion of the Eurovision Song Contest 2024 with a points tally of 591 and a lead of 44 points. 

Croatia finished in second place with Rim Tim Tagi Dim by Baby Lasagna on 547 points. The other spot on the podium finish went to Ukraine, ending up in third place thanks to alyona alyona & Jerry Heil with their song Teresa & Maria, on 453 points.

Scores on the night were awarded in two stages, as is traditional at the Eurovision Song Contest. The first results to come in were from the juries, followed by the reveal of the public vote.

Once the initial points from 37 juries had come in, Switzerland already had secured the lead on the scoreboard with 365 points.

Nemo is the first nonbinary artist to win Eurovision.

“I’m mostly just really grateful for this experience and all the friends I’ve made along the way. This was one of the most queer representations we’ve seen at Eurovision which was amazing, I want to shout out all the other queer artists this year,” said the artist who was born in Biel, a small bilingual town in Switzerland.

Nemo’s triumph in Malmö is Switzerland’s third win at the Eurovision Song Contest to date, following victory by Lys Assia in 1956 and Céline Dion in 1988.

Switzerland first participated in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1956, winning the very first edition of the competition, which it also hosted. 

It has been a controversial year for the song contest festival launched in 1956. For weeks, the question of whether Israel should be allowed to compete or not while engaged in a military conflict in Gaza dominated the media surrounding the event and attracted pro-Palestine activists to the Swedish city of Malmö. Eden Golan, a 20-year old singer representing Israel, was booed during a dress rehearsal; It has been reported that she was confined to her hotel room, while in Malmo to perform at Eurovision, after a series of threats against the Israeli delegation. Hours before the grand final, on May 11th, Dutch rapper Joost Klein, who represented the Netherlands, was disqualified from Eurovision 2024 over what the organisers described as an “incident” involving a female member of the production crew.

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