Oh, it’s Eurovision season?

We don’t get as much of the noise about Eurovision here in the benighted Americas, but every once in a while something trickles into our media. I’m liking the Irish entry, “Doomsday Blue,” partly because it’s aggressively weird, partly because I think it’s catchy, partly because it’s satanic, and partly because it has pissed off conservatives.

Even delicate little Tommy Robinson has fallen onto his fainting couch.

Also, I partly like it for its politics.

The performance is definitely provocative, and combined with Thug’s non-binary LGBTQ+ identity, it makes them the perfect target for right-wingers.

But at no point has it seemed to occur to conservatives that their outrage might be the point of the performance—even after Thug themself called the uproar “quite iconic” and said it’s “p*ssing off all the right people.”

Thug calls themself a “rebel witch” who’s been “conjuring Ouija Pop since 1993,” and “Doomsday Blue” uses the phrase “avada kedavra,” popularized in the “Harry Potter” series by outspoken transphobe JK Rowling.

Thug called it a form of “wordplay,” a sort of reclaiming of the word from Rowling’s TERF-y hands, and has also used their performances to call for trans rights and a “ceasefire” in the ongoing genocide of Palestinians in Gaza.

Definitely satanic.

I missed the whole Eurovision thing this year, and just learned that Doomsday Blue came in 6th, while the winner was this song by Nemo, another nonbinary artist.

Nice voice, but I liked Bambie Thug better.


  1. stuffin says

    Can’t put a finger on it, but I definitely like it. Would have to watch it a dozen times to pick up on most of the messages buried in the song. Is it a song? Or is it a ritual?

  2. zyaama says

    I‘m sure you‘ll appreciate that while Ireland didn’t win (they did quite well, though), the winner this year is the OTHER non-binary entry. Nemo is from Switzerland, and the song is explicitly about them finding their identity.

    Quite high on the „conservatives will hate this“-scale would also be the UK entry (gayer than a tree full of monkeys on carbon monoxide) and the Spanish one (an angry feminist anthem with male background dancers in fishnets and leather corsets).

    I usually don‘t watch the competition, but just thinking about how confusing it must be to right-wing Americans makes it worth it.

  3. stuffin says

    Then second one (Nemo) expresses the mental turmoil a Trans person goes through and how difficult it is to break through the established cultural norms. Strangely I felt both videos were intensely artistic.

  4. says

    Russia was banned because it invaded Ukraine but Israel was allowed to compete despite actively committing genocide. They were an also ran but so they would feel safe other competitors were barred from displaying the Palestinian flag or wearing Palestinian colors.

  5. mudpuddles says

    Here’s a key part of the story not included by PZ or in the Comic Sands article….

    During rehearsals two days before the competition, Bambie Thug had their face painted with ancient Irish Ogham runes, a form of pictographic writing used on wood and stone monuments found around Ireland and originating from around 1500 years ago. The English translation of the Ogham on their cheek was “ceasefire now”. Someone somewhere figured this out, and before long the competition overseers (the European Broadcasting Union) demanded that the Ogham be removed or altered before any further performance, so as not to breach the competitions’ insistence on keeping out of politics – part of Eurovision’s whole reason for existing, and actually a key part of it’s appeal across a massive demographic since it reflects core EU values and gives marginalised communities exactly the same support as every one else, and is increasingly viewed as a celebration of the LGBTQ+ (and now too migrant and refugee) communities. (Of course, the competition has skirted that line with politics occasionally, as with the banning of Russia over it’s invasion of Ukraine, but this year the fear of political, financial and potentially physical responses from the right heavily influenced their stance on the rules).

    Anyway, after negotiations, Bambie agreed to the request and wore instead a new Ogham print referencing a term of endearment created by their fans. This, of course, made the headlines, and created far more awareness of Bambie’s stance, and on far more than just the ongoing atrocity in Gaza. Which, in all likelihood, was exactly what Bambie had expected and planned for all along.

    Two extra tidbits of trivia: (1) This year’s hosts, Sweden, went very far to signal support for the LGBTQ+ community, from occasional choice of backdrop colours to resemble the trans pride flag, to assisting fans in organising pride-themed side events, and various public comments and jokes in the run-up to the final which were aimed to show their belief that the aims of the competition and aspirations of the LGBTQ+ community are fully aligned. (2) Bambie has referred to themself as a “goth gremlin goblin witch”, and their fans embraced the phrase “crown the witch” to show support for Bambie in the competition. This phrase was the translation of the Oghan on Bambie’s face for the final, replacing the original as agreed with the EBU, and giving a nod of thanks back to their supporters.

  6. rietpluim says

    Musically, the Eurovision Song Contest is never very interesting, but politically… Its main sponsor is an Israeli company with interests in the occupied territories. The Israeli contestant was booed upon repeatedly, which was neatly left out of the broadcast. (Israel is European apparently, which does fit its colonialist origins.) The Dutch contestant was disqualified for unclear reasons. He was the only one who made some kind of statement about the partaking of Israel, which was very strictly forbidden.. Some other contestants refused to walk the opening ceremony.Looks like the organization’s hypocrisy is backfiring.

  7. billseymour says

    Towards the end of CBS’ Sunday Morning today, the calendar for next week said that Friday or Saturday (I forget which) would be the 20th anniversary of the first legal same-sex marriage in the U.S.  I didn’t know it was that long ago.

    I note that straight marriage has not been destroyed. 8-)

  8. StevoR says

    @8 . rietpluim : “The Dutch contestant was disqualified for unclear reasons. “

    Klein had been prevented from rehearsing Friday over an unspecified “incident”, and earlier on Saturday police confirmed they had begun an investigation. “The police is investigating intimidation. The offence was committed in the Malmo arena on Thursday evening,” police spokesman Pelle Vamstad told AFP. …(Snip!).. The person who lodged a complaint is involved in Eurovision, police said. Dutch broadcaster SVT suggested the incident involving Klein had been a confrontation with a photographer. Dutch broadcaster AVROTROS said in an emailed statement that it was “shocked” by the EBU’s decision and considered it “disproportionate”.

    Source : https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-05-11/dutch-entrant-joost-klein-will-not-peform-in-eurovision-final/103835450

  9. cartomancer says

    It’s not called the Gay Olympics for nothing.

    Never really been a huge fan myself (rubbish gay, so it figures), though my parents are pretty devout followers. Still, nice to see the right people up in arms.

    Also, his real name is Julian Yaxley-Lennon. He affects “Tommy Robinson” to seem more like a down to earth man of the people, but he’s really from quite posh stock. In the spirit of pissing off the arseholes, I think it’s only fitting.

  10. tacitus says


    Yesterday was Australia’s 10th Eurovision contest. Not exactly in Europe. Morocco once participated too. Conditions of entry are more to do with the popularity of the show in a country than its geographical location.

  11. roughcanuk says

    This household has been fans of Eurovision since our posting to Belgium quite a few decades ago. As Canadians we had never seen or heard of it before (ABBA just dropped out of the clouds) and found it fascinating.
    While many of the participating countries are geographically-challenged to be considered part of Europe, if your broadcast entity pays to join the EBU (European Broadcasting Union), then you can enter the contest. Hence Australia and Israel and several Asian countries, and even Russia before they were kicked out.
    While I love watching it my favourite artists never seem to achieve the top of the heap, sometimes close but often at the bottom. In the early years of viewing it was fascinating watching all the political machinations in the voting. Now the public vote seems to have dampened that, though this year somehow Israel managed to get over 500 public votes with a milquetoast performer and almost steal the result (voting privileges can be purchased outside of Europe, so someone put up a shit-can of money for those votes).
    The Netherlands disqualification was a mild distraction which will no doubt help in domestic sales of the song and get the artist lots more publicity than they might otherwise have received, but I did think the boycott of the national vote was a bit petty.

  12. birgerjohansson says

    As a kid I used to watch it with family or friends but by the late 1980s it had become obviously bland and irrelevant from a musical viewpoint.
    Somehow it survived the era of MTV and music videos, and now it is surviving streaming. I am unable to explain it, but then I am also unable to explain the attraction of ‘reality shows’.

  13. StevoR says

    @roughcanuk : “if your broadcast entity pays to join the EBU (European Broadcasting Union), then you can enter the contest. Hence Australia and Israel and several Asian countries, and even Russia before they were kicked out.”

    Could be wrong but isn’t Russia European anyhow – at least the western part of it? Thought the usually cited geographic boundary was the Ural mountains yeah?

    From memory / what i grok Turkyie also straddles both Europe and Asia although Europe as a whole is argunably just a penuinsular part of the larger Eurasian landmass..

  14. billmcd says

    Finland was absolutely robbed. The jury votes to Switzerland were 100% a political statement against the EBU for the disqualification nonsense: Of all of the countries in Europe, it’s the one all of the juries agreed had the best chance that isn’t in the EU (the juries got to see the rehearsals and often make plans before the live show begins). The jury votes are always political. Last year they threw the whole thing to Sweden in a show of support because of Turkiye’s hold on their NATO membership.

  15. gijoel says

    Don’t tell Tommy about Conchita Wurst

    There’s a hilarious Father Ted episode where Ted and Dougal are selected as Ireland’s entry into Eurovision, so Ireland doesn’t have to pay for another expensive Eurovision concert. I would have linked to it, but Grahame Lineham wrote Father Ted and I’ll be damned if I’ll send another penny his way.

  16. Nathaniel Hellerstein says

    I watched it once, which is enough. It’s fun as provocation, but I prefer music.

  17. John Morales says

    Huh. First hit, obs. Didn’t even think of it being geoblocked.

    ABBA Year: 1974
    Celine Dion: Year: 1988
    Olivia Newton-John: Year: 1974


    (Easy enough to find other sources, I reckon)

  18. John Morales says

    PS I get Nathaniel was talking about a specific act and not the competition.

  19. chigau (違う) says

    Yeah Wikipedia has a page.
    I was slightly surprised to learn that Celine was in the contest.

  20. KG says

    I’d have boycotted Eurovision this year – if I hadn’t declined to watch it every year it’s been on!

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