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‘F**k the EBU’: LGBTQ acts at Eurovision 2024 in 7 key moments – as Bambie Thug slams European Broadcasting Union

“The world has spoken. The queers are coming. Non-binaries for the f**king win”

By Jamie Tabberer

Loreen and Nemo at Eurovision 2024 (Images: Corrine Cumming/Sarah Louise Bennett)
Loreen and Nemo at Eurovision 2024 (Images: Corrine Cumming/Sarah Louise Bennett)

The Eurovision Song Contest returned to Malmo, Sweden last night (Saturday 12 May 2024) amid protest over Israel’s inclusion in the shadow of the Israel-Hamas war.

Switzerland’s Nemo, who is nonbinary and goes by them/them pronouns, won with the song ‘The Code’, which addresses the subject of gender identity.

The UK’s entry, former Years & Years singer Olly Alexander, finished in 18th place with his track ‘Dizzy’, after receiving a zero in the public vote.

Bambie Thug (Image: Corrine Cumming)

1 Bambie Thug speaks out

Bambie Thug performed ‘Doomsday Blue’ for Ireland and finished in 6th place, behind Israel. According to NME, the non-binary performer was made to remove the words ‘ceasefire’ and ‘freedom for Palestine’ in a medieval script from their costume because of Eurovision’s political neutrality clause.

Speaking to press afterwards, Bambie reportedly said: “I’m so proud that all of us are in the top 10 that have been fighting for this shit behind the scenes because it has been so hard and so horrible for us. I’m so proud of us.

“We are what the Eurovision is. The EBU is not what the Eurovision is. Fuck the EBU [European Broadcasting Union]. I don’t even care anymore. Fuck them. The thing that makes this is the contestants, the community behind it, the love and the power and the support of all of us is what is making change.”

They furthermore added: “The world has spoken. The queers are coming. Non-binaries for the fucking win.”

Nemo (Image: Sarah Louise Bennett)

2 Nemo performs on a tipping metal disk

Nemo’s winning performance featured an innovate production detail – a huge, rotating metal disk or balance board.

After performing, Nemo said during a press conference: “I’m mostly just really grateful for this experience and all the friends I’ve made along the way.”

The 24-year-old furthermore continued: “This was one of the most queer representations we’ve seen at Eurovision which was amazing, I want to shout out all the other queer artists this year.”

“[Performing] a song where I speak about my story, having touched so many people and maybe inspired people to stay true to themselves, is the most insane thing that has ever happened to men” Nemo went on.

Silvester Belt (Image: Sarah Louise Bennett)

3 Silvester Belt brings bi representation

Lithuania’s entry Silvester, who is bisexual, performed with the song ‘Luktelk’ and finished in 14th place.

The star previously told Pink News of their home country: “If every single LGBTQ artist in Lithuania, not even artists, if everyone [would] come out, I feel like Lithuania would change in a day. It’s just crazy that we have this massive elephant in the room and we’re just pretending it’s not there.”

Olly Alexander (Image: Corrine Cumming)

4 Olly Alexander takes to the stage despite upset back home

Last month, Alexander answered an open letter signed by Queers For Palestine and 450 LGBTQ artists, individuals, and organisations, among them the actors Maxine Peake, Indya Moore, and Joel Kim Booster, asking him to quit the contest in protest of Israel’s inclusion in the competition.

In a statement posted on X, Alexander said: “As a participant I’ve taken a lot of time to deliberate over what to do and the options available to me. It is my current belief that removing myself from the contest wouldn’t bring us any closer to our shared goal.”

Loreen (Image: Alma Bengtsson)

6 Loreen steals the show

Last year’s winner Loreen returned to the Contest with a triumphant performance of her new single ‘Forever’, as well as her winning song from last year, ‘Tattoo’.

It was reported that, despite being legally obliged to hand over the trophy to the victor, 2022 Attitude Pride Award-winner Loreen would have refused if the winner was Israel.

The star nevertheless told inews beforehand that she was against a Eurovision boycott. “This is a community, a hub, a source of energy, music is being created, it creates happiness,” she said. “To boycott a hub of love and creativity to make a statement? Is that what we’re doing? To really silence sound and music and the only language we have in common? So we’re going to shut that down to make a statement? For what? I don’t believe in that.

“We have to find other more constructive ways of changing what is happening. Because we do have a collective responsibility to do that.”

Nemo (Image: Corrine Cumming)

7 Nemo takes the trophy – and accidentally breaks it

After the very last vote had come in, Nemo’s ‘The Code’ won with a points tally of 591. “Thank you so much,” Nemo said after winning. “I hope this contest can live up to its promise and continue to stand for peace and dignity for every person.”

Revealing a mishap shortly after winning, the star furthermore added: “I didn’t just break the code. I also broke the trophy. But I got a new one!”