Eurovision entry not rehearsing ‘until further notice’ after ‘incident’

todayMay 10, 2024 3

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Eurovision entry not rehearsing ‘until further notice’ after ‘incident’

The Netherlands’ Eurovision entry Joost Klein is under investigation by organisers due to an unexplained “incident” – and will not be rehearsing again until “further notice”.

The Dutch singer missed his slot in the show’s penultimate dress rehearsal in Malmo, Sweden, on Friday, where he had been due to perform his track Europapa in fifth place, just before Israel’s Eden Golan, 20, with her song Hurricane.

Protests have dogged the competition over Israel’s inclusion amid the war in Gaza.

A video posted on the X social media platform showed a producer announcing that Klein would not be performing on Friday, prompting a chorus of boos from members of the audience.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which organises Eurovision, said in a statement: “We are currently investigating an incident that was reported to us involving the Dutch artist. He will not be rehearsing until further notice.

“We have no further comment at this time and will update in due course.”


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Klein had been part of the flag parade at the start of the rehearsal, and walked around the stage in full costume, but then failed to arrive on stage for his performance around 30 minutes later.

It was later confirmed that the 26-year-old singer would not be performing in the final rehearsal on Friday evening and that the investigation was “still ongoing”.

The EBU said discussions were also taking place between the EBU and Avrotros, the Dutch participating broadcaster.

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Israel performs at Eurovision semi-final

It is not yet clear if Klein will be performing in the Eurovision Song Contest’s grand final on Saturday.

A clip of Klein’s offering – happy-hardcore inspired Europapa – was played out in the recap clips of all 26 songs throughout the rehearsal show, but with a clip of a previous Klein rehearsal.

The track, which is one of the most memorable of the show and was described by one critic as “so bad” it will “put you off music forever”, is among the current favourites to win.

‘Access denied’ website error adds to event’s problems

Adding to its woes, the EBU website went down later on Friday evening, and on attempting to log in a message was displayed saying “access denied” and refusing entry permission. It began working again after around an hour offline.

Meanwhile, Spain’s state-owned broadcaster hit out the EBU, calling on it to respect “press and opinion” at this year’s event. RTVE wrote on social media: “The Spanish delegation from @eurovision_tve has conveyed to @EBU_HQ its commitment to freedom of the press and opinion and has asked that @Eurovision let them watch it.”

The post was made shortly after it was announced that Madrid would be hosting the Junior Eurovision Song Contest later this year.

Some 26 countries, including UK entry Olly Alexander, 33, with his track Dizzy, and Ireland’s Bambie Thug, 31, with the song Doomsday Blue, are due to battle it out for the coveted Eurovision glass trophy on Saturday.

The UK's Olly Alexander performs during the semi-final. Pic: Reuters

UK entry Olly Alexander. Pic: Reuters

Ireland's Bambie Thug performing at the semi-final. Pic: Reuters

Ireland’s Bambie Thug. Pic: Reuters

Controversy and confusion at media event

Klein had been vocal in a news conference on Thursday night, which brought together the 10 acts from the second semi-final selected for the final, including Israel and the Netherlands.

Towards the end of the conference, Israeli entry Golan was asked by Polish radio outlet Newsletter whether she thought she was causing a security risk for other participants by attending the event.

The moderator of the conference, Swedish presenter Jovan Radomir, told Golan she did not have to answer the question if she did not want to.

Klein shouted out loudly: “Why not?”

Joost Klein at a news conference on Thursday. Pic: AP

Klein at a news conference on Thursday. Pic: AP

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Israel’s Eurovision entry questioned by entrant

Golan responded to the question, saying: “I think we’re all here for one reason, and one reason only. And the EBU is taking all safety precautions to make this a safe and united place for everyone. And so, I think it’s safe for everyone or we wouldn’t be here.”

Her response was met with a round of applause.

Earlier in the media session Klein, who was asked by an audience member, “Do you think that your song can unite us all by music?”

He swiftly replied: “That’s a good question for the EBU.”

At the start of the news conference, Klein had also draped what appeared to be a Dutch flag around his head completely, sitting like that for a short while before the questions began.

Sky News has emailed Klein’s representatives for comment on his absence from the dress rehearsal.

Greece’s entry, Marina Satti, appeared to pretend to fall asleep as Israel’s Golan spoke.

Read more:
Will Abba perform on the night?
Acts to look out for – and why two songs are controversial

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Eurovision fans on Israel

Tight security in Malmo amid protests

There are more pro-Palestinian protests planned in Malmo to coincide with the Eurovision grand final, amid the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. Police estimated more than 10,000 people took part in a march on Thursday.

Over the last few months, there have been demonstrations and calls for acts to boycott the show, after the EBU refused to remove Israel from the competition, insisting it had broken no broadcasting rules.

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Why are there protests at Eurovision?

A Pro-Palestinian demonstration ahead of the second semi-final at the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmo

A Pro-Palestinian demonstration took place in Malmo on Thursday

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Golan’s song Hurricane was reworked from a previous track called October Rain, which was thought to reference the 7 October Hamas attacks on Israel.

During an earlier rehearsal on Wednesday, Golan was met with some boos and cries of “Free Palestine,” and an audience member appeared to have a Palestinian flag removed from them in the auditorium.

On Friday, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called protests against Israel’s participation in Eurovision “wrong,” adding “scenes we’ve seen here [in Malmo] have been outrageous”.

:: Sky News will be in Malmo with updates, a live blog, and all the biggest news from the final as it happens on Saturday.

Written by: Newsroom

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