After Måneskin’s magnificent victory in Rotterdam in 2021, Italy is where all the action will unfold this year. We're here to help you get in the spirit with a look at all the acts who'll be taking to the stage.
This year, Eurovision has everything from an eco-themed dating show called 'Salad for Two' (thanks Latvia!) to an entrant who juggles his music with a pro football career. There's a whirlwind of a circus song, a folksy, toe-tapping train trip, even some Wild West flavor. As always, there are ballads, dance hits, and songs that defy easy labels, and plenty of powerful emotion and soaring voices.
Albania: Ronela Hajati, Sekret
Albania’s Ronela has it all – a singer-songwriter with a load of contest and stage experience, she’s also clearly got imagination in spades. Watch the video of her contest entry Sekret (Secret) and you’ll see what we mean. It’s magical, mystical and catchy. Oh and we want that car!
Armenia: Rosa Linn, Snap
Can Armenia make it a fabulous double win? Rosa will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of her Junior Eurovision counterpart, Maléna, who won the most recent Junior contest for Armenia in Paris last December. Rosa's entry - about the pain of moving on from a break-up - is a vulnerable, gentle tune from the guitar-playing singer-songwriter. "I realised was that I had the strength to shape my reality – it just took getting out of my own way and finding inner peace. It’s all about self-love and accepting that you are enough. Writing 'Snap' was a form of therapy for me and I hope that it can be that for others who are also going through hard times," she's said.
Australia: Sheldon Riley, Not The Same
"It is the story I never thought I’d ever feel I’d be able to tell," says the Sydney-based singer with the incredible costumes (Alin Le’Kal, one of the nation’s leading designers known for his bespoke custom wedding gowns and striking, red-carpet creations, is behind Sheldon’s unforgettable Eurovision performance outfit) and impressive voice. Sheldon won his place as our Aussie representative with a towering performance of Not The Same at Eurovision: Australia Decides earlier this year.
Austria: LUM!X feat. Pia Maria, Halo
Austrian-Italian DJ and producer LUM!X, real name Luca Michlmayr, has become one of the hottest names in the global electronic music scene. For Eurovision, he's teamed up by vocalist Pia Maria, for a dance hit that's soaring right from the start.
Azerbaijan: Nadir Rustamli, Fade to Black
Nadir will have been able to ask someone who knows all about it what it's like to be on the Eurovision stage: former Eurovision Song Contest winner Eldar Gasimov was his mentor as Nadir stormed to victory in The Voice of Azerbaijan earlier this year. It's not surprising the piano plaus a key role in the music of Fade to Black - Nadir took lessons for years as a child.
Belgium: Jérémie Makiese, Miss You
A pro footballer on the stage isn't a first for Eurovision (Julio Iglesias, whose football career was ended by an accident in 1963, represented Spain in 1970, and football manager and music producer Dax Sampson, who competed in 2006, was a pro footballer before he became a musician). But doing both at once? We love the determination of Belgium's entry to follow two big dreams: the Eurovision website says his career in music runs parallel with his aspirations of being a successful professional footballer. "A talented goalkeeper, the singer recently signed a contract to play for Excelsior Virton FC. Going forward, the ambitious young superstar wants to follow both of his passions in life." Jérémie won the 2021 series of The Voice Belgique just a month before signing his football contract. Born to Congalese parents, this multi-talented musician is fluent in Dutch and French.
Bulgaria: Intelligent Music Project, Intention
Intelligent Music Project is a supergroup of musicians who are bringing a rock vibe to the Eurovision stage with Intention. The band won’t be completely in the dark about what to expect; drummer Stoyan Yankoulov will be on hand with advice from his two previous outings at the Eurovision Song Contest. He represented Bulgaria with singing partner Elitsa in 2007 with the song Voda, returning solo in 2013 with Samo Shampioni.
Croatia: Mia Dimšić, Guilty Pleasure
At 19, Mia might be one of the younger artists taking to the stage but with two chart-topping albums and six number one singles on the Croatian charts, she's no newcomer. She's been playing guitar and writing songs for years (she also plays the tamburica) and her career has already seen her perform around the world.
Cyprus: Andromache, Ela
Born in Germany, and raised in Greece, Andromache Dimitropoulou (though professionally just known by her first name) is a rising star. She released her first single in 2017, but it was her appearance in The Voice of Greece that kickstarted her rise.
Czech Republic: We Are Domi, Lights Off
What started as a ‘one-time thing’ for a project at Leeds College of Music in 2006, soon morphed into a full-time creative outlet for vocalist Dominika Hašková, keyboardist Benjamin Rekstad and guitarist Casper Hatlestad. Once their studies had been wrapped up, a relocation to Prague allowed the friends to fine-tune their sound and style even further. Their music has been described as alternative electro-pop with hints of indie.
Denmark: REDDI, The Show
REDDI is made up of Siggy Savery on vocals, Ida Bergkvist on bass, Agnes Agnes on guitar and Ihan Hayder on drums. It's Hayders second visit to the Eurovision stage, after participating in 2012 with Danish artist Soluna Samay. REDDI's entry, The Show, is all about daring to do what you want regardless of your gender, as they explain: "With our song, we want to tell the world that you should not let the outside world stop you from doing what you dream of. We want to show the world that women can do everything on their own. We all wondered why there were so few female bands in Denmark, so now we show that it can easily be done".
Estonia: Stefan, Hope
The singer-songwriter, whose full name is Stefan Airapetjan, though professionally he goes by just his first name, has long been a Eurovision fan, making several attempts to win selection since 2018, before being chosen to head to Turin in 2022. Estonia's entrant (whose parents came to Estonia from Armenia) brings a taste of the Wild West to Eurovision with his entry, 'Hope'. Will he ride a horse across the stage??
Finland: The Rasmus, Jezebel
Together for nearly 30 years, The Rasmus are one of Finland’s most internationally successful groups. Their biggest hit, In the Shadows, recently passed the 100 million streaming mark on Spotify, despite being released many years before the streaming platform was even invented. Though that mega-hit remains the band’s calling card, they’ve since released several platinum albums, won numerous music industry awards, and played gigs all over the world. The band is currently made up of Aki Hakala, Eero Heinonen, Emppu Suhonen and Lauri Ylönen.
France: Alcan & Ahez, Fulenn
France's entry sees the pairing of traditional vocal group Ahez and multi-instramentalist electo artist Alvan, all from Brittany region. Ahez showcase their regional heritage through song, by writing and singing in their local language, Breton. The coming-together with Alvan at Eurovision looks set to show that tradition is constantly evolving, and if their pre-comp video is anything to go by, this song will lend itself to a striking presentation.
Georgia: Circus Mircus, Lock Me In
Well, this is intriguing. With a name like Circus Mircus, and a bio that talks about the cornerstone of their philosophy lying in "the complete neglect of musical frameworks", you get the feeling anything could happen when this foursome takes to the Eurovision stage. And then there's there's the video for Lock Me In, which has a non-stop gloriously zany circus zibe.
Germany: Malik Harris, Rockstars
German-American singer and rapper Malik has been writing songs on his guitar for over a decade. Harris comes from a very musical family; his grandfather was an opera singer, his grandmother a pianist, and his father plays several instruments and teaches cello. Germany has won Eurovision twice, in 1982 and 2010, so Malik will be hoping to make it a triple for one of the contest's founding nations.
Greece: Amanda Georgiadi Tenfjord, Die Together
This international singer-songwriter spent the early years of her life living in Greece, before later relocating to Norway with her family, where she found herself in the same school class as Nordic popstress Sigrid. Alongside her musical career, the 24-year-old is also studying medicine.
Iceland: Systur, Með Hækkandi Sól
If you think the name of this trio sounds like 'sister', you'd be correct: Sigga, Beta and Elín are a band of sisters who have been singing together for as long as they can remember. They hail from a musical family - their father was a member of jazz-funk band Mezzoforte, their mother is a singer, and their brother plays drums. According to their Eurovision bio, the three siblings believe strongly in the healing power of music and spend much of their time supporting those who are marginalised in society.
Ireland: Brooke, That's Rich
Ireland's representative first found fame as a finalist on the 2020 series of The Voice UK, having been mentored by Grammy-award winning artist Meghan Trainor, and eventually finishing in 3rd place. Apparently, Brooke credits ‘70s legends Blondie as the major influence for her entry That’s Rich, having written the song after reading Debbie Harry’s autobiography.
Israel: Michael Ben David, I.M.
Israel's entry won his ticket to Turin after winning the finale of the local version of X Factor. There's a lot of emotion packed into the lyrics of his very dance-able Eurovision entry, an affirmation of finding strength and remembering to keep your head up (he faced a few challenges growing up, although it seems things are in a happier place now.) Fun facts: He's a big fan of Whitney Houston, and likes cooking and baking.
Italy: Mahmood & BLANCO, Brividi
Can Italy make it two in a row? This duo will be hoping they can give everyone the shivers with their entry, Brividi. As with reigning Contest champs Måneskin, Alessandro Mahmoud, known professionally as Mahmood, shot to fame on The X Factor Italia. The Milanese musician's biggest hit to date has been Soldi, which finished second at Eurovision in 2019 and became the most-streamed Eurovision song of all time on Spotify (a record held until January 2021 when it was surpassed by Duncan Laurence’s Arcade). BLANCO (aka Riccardo Fabbriconi) is a singer/rapper from Brescia with big aspirations. His 2021 single, Mi Fai Impazzire, spent 8 weeks at the top of the Italian charts, and was followed by the release of debut album, Blu Celeste, which also shot to number one. Italy are sure of their spot in the grand final (they've been drawn to compete in the 9th spot), but there will still be a lot riding on these two and their ballad about knowing (or not knowing) how to express love.
Latvia: Citi Zēni, Eat Your Salad
Well, here's a TV show we hadn't though of before - a dating game called Salad For Two, where three guys try to win the interest of environmentalist. It's going to be very interesting to see how this one turns out on the Eurovision stage! Citi Zēni are an award-winning band from Riga. The eco-friendly sextet is made up of Jānis Pētersons on vocals, Dagnis Roziņš who contributes vocals and saxophone, Reinis Višķeris on keyboards, Krišjānis Ozols playing guitar, Roberts Memmēns giving us bass, and Toms Kagainis on drums. If you want to take title of their song literally, our colleagues over at SBS Food can help (salad, salads and more salads here: plus they've also got a great collection of recipes for Eurovision party eats).
Lithuania: Monika Liu, Sentimentai
With black foam, clouds, seagulls and a "million roses like sentiments" all captured in the lyrics of Sentimentai, we see lots of potential for impressive staging of this for Eurovision! Monica Liu ((born Monika Liubinaitė) is one of Lithuania’s most popular artists. After graduating from the University of Klaipėda, where she studied jazz, globe-trotting Monica spent time studying in Massachusetts and living in London, before then settling in Vilnius. Lithusania has never won Eurovision (best placing so far is 6th) but they've got a solid record when it comes to making it into the Grand Final. Can Monika Liu take them all the way this year?
Malta: Emma Muscat, I Am What I Am
Singer and classically trained pianist Emma Muscat is one of Malta’s most successful music exports in recent years, and it won't be her first time in Italy. In fact, the Maltese singer-songwriter has already carved out a successful career for herself as a recording artist over the water; capitalising on the success of her 2018 participation in the grand final of the popular Italian talent show, Amici di Maria De Filippi. Can her power
Moldova: Zdob şi Zdub & Advahov Brothers, Trenulețul
Can Zdob şi Zdub make it third time lucky at Eurovision, after placing 6th in 2005 and 12th in 2011? This time the band, which has become just as famous for its spectacular live shows as it has for its catchy, sing-along tunes, have paired up with Advahov Brothers: two musicians who are so popular in Moldova, they even have their own folk orchestra, frequently playing at sold-out events across their country. Hop on for a toe-tapping ride with this entry, which asks a few questions about change, borders and nationhood.
Montenegro: Vladana, Breathe
Vladana (born Vladana Vučinić) is one of Montenegro’s most popular artists, The multi-talented popstress from Podgorica has a primary and secondary education in music, and a degree in journalism. In 2015, she put that degree to good use, launching online fashion magazine Čiviluk. As well as being founder and editor in chief, Vladana also writes a column and has conducted interviews with designers, musicians and political figures. Vladana will be bringing with her to Turin a name familiar to many Eurovision fans: songwriter and producer Darko Dimitrov. The Macedonian composer has had a hand in no fewer than 11 entries, with Breathe, a showcase for Vladana's voice, becoming his 12th.
Netherlands: S10, De Diepte
S10 (it's pronounced more like es-tein) is the moniker of Stien den Hollander, a Dutch singer, rapper and songwriter. At just 21 years of age, the artist has made a name for herself as the darling of the Dutch alt-pop scene. Her music is often deeply personal, some reflecting her mental health journey. Her entry De Diepte ('the depths') will be the country's first Dutch-language entry in 11 years.
North Macedonia: Andrea, Circles
Andrea is relatively new to the world of pop, but her journey has gotten off to a flying start. It was during her younger years living in New York that she developed a keen interest in the gospel, soul and R&B music that surrounded her. When her family moved back to North Macedonia, she enrolled in Skopje’s Faculty of Music Arts, the country’s leading music school, where she enhanced her burgeoning songwriting skills by learning to play guitar and piano. Since the end of 2020, Andrea has channelled her talent into a recording career, releasing over half a dozen singles in the space of 6 months, with Circles her latest.
Norway: Subwoolfer, Give That Wolf a Banana
We cannot possibly do justice to their interplanetary career! (See what we mean by having a read of their bio on the Eurovision Song Contest website.)
Poland: Ochman, River
He's certainly got a voice! So it's no surprise that Ochman rose to fame when his vocal talents won The Voice of Poland. Born in Massachusetts, US, Krystian Ochman (who goes by his last name professionally) has lived in Poland since his teenage years. Poland's hope for 2022 is not the only famous performer in the family: he’s the grandson of the renowned Polish tenor Wiesław Ochman.
Portugal: MARO, Suadade, Saudade
Multi-instrumentalist, composer and vocalist Mariana Brito da Cruz Forjaz Secca, known professionally as MARO, didn't start pursuing muscially professionally until the age of 20 but she's built a big following in the past four years both for her solo career and as a member of progressive folk band BAERD. MARO won the right to represent Portugal through victory in the annual Festival da Canção competition, winning both the public vote and jury vote. Can she do the same at the Eurovision Song Contest?
Romania: WRS, Llámame
The beatmaker from Buzău (born Andrei Ionuț Ursu) began his artistic career as a dancer; performing on stage with Romanian pop icons such as Inna, and being hired as a house dancer for both Romania's Got Talent and The Voice of Romania. In 2015 he joined boyband SHOT for a short while, before moving to London to hone his craft as a songwriter and solo act. Given that dance background, we're looking forward to seeing what WRS will unleash on the Eurovision stage.
San Marino: Achille Lauro, Stripper
Achille Lauro (yes, he does share his stage name with a certain cruise ship; it's a spin on his full name, Lauro De Marinis) is an eclectic singer, songwriter and rapper from Verona, Italy, but that's far from all the cards in his hand: He’s acted, directed and is even an award-winning film producer, alongside hosting TV shows, putting on art exhibitions, authoring three books, and acting as the creative director for a record label. He arrives at Eurovision having won the Una Voce per San Marino song contest.
Serbia: Konstrakta, In Corpore Sano
Konstrakta is the moniker of Ana Đurić. In the early stages of her career, the singer honed her vocal skills in the band Zemlja Gruva (Land of Groove); they had the honour of being the opening act for Amy Winehouse, at her last ever concert, in Belgrade in 2011.As a solo artist, Konstrakta is interested in contemporary social and emotional phenomena. Her song In Corpore Sano has been interpreted by some as a critique of the Serbian healthcare system and a satire on unattainable beauty standards. In addition to creating music, the multi-talented artist and businesswoman also has a degree in architecture.
Slovenia: LPS, Disko
This seems highly appropriate, given there's likely to be plenty of pizza consumed at Eurovision viewing parties: LPS stands for Last Pizza Slice. The group is a teenage pop band composed of Filip Vidušin (vocal), Gašper Hlupič (drums), Mark Semeja (electric guitar), Zala Velenšek (bass guitar, tenor and alto saxophone), and Žiga Žvižej (electric keyboards). The group have been together since 2018, when they met in the music room of their school. As well as the disco music with which new fans will now associate them, LPS also dabble in soul-pop, funk, blues, rock and jazz. At the beginning of their career, they grew a dedicated fan base through their quirky, non-commercial interpretations of commercial hits. Some might assume that the title of their entry implies a carefree tale of losing oneself in uplifting disco music, but the lyrics tell the true story of Filip, who was dumped by his girlfriend… at a disco. We have high hopes of a glitter ball from LPS, given there's a big nod to that disco classic in their catchy clip.
Spain: Chanel, SloMo
Chanel Terrero is a singer, dancer and actress born in Havana, Cuba. Spain's hope at Eurovision is no stranger to big productions and music that makes you move: The superstar has over a decade of musical theatre experience, having starred in productions of The Lion King, Flashdance, The Bodyguard and Mamma Mia. She has also danced on stage with Shakira, at the 2010 MTV Europe Music Awards. Chanel has also starred in numerous series on Spanish television. SloMo is the artist’s debut single, composed by a team of songwriters who have collaborated with the likes of Madonna, Black Eyed Peas, Britney Spears, Ricky Martin, Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj.
Sweden: Cornelia Jakobs, Hold Me Closer
After starting her recording career as part of a girl band in 2010, Cornelia launched a solo career in 2018. With a father who is a famous rockstar in Sweden, and a grandmother who is a composer, music has always been a fundamental part of this pop star's life. She won her way to Eurovision after victory in Sweden's six-week-long Melodifestivalen, which uses both a public vote and an international jury vote to choose the winner (Australia was among the countries lending a hand on the international jury). Can she continue Sweden's excellent run at the Eurovision Song Contest, with 6 victories to day, including ABBA's famous win in 1974?
Switzerland: Marius Bear, Boys Do Cry
From mechanic to musician: In 2016, Bear abandoned his plan of becoming a construction machinery mechanic, in order to tour Germany and Switzerland as a street musician. At a festival, he got to know a famous producer who invited him to New York, and quickly became part of the Swiss artistic and creative arts scene there. The globe-trobber was on the move once more in 2017, heading to the United Kingdom, where he studied music production, before releasing his first album in 2019. For Eurovision, he's bringing an honest ballad with an important message.
Ukraine: Kalush Orchestra, Stefania
Kalush Orchestra is a seven-member Ukrainian hip-hop band that combines ethnic motifs with modern sounds using different folk instruments. The band was named after the Ukrainian city of Kalush. Set in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, it serves as a mascot that inspires the band to involve different folk elements and authentic Ukrainian music within their songs. Moreover, it is the hometown of band member Oleh Psiuk. Their Eurovision entry, Stefania, is a tribute to Oleh’s mother.
United Kingdom: Sam Ryder, SPACEMAN
Sam is a singer and songwriter from Essex who has seen his popularity go stratospheric, largely thanks to social media. As the world went into lockdown in March 2020, Sam uploaded the first of his now famous cover videos, quickly catching the attention of celebrities including Justin Bieber, Sia and Alicia Keys. Since then he's signed a record deal and got the nod to rep the UK on the Eurovision stage. The Brit co-wrote his Eurovision entry with Grammy-winning songwriter Amy Wadge (Ed Sheeran, Thinking Out Loud) and Max Wolfgang, and with more than 12 million followers and 100 million likes on TikTok, he is one of the most followed UK music artists on the platform. Sam says he's been a fan of Eurovision since he was a kid. Can his meteoric rise take him all the way to the top?
Much of this information comes from the Eurovision Song Contest website, where you can read and see more about this year's participants, including song lyrics.
The Eurovision Song Contest is back in 2022, held in Turin, Italy! Tune into the Australian exclusive primetime broadcast on SBS and SBS On Demand on 13, 14 and 15 May. For all the details visit sbs.com.au/Eurovision, and join the conversation using #SBSEurovision