Home » Switzerland leads race for Eurovision Song Contest trophy | Entertainment

Switzerland leads race for Eurovision Song Contest trophy | Entertainment

Switzerland leads race for Eurovision Song Contest trophy | Entertainment

Switzerland was leading in the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday after a partial vote count, ahead of France and Ireland in what remains a wide-open race as protests continued in host city Malmo over the war in Gaza. The winner of the competition is decided by votes from television audiences in Europe and around the world in combination with juries of music professionals in each of the 37 participating countries.

Swiss rapper and singer Nemo was leading the partial vote count with the song “The Code”, a drum-and-bass, opera, rap and rock tune about Nemo’s journey of self-discovery as a non-binary person. The jury votes often deviate sharply from those of viewers and a majority of nations have yet to reveal their choices, meaning that much could still change.

Bookmakers have Croatia’s Baby Lasagna, whose real name is Marko Purisic, 28, with “Rim Tim Tagi Dim”, as front-runner to win the contest, followed by Israel’s Eden Golan, with her song “Hurricane”. Booing was heard during Golan’s performance but also applause, a Reuters photographer in the auditorium said. The noise was partly audible in the broadcast viewed by tens of millions of people in Europe and around the world.

There was also booing when the points of the Israeli jury were presented. Eurovision organisers, who bill the event as non-political, have resisted calls to exclude Israel, but requested that it change the lyrics of its entry to remove what organisers called references to the deadly Hamas attack on Oct. 7 that triggered the war.

A large crowd of protesters gathered on the central square of the Swedish host city before marching towards the contest venue, waving Palestinian flags and shouting “Eurovision united by genocide” – a twist on the contest’s official slogan “United by music”. “This could be any other country and we would still be standing here because this is about children, men and women who have been occupied for so many years,” said one protester on Saturday, Maryam, who gave only her first name.

Police estimated that up to 8,000 people joined the protests. DUTCH FANS DISAPPOINTED

In another Eurovision controversy this year, Dutch contestant Joost Klein was expelled on Saturday from the competition final after a complaint by a member of the production crew, the EBU said. “While the legal process takes its course, it would not be appropriate for him (Joost) to continue in the Contest,” the EBU said in a statement.

A representative for Klein did not immediately respond to a request for comment. According to Dutch broadcaster AVROTROS, Klein was filmed despite clearly made agreements, just after getting off stage after his performance at Thursday’s semi final.

“This wasn’t respected,” AVROTROS said in a post on social media platform X, adding “This led to a threatening movement from Joost towards the camera.” Klein did not touch the camerawoman, according to AVROTROS, who said it found the artist’s penalty “very heavy and disproportionate.”

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)