Ireland’s Bambie Thug says their ‘life is forever changed’ after Eurovision

Bambie Thug thanked fans for their support saying their life is “forever changed” after this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

The singer, 31, clinched a sixth place finish in Ireland’s first grand final of the music event since 2018.

In a video on their Instagram stories, recorded with a filter projecting the Palestinian flag on one cheek, they said: “Just a quick message to say thank you guys for all of your support throughout this process.

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Irish entrant Bambie Thug rehearsing Doomsday Blue for Eurovision (EBU/PA)

“It has been both beautiful, incredibly challenging and eye-opening into the world of this contest and I’m so unbelievably proud of Nemo and of all my friends

“I love you beyond and my life is forever changed and it’s because of your love and support, and yeah slay, lots of love.”

The 68th edition of the annual song contest, held in Malmo, Sweden this year, was won by Swiss contestant Nemo with his song The Code, after a week filled with controversy.

Throughout the competition Bambie had urged people to ‘crown the witch’, but when Nemo was named the winner on Saturday night, Bambie was shown on screen hugging the Swiss singer in the green room in congratulations and then put their crown on Nemo’s head, which they wore as they went back on stage to receive the winner’s trophy and perform again.

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Nemo celebrates his win with a crown of thorns given to him by Ireland’s Bambie Thug (Martin Meissner/AP)

Bambie and Nemo, who are both non-binary and use they/them pronouns, are believed to have formed a firm friendship during the event.

In the build up to the finale, Bambie was outspoken about their pro-Palestine views, and accused the Israeli broadcaster, Kan, of a rule break, adding they were waiting to hear back from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) about what action would be taken.

Bambie told journalists after the competition: “So now that I’m free. I can talk about everything right?

“Yeah, so Kan the broadcaster incited violence against me twice, three times. We brought it up to the EBU. They said they 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 (Israeli) 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 shit 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.”

Bambie also called the week “stressful” and said what the makes the competition is “the community behind it, the love and the power and the support of all of us is what is making change”.

Bambie performed their gothicly dramatic song Doomsday Blue and appeared on stage with the words “crown the witch”, in Ogham medieval script written on their body.

The singer had previously criticised the involvement of Israel’s representative, Eden Golan who came fifth in the competition, in the wake of the worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza amid the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Ahead of the final, Bambie said in an Instagram story: “I have raised multiple complaints to the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) regarding instances I have experienced this week.

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Bambie Thug competed in the final on Saturday (Suzan Moore/PA)

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

In response, a spokesperson for the Israeli broadcaster 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.”

The EBU has been contacted for comment.

Irish premier Simon Harris congratulated Bambie for a “stunning performance and tour de force at Eurovision 2024”.

“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,” he said in a statement.

Ireland has won the Eurovision Song Contest seven times – a joint record with Sweden. Eimear Quinn was the last Irish winner in 1996 with her song The Voice, and since then the most successful performers were Marc Roberts, who was second in 1997, Eamonn Toal, who was sixth in 2000 and twin brothers Jedward who finished eighth in 2011.