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Viewers react to Switzerland’s Eurovision win: “Non binary folks rule the world”

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Eurovision viewers have had their say after Switzerland came away victorious at the 2024 edition of the contest last night (May 11), with jokes, memes and hot takes galore.

Switzerland’s representative Nemo fought off tough competition from the likes of Croatia, Ukraine and France with their song ‘The Code’, which blended elements of pop, rap, drum n’ bass and even opera and told the story of how they realised they were non-binary.

Nemo also became Eurovision’s first-ever non-binary winner, which was a particularly meaningful moment for many viewers. “Europe changed tonight. It’s a different place for us non binaries now. Europe I can’t thank you enough for that,” one person wrote on X/Twitter.

“Amidst the chaos, a fairytale wins out. The first non-binary winner of Eurovision.. SWITZERLAND IS THE CHAMPION. CONGRATULATIONS NEMO,” said another.

Others enjoyed the bond between Nemo and Ireland’s entry Bambie Thug, who is also non-binary, and who presented Nemo with a crown when they won. “The most emotional moment for me has to be when bambie (ireland) crowned nemo (switzerland) as the winner,” another X/Twitter user said. “non-binary win amidst all that has happened.”

Others, however, felt Croatia’s Baby Lasagna had been “robbed”. Their song ‘Rim Tim Tagi Dim’ had been the bookies’ favourite to win and had been more popular in the public vote than Switzerland. Some fans even compared the situation to last year’s contest when Finland’s Käärijä was pipped to the post by Sweden’s Loreen despite being more popular in the public vote.

“Yet another year where the runner-up should have won,” one X/Twitter user wrote.

“ban juries in the finals, let people choose their winner,” someone else suggested.

This year’s edition of Eurovision has been the subject of various controversies, particularly relating to Israel being allowed to compete despite the ongoing situation in Gaza, which led to widespread calls to boycott the competition.

Israel’s entry also stoked further controversy due to the original lyrics of their song, initially titled ‘October Rain’. Performed by Eden Golan, it appeared to contain references to the victims of Hamas’ October 7 attacks and was barred from performance due to breaking rules on political neutrality.

Israel was finally confirmed to compete after changes were made to the lyrics and the song’s title was changed to ‘Hurricane’.

Recently, the organisers doubled down on their choice, with the EBU saying: “I fully agree it is a family event and the great thing about this music competition is that it’s all about values. It’s about uniting onstage all of these young talents, these participants, and they do great. It’s about diversity and inclusion.

“But there are competition rules and you need to follow the competition rules and take decisions based on these competition rules. If you were to exclude Kan outside of these competition rules, that would have been a political decision, as such, which we cannot take.”

The controversy continued when The Netherlands’ Joost Klein was disqualified from the contest after being accused of making verbal threats towards a female member of production crew. This was the first time in the contest’s history that a contestant was disqualified before the final.

Klein was placed under investigation by the organisers the day before the contest due to an “incident” and was not allowed to perform his song ‘Europapa’ during the final dress rehearsal.

The Dutch broadcaster AVROTROS also released a statement. “We have taken note of the disqualification by the EBU. AVOTROS finds the disqualification disproportionate and is shocked by the decision. We deeply regret this and will come back to this later.”

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