May 20, 2024

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Joost Klein: The Dutch contestant has been disqualified from the Eurovision Song Contest

Joost Klein: The Dutch contestant has been disqualified from the Eurovision Song Contest

  • Written by Mark Savage
  • BBC News music correspondent

Dutch artist Joost Klein has been disqualified from the Eurovision Song Contest after an incident that occurred behind the scenes.

An allegation of intimidation was made to the Swedish police by a female member of the production crew.

Contest organizers said in a statement: “It would not be appropriate for him to continue in the contest” while legal proceedings take place.

Meanwhile, Irish newcomer Bambi Thug missed rehearsals, but promised to appear on stage for the show.

On their Instagram Story, Bambi Thug explained that there was a “situation” prior to the flag show rehearsal “which I felt needed urgent attention” from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

Bambi Thug made no mention of Klein’s exclusion, and there is no indication that the two incidents are related.

Separately, Norwegian media reported that jury spokeswoman Alessandra Meli withdrew, citing the “inflammatory situation” in Malmö. She won fourth place, representing Norway, last year with the song “King of Queens.”

Dutch broadcaster Afritotros described Klein’s exclusion as “disproportionate”.

The company said in a statement on social media that it was “shocked by the decision” and “will return to this matter later.”

Image source, arvotros/Instagram

Klein was among the favorites to win this year’s competition with his song, Urubaba.

A pro-European techno anthem, it was dedicated to his father, whom he lost to cancer when he was 12 years old.

News of his suspension emerged on Friday afternoon, during the first practice of Saturday’s televised grand final.

Klein’s props were set up on stage inside Malmö Arena when the production manager indicated they needed to be removed.

His song was then skipped without explanation, and he was replaced by Israeli newcomer Eden Golan, who was next in line.

Later, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which is organizing the event, issued a statement saying they were “investigating an incident reported to us involving the Dutch artist.”

‘Intolerance’

Swedish police confirmed on Saturday that a man had been reported for making “unlawful threats” at Malmo Stadium after the semi-final match on Thursday.

A police spokesman said: “The police took all basic investigative measures and interrogated the suspect, the plaintiff and witnesses.”

He added: “The police have completed the investigation… and the case will now be referred to the public prosecutor within a few weeks.”

The EBU later confirmed that Klein would not take part in Saturday’s grand final.

“We maintain a zero-tolerance policy towards inappropriate behavior at our event and are committed to providing a safe and secure work environment for all employees at the competition,” they said.

“In light of this, Joost Klein’s behavior towards a team member is a violation of the competition rules.”

Although contestants have been eliminated from Eurovision in the past, none of them have lost their place near the final.

Comment on the photo, International media gathered outside the Klein Hotel in Malmö, Sweden

Swedish and Dutch media said the incident involved Klein and a member of the television production team.

The organizers stressed that “contrary to some media reports and social media speculation, this incident did not involve any other artist or member of the delegation.”

Early reports indicated animosity between Klein and the Israeli racer, with sentiment running high over the war between Israel and Gaza.

At a Eurovision press conference on Thursday, Golan was asked if she “ever thought that by being here you were bringing risk and danger to the other participants and the audience?”

When the show’s emcee told the Israeli singer she didn’t have to answer the question, Klein said: “Why not?”

“I think we’re all here for one reason, and one reason only, and the EBU is taking all the safety precautions to make this a safe and unified place for everyone, so I think it’s safe for everyone and we’re not going to do that,” Golan replied. I won’t be here [if not]”.

Earlier, when Klein was asked if his song could live up to the Eurovision slogan and unite people through music, he replied: “I think that’s a good question for the European Broadcasting Union.”

Comment on the photo, Klein (left) appeared in a press conference with Israeli racer Eden Golan (second from right) on Thursday evening

Saturday’s grand final will now advance with 25 acts, instead of the planned 26.

Dutch viewers are still allowed to vote, and the result of the Dutch jury (which was decided during the second rehearsal on Friday) still stands.

No other work would be able to replace Klein, partly because of the difficulty of adding new elements to a production at the last minute.

Organizers will also not want to promote the contestant eliminated in 11th place from Thursday’s semi-final, as that would contravene the rules for revealing the results of the public vote.