Inside one of the most controversial Eurovisions ever - including Israel's inclusion and Dutch disqualification

Eden Golan of Israel performs the song Hurricane -Credit:AP
Eden Golan of Israel performs the song Hurricane -Credit:AP

Eurovision 2024 has been plagued with controversy, not least the protests surrounding Israel's inclusion. It was Switzerland's Nemo who was crowned the winner of the 68th singing contest. The 24-year-old scooped victory with a song called The Code.

They scored 365 points with the juries and a further 226 from the public vote – finishing on an impressive 591. Meanwhile the UK's Olly Alexander had to endure a long wait for his points.

If you didn't watch, then we've rounded up everything you missed - from wardrobe malfunctions to booing and technical difficulties.

READ NOW: Which countries gave the UK nul points in Eurovision 2024

MORE EUROVISION: The full results of Eurovision 2024

Israel and booing

Viewers believe Israel's choice of walk-on song was an interesting one following protests about the nation entering the competition during conflict in Gaza. Eden Golan stepped onto the stage as Icona Pop's song "I Love It" blared in the background. And some weren't happy that lyrics featured the words "I don't care".

Matters only got worse for Eden, who was booed during her performance. She was later filmed in floods of tears backstage.

Her emotional song Hurricane was reworked from a previous track called October Rain, which was thought to reference the Hamas attacks on Israel. The 20-year-old singer was congratulated by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu who said he was “proud” of the young star.

Since it was known that Israel would take part in the song contest, calls for a boycott of the event and for the country to be excluded over the worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza and its inclusion has seen protests at the Malmo Arena in Sweden. Golan was booed during rehearsals on Wednesday, and reportedly facing shouts of “free Palestine” in the arena.

The event’s organiser said it will not “censor” the audience and encouraged the crowd to “attend in the spirit of the contest, embracing its values of inclusivity, celebrating diversity and being united by music”.

Joost Klein's disqualification

Joost Klein in a bright blue shoulder-padded suit covering their face performing during the second semi-final of the 68th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest
Joost Klein was meant to perform Europapa on behalf of the Netherlands -Credit:JESSICA GOW/TT NEWS AGENCY/AFP via Getty Images

Dutch Eurovision act Joost Klein was dramatically axed from the Eurovision Grand Final just hours before its start on Saturday, May 11. It came a day after Klein was stopped from rehearsing for the event's big finale. It was announced that Swedish police were investigating allegations of inappropriate behaviour, the European Broadcasting Union said.

Entering with the song Europapa, a tribute to his late parents, the 26-year-old rapper and singer from the Netherlands had qualified for the grand final on Thursday evening at the Malmo Arena venue in Sweden. Swedish police have since investigated a complaint made by a female member of the production crew after an incident following the performance during the semi-final.

The statement from the Netherlands’ Songfestival said Dutch radio and television broadcaster AVROTROS found Joost Klein’s disqualification “disproportionate”.

“AVROTROS finds the penalty very heavy and disproportionate. We stand for good manners – let there be no misunderstanding about that – but in our view, an exclusion order is not proportional to this incident. We are very disappointed and upset for the millions of fans who were so excited for tonight. What Joost brought to the Netherlands and Europe shouldn’t have ended this way.”

Olly Alexander's "stress"

Olly Alexander performed his track 'Dizzy' for Eurovision 2024
Olly Alexander performed his track 'Dizzy' for Eurovision 2024 -Credit:AP

UK's entry Olly Alexander threw himself into a raunchy performance, shaking off recent critiques from the semi-finals just days earlier when things didn't go to plan. He had suffered a malfunction when his mic pack fell off. The error was spotted by eagle-eyed fans, who took to social media to share their thoughts. You can read more on this here.

Olly has spoken about how the blunder left him feeling "quite stressed," and admitted he wasn't able to perform to the best of his ability because of it.

On Saturday night The Years and Years singer took to the stage again to perform his hit Dizzy with a troupe of backing dancers. Host narrator Graham Norton described the performance as “terrific” but admitted that he did not know how well it would do because “it is so different to everything else in the contest tonight".

A number of fans were left somewhat perplexed, claiming that something "wasn't right" with his act. Some picked up on what seemed like an audio glitch, with chatter online about not being able to catch the track properly. As Olly gave it his all, a bunch of fans pondered if there was a hiccup, as the mic or sound seemed to be on the low side.

Viewers could've been on to something – as Olly received NIL POINTS in the public vote. Thankfully, the jury's verdict was kinder to the UK. We ended up finished up with 46 points in total.

Technical difficulties

It wasn't a grat start when the BBC's coverage was derailed by a tech blunder just seconds into the show. Graham Norton's mic wasn't audible in the first minute of the final, and to make matters worse, BBC DJ Scott Mills was heard over the top of him.

Unfortunately, it came at the worst possible time; his opening monologue. One viewer wrote on X: "Graham honey we can’t hear you". And a third commented: "Ok BBC can we sort the sound out, I wanna hear Graham!".

Raunchy outfits!

Nebulossa performing ZORRA for Spain at the Grand Final at Malmö Arena

There were a lot of bum cheeks on show courtesy of Spain, who you can always rely on to lighten the mood. Mery Bas put on a fun performance, her dancers strutting their stuff in knee high boots, sexy fishnets and thong corsets.

Synth-pop duo Nebulossa performed Zorra, a song about a "vixen" and written by band member, Mery who needed to express herself to shake all the feelings of discrimination she has felt for being a free-spirited woman.

Wardrobe malfunctions

-Credit:Getty Images
-Credit:Getty Images

And then there was Finland.. where do we start! Entrant Windows95man suffered an extremely racy malfunction while on stage. During the act, the singer could be seen waving around two huge sparklers and jumping up and down in a tiny pair of denim shorts.

The outfit choice proved to be his downfall as his private parts fell out of one side of the pants and it was caught on camera for millions to see. He didn't appear to be too fazed by the wardrobe malfunction as he continued dancing.

One viewer wrote on X: "May not have been the best song, but it was by far the best performance Couldn't stop laughing. Well done lads"

Political messages

Bambie Thug performs on stage during The Eurovision Song Contest 2024 Grand Final at Malmö Arena on May 11, 2024 in Malmo, Sweden.
Bambie Thug performs on stage during The Eurovision Song Contest 2024 Grand Final at Malmö Arena -Credit:Martin Sylvest Andersen/Getty Images

Ireland's Bambie Thug shouted a defiant message after their performance at the Eurovision final. After belting out a gothic performance of Doomsday Blue, they had a five word message for viewers – "love will triumph over hate".

Bambie Thug earlier raised “multiple complaints” with Eurovision Song Contest organisers about a commentator from the Israeli broadcaster delegation following them missing rehearsals on Saturday ahead of the final.

They wrote in an Instagram story: "Earlier today they confirmed to my delegation in front of others that KAN’s commentator had broken the rules of conduct during the Eurovision semi-final. I have been patiently waiting to hear what action is set to be taken by the EBU following this rule break. I have since seen a statement by EBU director general Noel Curran which contradicts this earlier confirmation. I am still waiting for an official update from the EBU.”

Greta Thunberg removed

Greta Thunberg ran in to some trouble as she attended a Eurovision protest in the days before the show. The climate activist was seen being carried from the crowds by local police and transported away from the area.

Swedish police were seen removing the 21-year-old from the Stop Israel march in Malmo where thousands protested Israel's inclusion in the competition. Activists, including Thunberg, were seen wearing a Keffiyeh scarf while they were escorted away from the venue as the Eurovision Song Contest final got underway.