‘F--- the Eurovision organisers’, says Irish contestant Bambie Thug

The performer has an eldritch appearance, with long nails, white makeup and a feathered headdress
Bambie Thug performing Doomsday Blue in the Eurovision Song Contest - Jessica Gow/Shutterstock

Ireland’s Eurovision entrant has said “f---” you to Eurovision organisers, accusing them of being unsupportive in a row with Israel.

Bambie Thug, the self-described “ouija pop” star, who is non-binary, secured a sixth-place finish in the song contest, Ireland’s first appearance in the grand final since 2018.

Ireland attracted the top 12-point allocation from the Australian jury, as well as a 10 from the UK audience, as part of a total score of 136, but ultimately failed to catch the eventual winner, Switzerland’s Nemo.

Speaking at a press conference after the final, the Irish singer said: “So now that I’m free. I can talk about everything right?”

Thug, who has been outspoken about holding pro-Palestine views, accused the Israeli broadcaster Kan of breaking rules.

The 31-year-old claims to have been waiting to hear back from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) over what action would be taken.

It comes after a commentator for Kan covering the semi-final broadcast on Tuesday described the Irish offering as “scary” and “Satanic”.

The commentator said the performance of the song Doomsday Blue would be “the most scary” of the night, involving “a lot of spells and black magic and dark clothing, Satanic symbols, and voodoo dolls”.

The commentator continued: “But we can talk about that later. Prepare your curses.”

Thug stands in a minimal costume, with a sinister backing dancer behind
Bambie Thug performing in the Eurovision final on Saturday - Tobias Schwarz/AFP

Thug, who identifies as a “queer witch” told journalists in the press centre: “Kan, the broadcaster, incited violence against me twice, three times. We brought it up to the EBU. They said they’d follow up.

“They waited to the last minute, we still haven’t gotten statement back to us, allowed us to be scapegoats, allowed us to be the spokesperson for standing up for ourselves.

“And yeah, the broadcaster has disobeyed the rules and I hope next year they won’t be able to compete because of that.

“And behind the scenes you don’t know the amount of pressure and the amount of work that we have been doing to change things and I’m so proud for Nemo for winning.

“I’m so proud that all of us are in the top 10 that have been fighting for this s--- behind the scenes. Because it’s been so hard and I’m so proud of us.

“I just want to say we are what Eurovision is, the EBU is not what the Eurovision is, f--- the EBU, I don’t even care anymore. F--- them.”

Thug called the experience “stressful” and said what makes Eurovision great is the “the community behind it, the love and the power and the support of all of us is what is making change”.

Simon Harris, the Irish Taoiseach, congratulated Thug on a “stunning performance and tour de force at Eurovision 2024”.

He said in a statement: “They performed with passion, stopped us in our tracks and did us proud. The eruption of applause in the stadium at the end of Ireland’s performance spoke for itself.”

Bambie Thug in a clinch with a backing dancer who wears body paint and false fingernails
Thug said: 'We are what Eurovision is, the EBU is not what the Eurovision is' - Tobias Schwarz/AFP

“Congratulations to Switzerland on the win and well done to Sweden for hosting another showstopper. Thank you to our closest musical ally in Europe – Australia – for our only douze points!

“It’s Bambie Thug’s night as far as we’re concerned. Well done Bambie.”

Earlier, TV presenter Graham Norton, who was providing commentary for BBC coverage, said the singer was “tipped to do extremely well”.

He said: “I’m not a parent, but I might warn you that younger kids, I mean seriously, might find this next performance a little bit frightening.”

He added: “Bambie Thug, such a great performer and Ireland have done a very good job of production this year and this is tipped to do extremely well.”

On Saturday evening, Ireland’s entrant appeared on stage with the words “crown the witch”, in Ogham medieval script, on their body.

The singer had previously been critical of Israel’s representative, Eden Golan, competing in the contest.

Ahead of the final, Thug said in an Instagram story: “I have raised multiple complaints to the EBU regarding instances I have experienced this week.

“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.

Thug appears to cast a spell on a backing dancer
Host Graham Norton warned viewers that small children might be scared by Bambie Thug - Martin Meissner/AP

“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. I hope to see you on the stage tonight.”

In response, a spokesman for Kan told the PA news agency: “We wish everyone the best of luck tonight.”

The organisers of Eurovision said: “Bambie Thug did not perform in dress rehearsal three and the footage of their performance in dress rehearsal two was used in its place.

“They missed the dress rehearsal due to a situation that is currently being discussed with the EBU and song contest organisers.”

Kan and the EBU have been contacted for comment.