Nemo from Switzerland is the big winner of Eurovision

The Swiss "Nemo" won the Eurovision Song Contest.

The rapper is the first artist who identifies as non-binary in the competition.

The race was marred by controversy over Israel's involvement as the war in the Gaza Strip continues.

The song "The Code" by 24-year-old "Nemo" received the highest score from the country's jury and enough from the public vote to receive 591 points, beating Croatia in the final, which was held in the Swedish city of Malmö.

"I hope this pageant can live up to its promise and continue to stand up for peace and the dignity of every person in this world," Nemo said with tears in his eyes as he received the trophy.

Nemo's journey to realizing his non-binary gender identity served as the inspiration for the highly personal triumphant work.

"The song tells the story of the journey I began with the realization that I am neither male nor female," Nemo stated.

Baby Lasagna from Croatia took second place with 547 points.

Nemo, along with Croatia and Israel, was the bookies' favorite to win the contest, watched worldwide by millions of fans of the pop sound -- and the kitschy show.

Twenty-five countries competed, but much of the attention was focused on the controversy surrounding Israel's participation.

When Israeli contestant Eden Golan took to the stage to perform her song 'Hurricane', there were both cheers and boos from the Malmö Arena crowd.

There were also boos as Israel gave its scores to the other performers and whenever a country gave high marks to "Hurricane."

In the end, Golan finished in fifth place with 375 points.

Police pushed back protesters outside the arena, where more than a hundred demonstrators waved flags and chanted "Free Palestine."

Police confirmed they used pepper spray and later dispersed the protest in the square.

Malmö is home to the country's largest community of Palestinian origin, and police said at least 5,000 people gathered in protest in the city in the afternoon of May 11.

Eurovision confirmed in March that Golan would take part, despite calls for her exclusion from thousands of musicians around the world.

In the same month, participants from nine countries, including Nemo, called for a permanent ceasefire. /BGNES