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Eurovision 2024: Joost Klein, the Dutch candidate, excluded from the competition

Joost Klein, the representative of the Netherlands, was excluded from the Eurovision contest on Saturday by the organization.

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Eurovision 2024: Joost Klein, the Dutch candidate, excluded from the competition

Joost Klein, the representative of the Netherlands, was excluded from the Eurovision contest on Saturday by the organization. Friday evening, the Dutch singer was unable to rehearse his song “Europapa” during the important general on the eve of the Eurovision final, the organization citing an “incident”.

“Swedish police have investigated a complaint made by a female member of the production team following an incident that occurred after her performance during Thursday evening's semi-final,” the EBU explained in a statement. . “While the legal process continues, it would not be appropriate for him to continue to participate in the competition.” On the other hand, the EBU rules out any involvement of “another artist or member of a delegation” in this incident. Rumors were circulating about a clash with members of the Israeli delegation.

Thursday, during the press conference which followed the semi-final of the competition which aims to be apolitical, Joost Klein, 26 years old and with peroxided hair, attracted attention by expressing his disagreement with the fact of being placed at alongside Israeli representative Eden Golan. In particular, he had ostensibly covered his face with the Dutch flag on several occasions.

His exclusion, however, has nothing to do with his attitude towards other delegations, the EBU stressed. “Contrary to what some media have reported and what certain speculations on social networks suggest, this incident (at the origin of his exclusion) did not involve any other artist or member of the delegation.” Questioned by AFP, the Swedish police confirmed that they had opened an investigation for “intimidation”. The file was sent to the public prosecutor's office.

Avrotros said in a statement sent to AFP that he found the disqualification “disproportionate” and said he was “shocked by the decision” of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). “We deeply regret this and will return to it later.”

“The EBU's decision... is extremely difficult. First and foremost for Joost, but it’s a disappointment for all of us,” Dutch State Secretary for Culture and Media Fleur Gräper reacted on Instagram.

Officially apolitical, Eurovision has been disrupted this year by the war in Gaza. The young Israeli singer, Eden Golan, 20, won her ticket to the final on Thursday evening with the song “Hurricane”, the initial version of which had to be modified because it was considered to allude to the Hamas attack which bloodied Israel on October 7.

The 68th edition of Eurovision, a song competition which aims to be apolitical, is marked by controversies surrounding the participation of Israel, qualified for the final, against the backdrop of the war in Gaza. In Malmö, some 12,000 people demonstrated on Thursday against Israel's entry into the competition.

With his Klein blue suit with broad shoulder pads and his peroxide hair, he performs “Europapa”, a hymn to Europe and unity. According to public television SVT, the “incident” mentioned by the EBU was a confrontation between Joost Klein and a photographer.

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