The highs and lows of Eurovision song contest in Sweden as winner crowned (2024)

Nemo, from Switzerland, has taken out the 68th Eurovision Song Contest.

Switzerland's last win was in 1988.

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Nemo has made history as the first openly non-binary contestant to win Eurovision.

Nemo's music deals with gender identity, mental health and finding one's place in this world.

Born in Biel, a small bilingual town in Switzerland, in 1999, Nemo has been playing the violin, piano and drums since they were a small child.

They became famous overnight after a cypher appearance went viral in 2016.A cypher is known in hip hop circles as an informal gathering of rappers, beatboxers, and/or breakdancers who perform freestyle battles.

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Nemo began releasing songs in English in 2020 and writing for other artists.

Switzerland hosted and won the very first edition of the Eurovision Song Contest in 1956.

Each country entered two songs in that debut year to be sung by the same performers.

Lys Assia sang both Swiss songs that year, winning with the song Refrain, sung in French.

Celine Dion has competed for Switzerland, winning in 1988 with the song Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi.

Switzerland was very popular with the national juries, with many awarding the country its maximum 12 points, leaving some members of the public perplexed, but the voting public has confirmed the result.

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A controversial Eurovision

Eurovision organisers try to dodge controversy as much as possible, but this year, it could not be avoided.

The highs and lows of Eurovision song contest in Sweden as winner crowned (1)

The contestant from The Netherlands, 26-year-old Joost Klein,was disqualified and removed from the grand final.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) released a statement reading:"The Dutch artist Joost Klein will not be competing in the Grand Final of this year's Eurovision Song Contest.

"Swedish police have investigated a complaint made by a female member of the production crew after an incident following his performance in Thursday night's semi final.

"We would like to make it clear that, contrary to some media reports and social media speculation, this incident did not involve any other performer or delegation member.

"We maintain a zero-tolerance policy towards inappropriate behaviour at our event and are committed to providing a safe and secure working environment for all staff at the contest.

"In light of this, Joost Klein's behaviour towards a team member is deemed in breach of contest rules.

"The grand final of the 68th Eurovision Song Contest will now proceed with 25 participating songs."

At the end of Thursday's semifinal, Klein appeared to object to being placed beside Israeli contestant Eden Golan at a press conference, covering his face with a Dutch flag.

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The inclusion of Israel was the other major controversy this year and led to demonstrations by pro-Palestinian protesters.

The annual event is billed as non-political and while organisers resisted calls to exclude Israel, they did request a change to the lyrics of the song Israel was initially due to sing to remove references to the October 7 Hamas attacks, which triggered the war in Gaza.

In the end, Israel's public vote was much higher than that given by judges, with the audience awarding Israel 323 votes to the 52 awarded in-house.

Golan was both booed and applauded during her performance.

Israel was the first non-European country granted permission to participate in Eurovision, making its debut in the competition in 1973.

The EBU allowed Israel to participate because the country's broadcaster was already one of its members.

Golan, who draws inspiration from artists such as Beyoncé, Ariana Grande, Jessie J, RAYE, Whitney Houston and Justin Timberlake, performed Hurricane instead of October Rain as originally slated.

Croatia, a hot favourite, comes in second place

Croatia's Baby Lasagne came in second.

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Singer-songwriter Marko Purišić billed himself as Baby Lasagna as a way to compose the kind of songs he wanted to perform.

The musician from Umag in Croatia has a mission — to entertain while drawing attention to society's social issues.

Baby Lasagna's lyrics often contain a deeper message paired with a catchy beat.

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His Eurovision song Rim Tim Tagi Dim is a good example of that.

It's about a mass exodus of young adults leaving Croatia for better opportunities in foreign countries — something Baby Lasagna has discussed in numerous interviews.

Croatia participated in the Eurovision Song Contest as part of Yugoslavia until its 1993 debut.

The Sydney teenager who competed for Cyprus

She may have been competing for Cyprus, but 17-year-old Silia Kapsis was born and raised in Sydney, Australia, as part of the Greek Cypriot diaspora.

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It meant Australians were barracking for her.

In the end, she came in at number 15.

Kapsis says her song Liar is about being your authentic self.

"You can perceive the song however you like," Kapsis told RN Breakfast.

"But for me it's not really about a specific person.

"It's kind of about the world we live in now – especially Gen Z – my generation and kids my age who are struggling with social media, for example, or body shaming or sexualism, you know, comparing yourself to other people.

"And I think this song is about breaking free from that."

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Kapsis also joined ABC Radio Sydney with her mother Rebecca after she competed in the first semifinal.

"When I was pregnant, she would consistently move in my belly," her mother said, saying she thought at the time it was cause for concern.

"She's always been very energetic and … she always loved the performing arts."

The Sydneysider released her debut song Who Am I? in 2022 but wrote and composed it when she was 12 years old.

She's danced with Stephen tWitch Boss on The Jennifer Hudson Show; and was featured in a dance documentary produced by Taboo from the Black-Eyed Peas, having been selected for the ImmaBeast Dance Company in Los Angeles.

Australia's official entrant, Electric Fields, was knocked out of the competitionafter performing in the first semifinal.

Andrew Lambrou, who came 12th in the grand final last year for Cyprus, was born and raised in Australia as well. He had competed against Voyager as part of Australia Decides.

As of 2019, Cyprus holds the record for the most times participating in Eurovision without winning.

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The highs and lows of Eurovision song contest in Sweden as winner crowned (2024)

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