Switzerland’s Nemo tops Eurovision jury vote

Switzerland singer Nemo Mettler has topped the Eurovision Song Contest jury vote amid protests objecting to Israel’s competing.

The non-binary singer, 24, in a pink skirt and fluffy jumper, balanced on a tipping metal disc as they sang their opera-dance blend The Code on Saturday evening at the Malmo Arena in Sweden.

They came top of the leaderboard on 365 points, while France’s Slimane came second with 218 points and Croatia’s Baby Lasagna landed third with 210 points.

The poll will be combined with the votes from at home audiences and then the winner of the 2024 contest will be crowned.

Demonstrators, who are calling for a boycott of the competition due to the participation of Israel singer Eden Golan, were pushed back from the venue following them shouting “shame” at fans.

Several protesters were detained and taken away by police including Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.

Contestants appeared to reference conflicts throughout the world, with Lithuania’s Silvester Belt telling the audience to “spread love to the world”, while Ireland’s Bambie Thug declared “love will always triumph hate”.

At the end of Portugal’s Iolanda singing Grito, she told the crowd: “Peace will prevail.”

Sweden Eurovision Song Contest Semi-Final
Joost Klein at a press conference (Jessica Gow/AP)

Slimane, who performed his song Mon Amour, issued another message saying that people should be “united by music for love and peace”.

Earlier in the day, the Netherlands’ entry Joost Klein, was disqualified by Eurovision organisers following an incident between the singer and a camerawoman.

This move was strongly criticised by the Dutch broadcaster Avrotros who called “the penalty very heavy and disproportionate”.

Singer and rapper Klein, 26, entered with the song Europapa, which is a tribute to his late parents.

The EBU said police were investigating a complaint made by a female member of the production crew after an incident following his performance in Thursday night’s semi-final.