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AI ABBA, satanic rituals and Israel booing: 2024’s unique Eurovision Song Contest

Updated: May 13




Credit: Adobe Stock (Education Licence)




At 5am this morning, the annual Eurovision Song Contest aired in Australia and around the world.


Eurovision is always crazy, which you’d expect when you throw European countries (plus Australia), with their long and complicated history, together to compete in a song contest.  


Everyone’s trying to copy previous entries (think Conchita-esque ballads), poke at grievances and strengthen diplomatic ties. 


But there was a lot more going on at the Swedish-hosted contest this year. 


Just like when the Ukrainian Jamala not-so-subtly aimed her winning song ‘1944’ at Russia in 2016, another conflict echoed throughout the contest this year.


This time though, it wasn’t just the performer expressing their distaste. 


Boos boomed through the stadium as jurors for Germany and Cyprus gave 8 points to Israel’s entry Hurricane.


Eurovision Executive Supervisor Martin Osterdahl, despite his microphone, could hardly be heard over the noise as audience members condemned his decision to let Israel compete and disqualify the Dutch contestant Joost Klein. 


There was more booing and I held my breath as hosts Petra Mede and Malin Akerman announced the 323-point audience vote for Israel.


Keep reading to hear who won the contest and how intriguing that was!


On a lighter (or maybe not) note, what on earth, Ireland? 


I thought the most disturbing event of the contest was, besides the Microsoft egg, the crazy amount of points a satanic ritual received. 


I uncomfortably laughed at the first 12 points.


I didn’t laugh again. 


At Eurovision, you generally get a mix of bop songs, ballads, love songs, heavy metal and dark melodies (which overwhelmingly include CGI wolves in their music videos).


But I didn’t get up that early to watch occult rituals. 


What is happening to Eurovision?  


Ireland's Bambie Thug has a life goal to “make everybody leave all the other religions and join witchcraft”. 


But as the artist said in a 2021 TMRW interview, she wants to get people “more familiar” with the occult and “stop being so judgy”. 


Oops.


I wouldn’t play with that crown of thorns for a million bucks. 


Thank goodness for entries like Armenia’s Jako which bring back a bit of light.


So, we’ve covered the political, the disturbing, and now we’re on to something really quite interesting. 


Host Malin Akerman alluded to a famous band she reunited for this year's contest. 


“I’ll give you a hint,” says Malin.


“They’re a Swedish disco group who split up many years ago, leaving behind a string of hits.”


“I’ll give you one last clue, it begins with the letter A,” she says. 


As we all collectively gasped “ABBBBAAAA?”, Malin announced “No! We reunited Alcazar!”


And on came…Alcazar.


When Eurovision had their fun and the ‘disappointing’ band got off stage, they cut to… AI-generated holograms of an ABBA reunion!


If you haven’t, check it out


Honestly, after I got over the disappointment, I was impressed with their effort and I wonder what ABBA thinks the world will come to if they don’t…come too…Eurovision (pardon the pun, but please do come ABBA). 


Okay, okay, get to it. 


So who won? 


Nemo!


No seriously, Nemo. 


The Swiss contestant vibrated with joy and thankfulness with every 12-point juror vote received. 


Switzerland's winning song The Code was ca-a-tchy, relatively original and I thought the use of a lazy susan as the onstage prop was quite cool.


Nemo is also the first non-binary winner of Eurovision.


"To know that a song that has changed my life and a song where I just speak about my story has touched so many people and maybe inspired other people to stay true to their story, is the most insane thing that has ever happened to me," Nemo said.


Nemo has broken the code, but unfortunately, the Swiss also broke the Eurovision trophy just minutes after receiving it.


As one of Australia’s 2024 Eurovision commentators Joel Creasey pointed out, it seems deeply symbolic of the current political moment, that Switzerland won the contest this year. 


The gold star is placed on the country known for its peace and neutrality.


Next year’s Eurovision Song Contest will be held in May, on Swiss land.


The contest will be the 69th to run.

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