Eurovision winner Nemo hits out at competition’s “unbelievable double standard”, says it “needs fixing” – NME

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Eurovision winner Nemo hit out at the competition’s “double standard”, branding its organisers as “unbelievable”, moments after their victory.

The Switzerland entrant won the contest last night (May 11) in Malmö, Sweden with their song ‘The Code’, after topping the jury vote and coming in fifth in the public vote.

Nemo’s victory is the first for the country since Celine Dion picked up the win in 1988 with ‘Ne partez pas sans moi’. They are also the first ever non-binary winner in the competition’s history.

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During their appearance at the post-show press conference, Nemo took the opportunity to criticise the way that the contest was run by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), making specific reference to their policy of not allowing non-binary flags into the arena.

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“I had to smuggle my flag in because Eurovision said no, but I did it anyway, so I hope some people did that too,” they said. “But, I mean, come on, this is clearly a double standard.”

Nemo also appeared to break the crystal winner’s trophy, and added: “The trophy can be fixed – maybe Eurovision needs fixing a little bit too, every now and then.”

They went on to describe the Eurovision experience as “really intense, and not just pleasant all the way”.

“There were a lot of things that didn’t seem like it was all about love and unity. And that made me really sad and at the same time … there was so much love here as well,” they continued, and dedicated their win to the “people that are daring to be themselves and people that need to be heard and need to be understood.”

Ireland’s entrant Bambie Thug was more scathing in their views on the EBU in their press conference. “I’m so proud of Nemo winning,” they said, sounding close to tears. “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.

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“I just want to say,” they continued, “we are what the Eurovision is. The EBU is not what the Eurovision is. Fuck the EBU. 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.”

“The world has spoken,” they concluded. “The queers are coming. Non-binaries for the fucking win.”

This year’s contest was dogged with controversy following the EBU’s decision to allow Israel to compete amongst the Israel-Palestine conflict.

The move was criticised as “cultural cover and endorsement for the catastrophic violence that Israel has unleashed on Palestinians” by organisations such as Queers for Palestine, who wrote an open letter to UK entry Olly Alexander to boycott the contest this year.

Over 1,000 Swedish artists called for Israel to be banned this year, such as RobynFever Ray, and First Aid Kit, and artists such as Olly Alexander faced calls to boycott the event.

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