Eurovision 2024: artist Nemo wins the final for Switzerland

A finale shaken by controversies

Eurovision 2024: artist Nemo wins the final for Switzerland

A finale shaken by controversies. The artist Nemo won Eurovision 2024 for Switzerland on Sunday May 12 with The Code, a very personal song about being non-binary. A coronation which ends a competition marked by calls to boycott Israel.

“I hope that this competition can continue to encourage peace and dignity for everyone,” said the 24-year-old artist, his eyes brimming with tears, upon receiving his trophy. “This platform provides a huge opportunity to build bridges between different cultures and generations,” he explained earlier, “which is why it is very important for me, as a queer person, to advocate for the entire community LGBTQIA.”

With his pink and red feathered jacket and his pink satin skirt, Nemo won the favor of the juries with 365 points, but also seduced the public who brought him 226, allowing him with 591 points to overtake the Croatian favorite, Baby Lasagna who accumulated 547 points.

Ukraine finished third and France fourth, ahead of Israel which made a spectacular comeback, obtaining 338 public voting points.

Controversies surrounding Israeli participation

“The Code tells the story of the journey that I began by realizing that I am neither a man nor a woman,” previously told Nemo Mettler, who gives the small Alpine country, champion of political neutrality, its third crown in a competition which aims to be apolitical. It is Switzerland's first victory since "Ne partez pas sans moi" performed by Céline Dion in 1988. The artist, who began playing the piano, violin and drums at a young age, is originally from Biel and now lives in Berlin. After winning the Best Talent prize at the 2017 Swiss Music Awards, Nemo won so many trophies the following year that public television renamed the event the "Swiss Nemo Awards".

The 2024 edition of Eurovision was monopolized by controversies surrounding Israeli participation, against a backdrop of conflict in Gaza.

On Saturday, more than 5,000 people marched through the streets of Malmö, where the competition was held, to demand a boycott of Israel and a ceasefire in the seven-month-old Gaza war that has killed nearly 35,000 Palestinians, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-controlled territory. Two days earlier, there were more than 10,000 in this city where the majority of the Swedish population of Palestinian origin lives.

In the performance hall, the performance of the Israeli candidate, Eden Golan, was greeted with a mixture of boos and bravos, before continuing calmly.

The unions of the Flemish public television channel VRT briefly interrupted the broadcast on Saturday evening to broadcast a message condemning "violations of human rights by the State of Israel", as it had done on Thursday during the second semi-final.

At midday on Saturday, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which oversees the competition, also announced the exclusion of Dutch participant Joost Klein after the filing of a complaint by a member of the team of production. A police investigation is underway. Dutch broadcaster Avrotros explained that its candidate had made a “threatening movement” towards a camera operator on Thursday evening.

As for the festivities, the 2024 edition offered a wide range of musical genres, from ballads to electro.