Eurovision axes Dutch entry Joost Klein after controversy over ‘incident’ | World News

The Eurovision Song Contest has officially removed the Dutch contender from the competition due to recent scandalous behavior.

Joost Klein found himself in hot water after reportedly making threats to a staff member at Eurovision in Malmo, Sweden, this past Thursday evening.

Fueling wild speculation, the Eurovision committee confirmed that the incident was not associated with the Israeli team but emphasized that Klein’s actions toward the female worker represented a clear violation of the contest’s standards.

“Following a complaint from a member of the Eurovision production team about a troubling encounter with Mr. Klein after his semi-final performance, the authorities are conducting an investigation,” a statement from the Eurovision management read. “Given the ongoing legal review, Eurovision finds it unacceptable for him to remain a participant.”

This event marks a first in Eurovision’s storied history as Klein becomes the first performer to be expelled after securing a spot in the final round.

The broadcaster from the Netherlands, Avrotros, expressed that the decision to disqualify Klein seemed excessive, meanwhile the Dutch team expressed their shock at his sudden removal from the contest.

The Swedish police released a statement detailing, “We have received allegations of a man issuing threats at the Malmo Arena on Thursday night.

Image:
A demonstration against Israel’s Eurovision participation in Malmo. Photograph: AP.

Authorities have questioned the man, who has been released but not detained, as well as the complainant and other witnesses.”

Klein, 26, had missed two crucial rehearsals on Friday and the European Broadcasting Union announced they were examining the details behind the “incident.”

The grand final is projected to attract a global audience of roughly 180 million people. The competition has now narrowed down to 25 competitors, with Croatia and Switzerland among the favorites to win, alongside UK entry Olly Alexander with his song ‘Dizzy’, and Ireland’s Bambie Thug.

Klein had been lined up to perform his track ‘Europapa’, a peppy dance track which despite receiving some harsh criticism, was considered a top contender for victory.

Israel’s role in the contest has sparked protests given the conflict in Gaza,

Malmo anticipates further pro-Palestinian demonstrations tonight, matching the grand final, amidst the ongoing hostilities between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

In recent months, there have been protests and boycott calls against the competition, ignoring the pressure, the Eurovision Broadcasting Union held that Israel had not breached any contest regulations.

Last Thursday, between 10,000 and 12,000 individuals, included climate change advocate Greta Thunberg, demonstrated in the streets of Malmo to protest Israel’s presence in the event.

Israel's representative Eden Golan on stage. Pic: Reuters
Image:
Eden Golan of Israel performing in the Eurovision semi-finals. Picture courtesy of Reuters.

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Ms. Thunberg, at 21 years of age, suggested that Israel’s participation in Eurovision serves as an attempt to ‘artwash’ their image, a term that describes using cultural events to overshadow controversial politics.

At a press gathering the same day, Klein was seen covering his head and disrupting the session while Israel’s Eden Golan was engaging with reporters, rebelling against the moderator’s suggestion that she could choose to ignore a question.

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