Eurovision 2024 crowns Nemo, non-binary Swiss artist, France 4th with Slimane – Libération

Eurovision 2024 crowns Nemo, non-binary Swiss artist, France 4th with Slimane – Libération
Eurovision 2024 crowns Nemo, non-binary Swiss artist, France 4th with Slimane – Libération

Defying the predictions, the song “The Code” won in Sweden ahead of Croatia and Ukraine. With Slimane, France obtained a good fourth place, in a competition marked by political controversies over the presence of Israel.

Giant egg in jeans, esoteric pentagram, trumpets and Billie Eilish from the Balkans, the 68th edition of Eurovision, organized this Saturday, May 11 in Malmö, Sweden, once again offered viewers an avalanche of colors, d visual effects, insane costumes and crazy moments. The victory of The Code, by the non-binary Swiss artist Nemo, is a surprise, insofar as the country did not appear in the trio of favorites given by the betting sites (Croatia, Israel, Ukraine). At 24, they became the first non-binary person to win Eurovision. After weeks of political controversy over the presence of Israel, it is ultimately a beautiful symbol that victory goes to Switzerland, a neutral country by definition.

36 years of famine for Switzerland after Céline Dion

Thanks to an acrobatic staging and hyper-calibrated camerawork, Nemo won the favor of viewers and the jury. For three minutes, the artist ran in all directions and pitched on a somersault platform to a striking effect. Without an ounce of out of breath – we still wonder how this is possible – they, dressed in a pale pink skirt, tights and a frilly jacket, mixed lyrical singing with rap.

Nemo was also the only artist not to parade, at the opening of the evening, with his national flag, but brandishing the banner of non-binary pride. With 591 points, they put an end to 36 years of Swiss scarcity: in 1988, Céline Dion was the last to win the competition for the confederation, with Do not go without me in 1988. A precedent that bodes well for the artist who looks like a leaping elf?

Favorite for several weeks already, the Croatian singer Baby Lasagna finished second with 547 points, a good result despite everything for his crazy performance, reminiscent of a meeting between Tokyo Hotel and Mozart the Rock Opera. The frills and lace twirled during the performance of Marko Purišić, aka Baby Lasagna, against a backdrop of deep vocals and electro-metal flashes. His performance could, in itself, serve as a definition of the very overused notion of “kitsch”, with which the competition sees itself adorned every year.

Ukraine is third, just ahead of Slimane for France. Two years after the victory of the Kalush Orchestra group, Ukrainians Alyona Alyona and Jerry Heil appeared on stage like valkyries ready for battle. Their performance, reminiscent of that of their compatriot Jamala, victorious in 2016, made an impression, like that of Slimane but for other reasons.

Far from the crazy staging and swirls of colors of his competitors, the former winner of The Voice relied on the sobriety of black and white and on a stunning vocal performance, up to the climax of an a cappella verse several meters from the microphone, in the absolute silence of the Malmö Arena. A success reminiscent of that of Barbara Pravi, who came second in 2021. Before leaving the stage, Slimane placed himself under the sign “of love and peace”an allusion to the debates of recent weeks.

Complaint against the Dutch representative, excluded from the competition

Against the backdrop of the war in Gaza, the competition has indeed navigated controversies, to the point of being the subject of demonstrations and calls for boycotts due to Israel’s participation. As if the picture was not confusing enough, an incredible misunderstanding came to disrupt the last day: the Dutch candidate, Joost Klein, was excluded from the competition a few hours before the final, due to a complaint filed by a member of production for “inappropriate behavior”. Apparently a violent gesture towards a Swedish TV photographer. Farewell to Europapaa schoolboy delirium yet well placed in the bookmakers’ shortlist.

Israel’s visit was of course eagerly awaited. He was initially covered by boos and whistles from part of the audience at the Malmö Arena. The vaporous performance of Eden Golan, with Hurricanewas acclaimed by the viewers’ vote, but poorly ranked by the national juries, which ultimately earned it fifth place.

If the usual, perhaps masochistic, pleasure of watching Eurovision was undoubtedly tarnished by the tensions and the exclusion of a competitor, the organization tried to put on a good show by offering a complete spectacle, knowingly make it indisputable. Hosted by actress Malin Akerman and comedian Petra Mede, both Swedish and stunning, the show offered its usual share of colors and pyrotechnic effects. While the show was taking place, in front of the Malmö Arena, the police, present in large numbers, dispersed around a hundred pro-Palestinian demonstrators including environmental activist Greta Thunberg.

After the parade of candidates and while awaiting the results, the 50th anniversary of ABBA’s victory was in the spotlight. The quartet did not take part in the evening, despite multiple rumors, but they were still present with a version of Waterloo by three former winners: Charlotte Perrelli, Carola and Conchita Wurst. Previously, a little burst of French pride: the Swedes Alcazar had performed their 2000 hit Crying in the Discothequebuilt on a sample of Spacerfrom our Sheila.

The interlude ended with the Swedish Loreen, winner with Tattoo of the 2023 edition and the only woman crowned twice. Harnessed like Barbarella in a heroic fantasy armor, she performed several of her hits in a futuristic and dreamlike atmosphere which electrified the audience.

When turning off the TV, or the computer, there was a feeling of relief among tens of millions of Eurofans, after months of emotional shocks which destabilized the most followed musical program on the planet. On the coffee table, no more cocktail sausages, no more cubes of cheese with riddles, no more gummy plantigrades or chocolate peanuts. Nothing but empty bowls.

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