Swiss Eurovision winner Nemo says ‘intense’ furore made them really sad

The 2024 Eurovision Song Contest winner Nemo Mettler has said that they were “really sad” during the competition following the chaotic scenes and protests.

The non-binary singer, 24, in a pink skirt and fluffy jumper, balanced on a tipping metal disc as they sang their opera-dance blend track The Code on Saturday evening in Malmo, Sweden.

The competition has been mired in controversy surrounding the participation of Israel’s Eden Golan, and a large group of demonstrators were outside Malmo Arena as the acts performed.

Several protesters have also been detained and taken away by police, including Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.

Nemo told the Eurovision press conference: “I have to say this whole experience was really intense, and not just pleasant all the way.

“There were a lot of things that didn’t seem like it was all about love and unity. And that made me really sad and at the same time… there was so much love here as well.

“And there was so much coming together and there was so many different cultures meeting and, people that just are full of positivity, love for music and that really gives me hope.

“And I know these people exist, and they exist in the world, but … we need to work to create such an environment that we need to ask ourselves, what is such an environment? And what do we want to stand for?

“And I really hope that Eurovision continues, and can continue to stand for peace and love in the future. I think that needs a lot of work still.”

They also revealed that they broke their trophy and thumb.

Sweden Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final
Nemo of Switzerland performs the song The Code during Eurovision final (Martin Meissner/AP)

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has come under fire over the course of the week, with Norway and Finland’s points spokespeople, Eurovision stars Alessandra Mele and Kaarija, both refused to announce the jury vote.

They were replaced by TV presenter Ingvild Helljesen and radio journalist Toni Laaksonen, for Norway and Finland, respectively.

Further controversy came when Irish entrant Bambie Thug accused the Israeli broadcaster of a rule break and said they are waiting on an official update from the EBU after raising “multiple complaints”.

Bambie, who like Nemo is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns, missed their dress rehearsal as they felt they needed to bring a situation to the “urgent attention” of the EBU.

Martin Osterdahl, the EBU’s executive supervisor for Eurovision, was booed as he announced that all of the results from the grand final had been verified.

Eden Golan of Israel enters the arena during the flag parade before the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmo
Eden Golan of Israel enters the arena during the flag parade before the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmo (Martin Meissner/PA)

The Eurovision jury spokesperson for Israel was booed before they announced the country had awarded its 12 points to Luxembourg, and a similar noise was heard as Golan performed.

Earlier in the day, the Netherlands’ entry Joost Klein was disqualified by Eurovision organisers following an incident between the singer and a camerawoman.

This move was strongly criticised by the Dutch broadcaster Avrotros, who called the penalty “very heavy and disproportionate”.

The final results were Switzerland with 591 points, while Croatia’s Baby Lasagna with catchy and outrageous Rim Tim Tagi Dim was given 547 points and Ukraine’s Alyona Alyona & Jerry Heil with the emotional and religious song Teresa & Maria landed on 453 points.

Tearfully accepting the trophy on stage, Nemo said: “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.”

Ireland’s Bambie, who entered with the gothic Doomsday Blue, received 136 points and finished in sixth place.

UK in the Eurovision Song Contest final
(PA Graphics)

UK entrant Olly Alexander did not finish dead last with dance pop track Dizzy, but did receive the dreaded “nul points” from the audience vote.

He finished the competition in 18th place.