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Jeremy Williams-Chalmers
Arts Correspondent
@jeremydwilliams
11:18 AM 12th May 2024
arts
Review

68th Eurovision 2024

 
Nemo representing Switzerland wins the 68th Eurovision Song Contest

Photo: Eurovision https://eurovision.tv/
Nemo representing Switzerland wins the 68th Eurovision Song Contest Photo: Eurovision https://eurovision.tv/
Last night, millions around the world watched the 68th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest from Malmö, Sweden. While the world now knows that the competition will be heading to Switzerland in 2024, what of the evening that was built towards the gargantuan face-off between Croatia's Baby Lasagna and Switzerland's Nemo for the crown?

It would be an understatement to say that controversy fuelled the latest edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. From the pre-contest petitions surrounding Israel's participation through to the fury surrounding The Netherlands's Joost Klein's disqualification following his rude behaviour towards a camera person in the second semi-final and the subsequent booing of executive supervisor Martin Österdahl at many points during the final, it is fair to say that the tagline United By Music didn't fully apply on May 11th, 2024.

And the show itself? Well, Sweden has proven time and again that they know how to host a contest. The semi-finals teased grandeur for the final, but somehow, the final fell short of the glory of the two semi-finals. While there were no faulting hosts, Petra Mede and Malin Åkerman, the interval act didn't deliver ABBA, the humour surrounding Alcazar didn't pack the promised punch, and the sing-along featuring Carola, Charlotte Perelli, and Conchita Wurst didn't deliver on the same levels as Charlotte Perelli, Helena Paparizou, and Sertab Erener delivering their own anthems a few nights previously. Despite her well-staged static performance, Loreen's impact was not as strong as expected.

While the events may have marred the evening slightly, there is no taking away the impact of the performances themselves. While there were a few forgettable performances—Estonia, Greece, and Germany—many raised their game for the final. Lithuania's Silvester Belt and Luxembourg's Tali went from enjoyable in the semi-finals to truly impressive in the final. However, it was Croatia's Baby Lasagna, Switzerland's Nemo, Ireland's Bambie Thug, Austria's Kaleen, Italy's Angelina Mango, Israel's Eden Golan, and Cyprus' Silia Kapsis who really delivered the key performances to revisit time and again in the future.

Yet, when it came to voting, the juries proved truly intriguing. With the majority opting for the natural leader of the pack—Switzerland's Nemo—Portugal's Iolanda's emotive delivery clearly made the impact in the arena and stole a few unexpected 12 points. However, with the revelation of the televote, the drama really unfolded. While there was disappointment for the UK's Olly Alexander, who scored a career lowlight of nul points on the televote, it proved somewhat interesting that the eventual winner only finished in fifth place with the public. While bookies favourite and gracious runner-up Baby Lasagna topped the public poll, a show of solidarity with Israel resonated in the public vote despite the protests outside the arena, with Eden Golan scoring 15 of the possible 12 point allocations and finishing with 323 points—just 14 behind Baby Lasagna.

The Eurovision Song Contest may be remembered for many wrong reasons, but there were many beautiful moments of unity displayed that should be remembered. None more so than the united explosion of excitement and celebration when Nemo was crowned the very deserving winner—albeit one who managed to break their trophy before even leaving the stage!