Switzerland Tops Eurovision 2024, Israel Takes 5th Place Amid Political Backlash

Switzerland Tops Eurovision 2024, Israel Takes 5th Place Amid Political Backlash
Switzerland Tops Eurovision 2024, Israel Takes 5th Place Amid Political Backlash

Switzerland emerged victorious at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest held in Malmo, Sweden, while Israel, amidst a storm of controversy and political tensions, secured a fifth-place finish. The event, which annually attracts over 150 million viewers worldwide, was marked by significant political undercurrents and widespread protests.

Israel’s entry, Eden Golan, performed the song “Hurricane” and received a robust response in the public vote, placing second. However, the jury’s less favorable reception placed her 12th, culminating in an overall fifth position. Despite the scoring, Golan expressed pride in making Israel’s presence felt strongly at the contest, dedicating her performance to hostages back home—a poignant reminder of the ongoing tensions surrounding her participation.

The contest was not without its disruptions. Maya Alkulumbre, who presented Israel’s points during the broadcast, faced boos and was reportedly asked by the Kan public broadcaster to remove a yellow hostage pin to avoid further controversies. This move was part of a broader effort by the European Broadcasting Union to keep the contest as neutral as possible, employing anti-boo technology during the broadcast.

Meanwhile, significant protests took place both inside and outside the arena. Notable incidents included Portugal’s Iolanda showcasing a dress designed by a Palestinian designer and Ireland’s Bambie Thug, who had to remove pro-Palestinian messaging before the broadcast. These acts highlighted the ongoing debates over Eurovision’s role as a non-political event despite the geopolitical tensions that seeped into its proceedings.

The competition also faced last-minute changes and withdrawals by jury members from Finland and Norway, who objected to the political atmosphere. In an unprecedented turn, Joost Klein from the Netherlands was disqualified following a confrontation with a Eurovision camerawoman, illustrating the intense pressures surrounding the event.

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