Sun. May 26th, 2024

Joost Klein

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

The performer was sent home after a female member of the production crew made an allegation of intimidation to Swedish police.Joost Klein

In a statement, the contest organizers announced that “it would not be appropriate for him to continue in the contest” while the legal process unfolds.

Dutch broadcaster Avrtotros has criticized Klein’s exclusion as “disproportionate.”

In a social media statement, the company expressed shock at the decision and indicated that they would address the matter further in the future.

Klein, whose song “Europapa” had been among the favorites to win this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, faced suspension following an incident backstage.

His song, “Europapa,” a pro-Europe techno anthem, held personal significance as it was dedicated to his father, whom he lost to cancer at the age of 12. At 26, the singer had vowed to his father that he would one day grace the Eurovision stage.

Joost Klein

The news of his suspension came to light on Friday afternoon, coinciding with the first dress rehearsal for Saturday’s televised grand final.

Klein’s stage props were being arranged inside the Malmö Arena when a production manager instructed for them to be removed. Subsequently, his performance slot was skipped without explanation, and Israel’s entrant, Eden Golan, who was next in the running order, took his place.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), responsible for organizing the event, released a statement confirming that they were “investigating an incident that was reported to us involving the Dutch artist.”

Joost Klein

Following Thursday’s semi-final at Malmö Arena, Swedish police confirmed that a man had been reported for making “unlawful threats.” The incident involved Joost Klein, and the police conducted essential investigative procedures, including questioning the suspect, plaintiff, and witnesses. The police have concluded their investigation, and the case will now be passed on to the prosecutor within a few weeks. Joost Klein

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) sub sequently announced that Klein would not participate in Saturday’s grand final. In a statement, they emphasized their commitment to a zero-tolerance policy towards inappropriate behavior at the event and ensuring a safe working environment for all staff. Klein’s actions towards a team member were deemed a violation of Contest rules.

While contestants have faced disqualification from Eurovision in the past, this instance marks the first time a participant has lost their place so close to the final. Joost Klein

More commonly, songs are rejected at the selection stage. For instance, in 2021, the Belarusian entry was banned from the Eurovision Song Contest after refusing to alter lyrics that the contest organizers deemed to be political in nature. Similarly, in 2016, Romania was barred from participating in the contest due to outstanding debts owed to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). These instances illustrate that entries can face disqualification or rejection for various reasons, ranging from political content to financial obligations.

Swedish and Dutch news outlets have reported that the incident involved Joost Klein and a member of the television production team. Joost Klein

Organizers emphasized that “contrary to some media reports and social media speculation, this incident did not involve any other performer or delegation member.”

Initial reports indicated there may have been tension between Klein and Israel’s contestant, possibly related to heightened emotions surrounding the Israel-Gaza conflict.

During a Eurovision press conference on Thursday, Eden Golan was asked whether she believed her participation in the contest posed a risk or danger to other participants and the public. The moderator intervened, indicating that she did not need to respond to the question, but Joost Klein interjected, asking, “Why not?” Joost Klein

In response, Golan stated, “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. So, I think it’s safe for everyone, and we wouldn’t be here [if it wasn’t safe].”

Earlier, when Klein was asked if his song could fulfill the Eurovision slogan of uniting people through music, he redirected the question, suggesting it would be better suited for the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

Saturday’s grand final will proceed with 25 acts instead of the originally planned 26.

Dutch viewers will still have the opportunity to vote, and the Dutch jury’s results, determined during Friday’s second dress rehearsal, will remain valid.

Replacing Joost Klein with another act at this late stage is not feasible, primarily due to the logistical challenges of incorporating new elements into the production on such short notice. Joost Klein

Additionally, organizers would be reluctant to promote the 11th-place contestant eliminated during Thursday’s semi-final, as it would violate rules regarding the disclosure of public vote results.

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