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Swiss singer Nemo representing Switzerland with the song "The Code" celebrates on stage with his trophy after winning the final of the 68th Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) 2024 on May 11, 2024 at the Malmo Arena in Malmo, Sweden. (Tobias Schwarz/AFP via Getty Images)
Tobias Schwarz/AFP via Getty Images
Swiss singer Nemo representing Switzerland with the song “The Code” celebrates on stage with his trophy after winning the final of the 68th Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) 2024 on May 11, 2024 at the Malmo Arena in Malmo, Sweden. (Tobias Schwarz/AFP via Getty Images)
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Nemo, a 24-year-old artist from Switzerland, won Eurovision on Saturday night, becoming the in the song contest’s nearly 70-year history.

The pop-rapper from Biel/Bienne beat out Croatian rock artist Baby Lasagna for the title with their song “The Code.” Switzerland hadn’t won Eurovision since in 1988.

“I hope this contest can live up to its promise and continue to stand for peace and dignity for every person,” said after winning, saying they accepted the trophy for “people that are daring to be themselves and people that need to be heard and need to be understood. We need more compassion; we need more empathy.”

Supporters react during a public watching on May 12, 2024 in Biel after Swiss singer Nemo who represented Switzerland with the song "The Code" won the final of the 68th Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) 2024. Nemo Mettler was born in the city. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images)
Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images
Supporters react during a public watching on Sunday in Biel after Swiss singer Nemo who represented Switzerland with the song “The Code” won the final of the 68th Eurovision Song Contest 2024. Nemo Mettler was born in the city. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images)

Always a showy exhibition of different cultures from across Europe, this year’s Eurovision was also marked by protests and the controversial expulsion of a top competitor.

Hours before the grand final on Saturday, Dutch artist Joost Klein was expelled from the competition. Organizers said Klein was involved in a backstage incident that led to a complaint from a female crew member.

was outraged by the removal of the 26-year-old artist, claiming he did not touch the staff member and the punishment was “very heavy and disproportionate.”

Serbian singer Teya Dora representing Serbia with the song 'Ramonda' performs during the final of the 68th Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) 2024 on May 11, 2024 at the Malmo Arena in Malmo, Sweden. (Photo by Jessica Gow/TT / various sources / AFP) / Sweden OUT (Photo by JESSICA GOW/TT/TT NEWS AGENCY/AFP via Getty Images)
Jessica Gow via Getty Images
Serbian singer Teya Dora representing Serbia with the song ‘Ramonda’ performs during the final of the 68th Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) 2024 on Saturday at the Malmo Arena in Malmo, Sweden. (Jessica Gow via Getty Images)

“We are very disappointed and upset for the millions of fans who were so excited for tonight. What Joost brought to the Netherlands and Europe shouldn’t have ended this way,” AVROTROS said in a statement.

Throughout the competition, people protested against the inclusion of . She was under tight security all week and was met with cheers and boos when she took the stage Saturday. Golan eventually finished in fifth place after soaring up the odds table throughout the week.

This year’s competition was held in Malmo, Sweden, 50 years after The Swedish group did not appear in person to celebrate the occasion, though their virtual “ABBA-tars” from the “ABBA Voyage” show were displayed at one point.

(LtoR) Swedish singers Charlotte Perrelli and Carola Häggkvist and Austrian singer Conchita Wurst perform a tribute to Swedish band Abba at the end of the final of the 68th Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) 2024 on May 11, 2024 at the Malmo Arena in Malmo, Sweden. (Photo by Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP) (Photo by TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP via Getty Images)
Tobias Schwarz/AFP via Getty Images
Swedish singers Charlotte Perrelli and Carola Häggkvist and Austrian singer Conchita Wurst perform a tribute to Swedish band ABBA at the end of the final of the 68th Eurovision Song Contest. (Tobias Schwarz/AFP via Getty Images)

Though Eurovision is traditionally considered an uplifting spectacle of music, Nemo said their experience had been “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,” Nemo said. “I really hope that Eurovision continues and can continue to stand for peace and love in the future. I think that needs a lot of work still.”

With News Wire Services

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