HomeWorldDutch contestant Joost Klein kicked out of Eurovision 2024: Did he bully...

Dutch contestant Joost Klein kicked out of Eurovision 2024: Did he bully Israel’s Eden Golan before final?

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While 2024 Eurovision was hit by several pro-Palestine rallies with many calling for the boycott of Israel, the song contest was marred by another controversy.

The EBU stated that Swedish police were probing “a complaint made by a female member of the production crew” and that Klein’s participation would be inappropriate while the legal procedure was ongoing.(AP)

Hours before the final, Dutch artist Joost Klein was kicked out from the contest following a backstage incident.

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He was booed out after he failed to appear for two dress rehearsals, prompting the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to launch an investigation into a “incident.”

The EBU stated that Swedish police were probing “a complaint made by a female member of the production crew” and that Klein’s participation would be inappropriate while the legal procedure was ongoing.

In a statement on social media, Dutch broadcaster Avrtotros denounced Klein’s exclusion as “disproportionate”, saying that they are “shocked by the decision” and will “come back to this later”.

Notably, Klein was among the favourites to win Eurovision 2024 with ‘Europapa’, a song dedicated to his late father, who died due to cancer when the singer was just 12-year-old. He had promised his dad that he would one day qualify for the Eurovision.

During the first stage dress rehearsal, the news of Klein’s suspension broke out and a production manager was hinted that the singer’s props set up on stage will be removed.

Therefore, his song was dropped without explanation, and Israel’s singer Eden Golan, who was supposed to go to the stage next, replaced him.

Also Read: Who is Eden Golan? Israeli singer faces boycott calls as Greta Thunberg joins pro-Palestine protests at Eurovision

Did Joost Klein breach contest rules by bullying Eden Golan?

Following his ouster, Swedish police confirmed that a man had allegedly made “unlawful threats” at Malmö Arena after the semi-final, which took place on Thursday.

Police informed that they have completed the probe and the case will be taken up by the prosecutor within a few weeks.

The EBU gradually verified Klein’s withdrawal from Saturday’s grand final. Stressing that they maintain a zero-tolerance policy towards inappropriate behaviour at their event, the EBU said: “In light of this, Joost Klein’s behaviour towards a team member is deemed in breach of Contest rules.”

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

Swedish and Dutch news outlets have claimed that the incident involved Klein and a member of the television production team. However, the organisers asserted “this incident did not involve any other performer or delegation member”.

Early reports suggested there had been antagonism between Klein and Israel’s contestant amidst the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

During a press conference, a journalist asked Eden: “Have you ever thought that by being here you bring risk and danger for other participants and the public?”

She responded that she was “very excited to go on stage again, and share my love with everyone”.

Her response piqued Klein’s attention, and he told her she should have addressed the question explicitly.

Saturday’s grand final will now feature 25 acts rather than the previously planned 26.

Dutch viewers are still permitted to vote, and the Dutch jury’s decision, which was made at Friday’s second dress rehearsal, is still acceptable.

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