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12th May 2024

Eurovision winner slams organisers over ‘unbelievable double standards’

Ryan Price

This year’s contest has been one of the most controversial and political in history.

Switzerland’s Eurovision entry Nemo hit out against organisers just moments after winning the competition in Malmo, Sweden on Saturday night.

The 24-year-old impressed the jury and viewers at home with his upbeat performance of ‘The Code’ and won with a whopping 591 points, closely followed by Croatia with 547 points.

Shortly after his winning performance, during which he accidentally broke the trophy, Nemo criticised the bosses at the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), who own and operate the broadcasting rights for the annual spectacle.

This year’s contest has been one of the most controversial in Eurovision history thanks to the involvement of Israel, which led to pro-Palestine demonstrations outside the arena, and the disqualification of Netherlands act Joost Klein hours before he was due to perform.

Another aspect that outraged performers and viewers was the message delivered to audience members attending the event, who were told not to bring non-binary flags into the arena.

Nemo, who has become the contest’s first-ever non-binary winner, was asked by a reporter about his feelings on the ban, and Nemo branded it “unbelievable”.

Eurovision winner slams organisers over ‘unbelievable double standards’

“I had to smuggle my flag in because Eurovision said no, but I did it anyway, so I hope some people did that too,” said the Eurovision 2024 winner. “But, I mean, come on, this is clearly a double standard.”

They added: “The trophy can be fixed – maybe Eurovision needs fixing a little bit too, every now and then.”

The response was received by huge cheers and applause from reporters gathered in the press conference room.

Nemo went on to ask for “more compassion” and “empathy”, and said their win was dedicated to “people that are daring to be themselves and people that need to be heard and need to be understood”.

Ireland’s entry Bambie Thug took a similar stance to their Swiss opponent.

They accused the Eurovision Song Contest organisers of not supporting them over a row with Israel.

“The broadcaster [Kan] has disobeyed the rules and I hope next year they won’t be able to compete because of that,” they said.

“And behind the scenes, you don’t know the amount of pressure and the amount of work that we have been doing to change things and I’m so proud for Nemo for winning.

“I’m so proud that all of us are in the top 10 that have been fighting for this s*** behind the scenes. Because it’s been so hard and I’m so proud of us,” they added.

“I just want to say we are what Eurovision, the EBU is not what the Eurovision, the EBU is what makes this, f*** them, the EBU I don’t even care anymore.”

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