Switzerland's Nemo wins Eurovision Song Contest

Switzerland's Nemo won the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday, becoming the first artist identifying as non-binary to claim victory, in a competition marked by controversy over Israel's participation during the war in Gaza.

Twenty-four-year-old Nemo's "The Code" won the highest score from nations' juries, and enough of the popular votes to get 591 points, edging out Croatia in the final, held in Sweden's Malmo.

"I hope this contest can live up to its promise and continue to stand for peace and dignity for every person in this world," a teary-eyed Nemo said while receiving the trophy.

Nemo's journey towards realising their non-binary gender identity served as inspiration for the highly personal winning entry.

"'The Code' is about the journey I started with the realisation that I am neither a man nor a woman," Nemo said.

In Zagreb, a crowd gathered at a square to follow Croatia's Baby Lasagna, who finished second with 547 points.

"There is no room for sadness, only pride," 34-year-old spectator Nina Plese told AFP.

"This young man has brought the whole of Croatia together. We can be proud of him and he deserves to be welcomed back home."

Nemo, Baby Lasagna and Israel's contestant Eden Golan, had been bookmaker favourites to win the competition, watched around the world by millions of lovers of pop music — and kitschy shows.

Twenty-five nations competed Saturday but much of the focus has centred on the controversy of Israel being able to take part.

When Golan went on stage to perform her "Hurricane", both cheers and boos could be heard from the audience in the Malmo Arena.

Boos could also be heard while Israel delivered its points to other acts and any time a country gave "Hurricane" high...

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