Switzerland's Nemo Triumphs at Eurovision 2024 Amid Controversy

Switzerland's Nemo wins Eurovision 2024 with "The Code," a genre-bending song, amidst controversy surrounding Israel's participation and protests. The competition, marked by incidents and disqualifications, saw Switzerland secure 591 points, beating Croatia and Ukraine.

Trim Correspondents
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Switzerland's Nemo Triumphs at Eurovision 2024 Amid Controversy

Switzerland's Nemo Triumphs at Eurovision 2024 Amid Controversy

The 68th Eurovision Song Contest, held in Malmö, Sweden, concluded on Saturday night with Switzerland's Nemo emerging victorious. The non-binary singer captivated audiences with their song "The Code," a genre-bending blend of opera and dance music. Nemo's emotional performance, which featured the artist balancing on a tipping metal disc while dressed in a pink skirt and fluffy jumper, secured 591 points, outpacing runners-up Croatia and Ukraine.

However, the competition was not without controversy. Israel's participation sparked protests, with demonstrators gathering outside the Malmö Arena and several protesters, including Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, being detained by police.

Why this matters: The controversy surrounding Israel's participation highlights the ongoing tensions and divisions in the region, underscoring the need for cultural events like Eurovision to promote unity and understanding. As a platform with a massive global audience, Eurovision has the potential to amplify messages of peace and tolerance, making it a crucial space for promoting social change.

The Netherlands' entry, Joost Klein, was also disqualified by Eurovision organizers following an incident between the singer and a camerawoman, a decision strongly criticized by the Dutch broadcaster AVROTROS.

In a tearful acceptance speech, Nemo expressed gratitude and hope, saying, "I want to say thank you so much. I hope this contest can live up to its promise and continue to stand for peace and dignity for every person in this world." However, at a press conference later, the singer also acknowledged the intense and not entirely pleasant experience, stating, "There were a lot of things that didn't seem like it was all about love and unity. And that made me really sad..."

Despite the controversies, the Eurovision Song Contest remains the world's largest music competition, with an estimated global audience of 200 million. The event, organized by the European Broadcasting Union, features participants from primarily European countries, each submitting an original song to be performed live. The contest has launched the careers of numerous artists, including ABBA, Celine Dion, and Conchita Wurst.

The 2024 edition marked the seventh time Sweden hosted the event, with Hollywood star Malin Åkerman and Eurovision veteran Petra Mede serving as hosts. The UK's entry, Olly Alexander, finished 18th, receiving no points from the audience vote. Ireland's Bambie Thug secured a respectable sixth place with 136 points. As the winner, Switzerland will host the 69th Eurovision Song Contest in 2025.

Key Takeaways

  • Switzerland's Nemo wins Eurovision 2024 with "The Code".
  • Israel's participation sparks protests and controversy.
  • Netherlands' entry Joost Klein disqualified due to incident.
  • Eurovision 2024 reaches 200 million global audience.
  • Switzerland to host Eurovision 2025 after Nemo's win.