Swiss Nemo wins the Eurovision 2024 award for the song The Code

Malmö (Sweden) – Swiss singer Nemo won 68th place Eurovision Song Contest early Sunday with “The Code,” an operatic rap ode to the singer’s journey toward embracing a non-gender identity.

The Swiss contestant beat Croatian rocker Pepe Lasagna to take the title by winning the most points from a combination of national judges and viewers around the world. Nemo, 24, is the first non-binary winner of the competition that has long been considered a safe haven by the LGBT community. Nemo is also the first Swiss winner since 1988, when Canadian singer Celine Dion competed under the Swiss flag.

“Thank you very much,” Nemo said after the result of Saturday’s final was announced shortly after midnight. “I hope that this competition will fulfill its promise and continue to stand for peace and dignity for every person.”

In a press conference after the win, Nemo expressed his pride in accepting the trophy “for people who dare to be themselves and people who need to be heard and need to be understood. We need more compassion, we need more empathy.”

Nemo’s victory in the Swedish city of Malmo came after a turbulent year in the continental pop competition, which witnessed large street protests against her. Share Israel Which tends A feel-good musical celebration In the messy pressure cooker that overwhelmed her The war in Gaza.

Hours before the final match, the Dutch competitor Jost Klein He was expelled from the competition due to a backstage altercation that the police were investigating.

Nemo – full name Nemo Mettler – beat out finalists from 24 other countries, all of whom performed in front of a live audience of thousands and an estimated 180 million. Viewers all over the world. Each contestant had three minutes to mix catchy tunes and… An eye-catching sight To shows capable of winning the hearts of viewers. Musical styles ranged from rock, disco, techno and rap, and sometimes were a mixture of more than one style.

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Israeli singer Eden Golan, who spent Eurovision week in Malmö under tight security, took the stage in front of a wall of sounds – boos mixed with cheers – to perform powerful song “Hurricane.” Golan moved up the odds table during the week, despite the protests sparked by her appearance, and finished in fifth place behind Nemo, Baby Lasagna, Ukrainian duo Alyona Alyona, Jerry Hill and French singer Slimane.

Latvian Dons perform “Holo”, during the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö, Sweden, Saturday, May 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Ireland's Bambie Thug performs

Ireland’s Bambie Thug performs “Doomsday Blue” during the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö, Sweden, Saturday, May 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Nebulosa from Spain performs

Nebulosa from Spain performs “ZORRA” during the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö, Sweden, Saturday, May 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

What do you know about this year’s Eurovision Song Contest:

Eurovision organizers ordered the original title of her song “October Rain” to be changed – an apparent reference to the October 7 Hamas attack that killed about 1,200 people in Israel and sparked the war in Gaza.

The show was typically eclectic at Eurovision, from the zombie-pop hybrid of 5Miinust x Puuluup in Estonia to the folk-pop of Marina Sati in Greece and Ladaneva in Armenia and the goofy nostalgia of ’90s For Finnish Windows95man, who walked off the giant stage. Egg wears very little clothing.

Britain’s Olly Alexander delivered an upbeat dance song, “Dizzy,” while Irish goth Bambi Thug summoned a demon on stage and brought his screamo coach to Malmö. Spanish Nebulosa She boldly reclaims the term used as an insult to women in “Zora.”

5MIINUST x Puuluup from Estonia performs

5MIINUST x Puuluup from Estonia performs “(nendest) narkootikumidest ei Tea me (küll) midagi”, during the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö, Sweden, Saturday, May 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Eden Golan from Israel performs a song

Eden Golan of Israel performs “Hurricane” during the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö, Sweden, Saturday, May 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Eden Golan from Israel performs a song

Eden Golan of Israel performs “Hurricane” during the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö, Sweden, Saturday, May 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Nemo was the favorite in the competition, along with Pepe Lasagna, whose song “Rim Tim Tagi Dim” is a rock song that addresses the issue of young Croatians leaving the country in search of a better life.

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The competition returned to Sweden, home country Last year’s winner, Lauren, half a century after ABBA won Eurovision with the song “Waterloo” – Eurovision’s most iconic moment. ABBA did not appear in person in Malmö, although digital “ABBA-tars” from the “ABBA Voyage” stage show appeared.

Three former Eurovision winners – Charlotte Pirelli, Carola and Conchita Forrest – performed “Waterloo” in her honour.

Although Eurovision’s slogan is “Music unites us,” this year’s event has proven divisive. Protests and opposition have overshadowed the competition that has become Camp celebration Europe’s diverse – and sometimes confusing – musical tastes and a forum for inclusivity and diversity.

Olli Alexander of the United Kingdom stands during the flag parade at the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö, Sweden, Saturday, May 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Olli Alexander of the United Kingdom stands during the flag parade at the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö, Sweden, Saturday, May 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Alyona Alyona and Jerry Hill of Ukraine perform

Alyona Alyona and Jerry Hill of Ukraine perform “Teresa and Maria” during the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö, Sweden, Saturday, May 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators demonstrated for the second time in a week on Saturday in Sweden’s third-largest city, which has a large Muslim population, to demand a boycott of Israel and a ceasefire in the seven-month-old Gaza war that led to the ceasefire. Nearly 35,000 Palestinians have been killed, according to the Ministry of Health in the Hamas-run territories.

Several hundred people gathered outside Malmo Stadium before the final, with some chanting “shame” at the arriving music fans and confronting police blocking their way. Climate activist Greta Thunberg was among those escorted by police.

The European Broadcasting Union, the competition organizer, said that Klein, the Dutch artist, was expelled from the competition after a member of the production staff filed a complaint. The 26-year-old Dutch singer and rapper was a favorite among punters and fans with his song “Europapa”.

Dutch broadcaster AVROTROS, one of dozens of public broadcasters that collectively fund and broadcast the competition, said that when Klein walked off the stage after Thursday’s semifinal, he was filmed without his consent and in turn made a “threatening gesture” toward the camera.

The broadcaster said that Klein did not touch the camera or the camera operator, and described his expulsion as “disproportionate.”

Tensions and nerves were evident in the hours leading up to the final. Several performers were absent from the Olympic-style artists’ entrance at the start of the final rehearsal, although they all appeared in the final.

Many of the competitors referred to peace or love at the end of their performances, including Frenchman Slimane, who said: “Music unites us for love and peace.”

Nimmo said the Eurovision experience was “really intense and not just fun all the way through.”

Eden Golan of Israel enters the arena during the flag parade before the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö, Sweden, Saturday, May 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Eden Golan of Israel enters the arena during the flag parade before the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö, Sweden, Saturday, May 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators gather to protest Israeli contestant Eden Golan's participation before the Eurovision Song Contest final in Malmö, Sweden, Saturday, May 11, 2024. Israeli contestant Eden Golan has become the focus of protests by Palestinian pro-demonstrators demanding Israel's expulsion from the Eurovision contest over the war with Hamas, which killed... The lives of approximately 35 thousand people in Gaza.  (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators gather to protest Israeli contestant Eden Golan’s participation before the Eurovision Song Contest final in Malmö, Sweden, Saturday, May 11, 2024. Israeli contestant Eden Golan has become the focus of protests by Palestinian pro-demonstrators demanding Israel’s expulsion from the Eurovision contest over the war with Hamas, which killed… The lives of approximately 35 thousand people in Gaza. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

“There were a lot of things that didn’t seem to be all about love and loneliness, and that’s what made me really sad,” Nimmo said. “I really hope that Eurovision can continue and that you can continue to stand for peace and love in the future. I think this still needs a lot of work.”

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Hilary Fox in Malmö, Jari Tanner in Helsinki, and Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen, Denmark, contributed to this report.

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An earlier version of this story was corrected to show that the Dutch broadcaster’s spelling is AVROTROS, not AVROTOS.

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