Entertainment

Joost Klein: Dutch contestant disqualified from Eurovision Song Contest

  • By Mark Savage
  • Music Correspondent, BBC News

Dutch artist Joost Klein has been disqualified from the Eurovision Song Contest after a backstage incident.

An allegation of bullying has been made to Swedish police by a female member of the production team.

In a statement, competition organizers said “it would not be appropriate for him to continue to participate in the competition” while legal proceedings are ongoing.

Meanwhile, Irish entrant Bambie Thug missed the dress rehearsal, but hoped to be on stage for the show.

On his Instagram Story, Bambie Thug explained that there had been a “situation” before the flag parade rehearsal “that I felt needed urgent attention” from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). .

Bambie Thug made no reference to Klein’s exclusion and there is no suggestion that the two incidents are related.

Furthermore, Norwegian media report that the jury’s spokesperson, Allesandra Mele, withdrew, citing the “fiery situation” in Malmö. She came fourth representing Norway last year with the song King of Queens.

Dutch television channel Avrtotros called Klein’s disqualification “disproportionate.”

In a statement posted on social media, the company said it was “shocked by this decision” and “will come back to it later”.

Image source, Arvotros / Instagram

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

A pro-European techno anthem, it was dedicated to his father, whom he lost to cancer at the age of 12.

Now aged 26, the singer had promised his father that he would one day take to the Eurovision stage.

News of his suspension emerged on Friday afternoon, during the first dress rehearsal for Saturday’s televised grand finale.

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

His song was then ignored without explanation, and Israeli participant Eden Golan, who was next in order, took his place.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), organizer of the event, later issued a statement saying it was “investigating an incident reported to us involving the Dutch artist”.

‘Zero tolerance’

On Saturday, Swedish police confirmed that a man had been reported for making “unlawful threats” at the Malmö Arena following Thursday’s semi-final.

“Police have taken all essential investigative measures and have questioned the suspect, complainant and witnesses,” a spokesperson said.

“The investigation was closed by the police (…) and the case will now be brought before the 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 working environment for all pageant staff,” they said.

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

Although contestants have been disqualified from Eurovision in the past, none have ever lost their place this close to the final.

Most often, songs are rejected at the selection stage. In 2021, the Belarusian entry was banned after refusing to edit lyrics that the competition considered political in nature; while in 2016 Romania was banned from participating due to unpaid debts to the EBU.

Legend, 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.

Organizers stressed that “contrary to some media reports and speculation on social media, this incident did not involve any other artists or members of the delegation.”

Initial reports suggested there had been antagonism between Klein and the Israeli candidate, while feelings ran high over the war between Israel and Gaza.

At a Eurovision press conference on Thursday, Golan was asked if she had “ever thought that by being here you posed risks and dangers to other participants and the public?”

When the moderator told the Israeli singer she didn’t have to answer the question, Klein responded, “Why not?”

Golan replied: “I think we are all here for one reason, and one reason only, and the EBU is taking all the safety precautions to make this a safe and supportive place for everyone. So I think that it’s safe for everyone and we would do it.” I won’t be here (otherwise).”

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 EBU .”

Legend, Klein (left) appeared at a press conference Thursday evening with Israeli candidate Eden Golan (second from right).

Saturday’s grand final will now take place in 25 acts, instead of the 26 planned.

The event will start at 9:00 p.m. local time (8:00 p.m. BST) and is expected to end at midnight (11:00 p.m. BST).

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

It would not be possible for another group to replace Klein, in part because of the difficulty of adding new elements to the production at the last minute.

Organizers are also reportedly unwilling to promote the eliminated candidate ranked 11th in Thursday’s semi-final as this would contravene rules on revealing public voting results.

Gn entert
News Source : www.bbc.com

Eleon

With a penchant for words, Eleon Smith began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class. After interning at the New York Times, Smith landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim. Though writing is his passion, Eleon also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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