Monty’s Eurovision Countdown Part 35 – Switzerland

Eurovision has long been a welcoming home for LGBTQ+ people. The connection goes well beyond the superficial camp fun. LGBTQ+ artists have been celebrated on the Eurovision stage since at least as far back as 1961’s winning song, a coded reference to same-sex lovers. Queer artists as diverse as Dana International, Katrina, Conchita and Duncan Laurence are among those who have been voted winners, and myriad misfit fans have found a place that embraces them and encourages them to be themselves within the fandom.

With such history it might be hard to break new ground, but Nemo not only finds it, they smash it. A non-binary artist, they place their own story right at the heart of this entry, a personal quest to make sense of who you are when you don’t neatly fit into the boxes.

Nemo’s, and Eurovision’s, journey is one from queer stories having to be coded – hidden in the shadows where vague allusion would only be recognised by other LGBTQ+ people and pass the mainstream by – to one where smashing the code itself is the metaphor. The brilliant line “somewhere between the 0s and 1s, that’s where I found my kingdom come” is one of the most perfectly simple descriptions of non-binary identities I’ve ever encountered, and this is a field in which I do my day job.

The song sounds like a frantic scramble, echoing Nemo’s own internal search. It swings between rap, drama, and musical theatre, shapeshifting to reflect the trying on and discarding of personalities until their quest succeeds. Despite the disjointed music somehow the whole makes perfect sense.

12 PointsFor me, this is the most creative song of Eurovision 2024. I love the way it musically contorts until it finds its own unexpected identity. This is such a perfect anthem for a young and growing new generation of fans. I heard a quote saying, “Gen Z wants its Conchita moment”. Nemo is just the one to provide it. I couldn’t wish them more luck.


Photo: Ella Mettler/EBU

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