Home Europe Eurovision crowns Swiss singer Nemo after contentious contest

Eurovision crowns Swiss singer Nemo after contentious contest

by editor

Swiss singer Nemo won the Eurovision Song Contest late Saturday in a competition marked by controversy over the presence of Israel and the disqualification of the Dutch entrant.

The competition in Malmö, Sweden, was overshadowed by protests over Israel’s participation in the contest amid the ongoing Israeli military campaign in the Gaza Strip.

Nemo triumphed with “The Code,” a pop-rap ode to the singer’s journey toward embracing a non-gender identity. Croatia, which led the public vote, came in second with “Rim Tim Tagi Dim.” Israel’s entrant, Eden Golan, came fifth after receiving a mixture of boos and cheers as she performed on stage in Malmö.

Switzerland’s Nemo beat Croatian singer Baby Lasagna to the title by winning the most points from a combination of national juries and viewers around the world.

“I hope this contest can live up to its promise and continue to stand for peace and dignity for every person,” Nemo said after the result was announced. Nemo expressed pride in accepting the trophy for “people that are daring to be themselves and people that need to be heard and need to be understood.”

Joost Klein, the Dutch entrant in the song contest, was banned from Saturday night’s final following a formal complaint by a female member of the production crew, the event’s organizer, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), said in a statement on Saturday.

The decision followed an investigation by Swedish police into the woman’s complaint. Speculation that the investigation had something to do with Israel’s Golan was fanned after a tense exchange between the two performers during a press conference Thursday evening.

But the EBU said in its statement that “contrary to some media reports and social media speculation, this incident did not involve any other performer or delegation member.”

Golan earlier qualified for the Eurovision final hours after thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters gathered in the streets of Malmö to show their support for Gaza. After Golan had been booed during dress rehearsals, there was a mixture of cheering and booing again during her subsequent appearances.

Marianne Gros contributed reporting.

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