Dutch broadcaster outraged fans puzzled as Joost Klein from the Netherlands is disqualified from Eurovision

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A Dutch public broadcaster expressed strong dissatisfaction after the Netherlands’ contestant in the Eurovision Song Contest was unexpectedly removed from the competition just hours before the final due to a backstage incident currently under investigation by Swedish police.

Dutch broadcaster outraged fans puzzled as Joost Klein from the Netherlands is disqualified from Eurovision
Dutch broadcaster outraged fans puzzled as Joost Klein from the Netherlands is disqualified from Eurovision

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which oversees Eurovision, disclosed that Swedish authorities were looking into a complaint filed by a female member of the production crew regarding Joost Klein. Consequently, it was deemed inappropriate for him to participate in the contest while the legal inquiry was ongoing.

Klein’s absence from two dress rehearsals on Friday in Malmo, Sweden prompted organizers to launch an investigation into the matter, though they clarified that the incident was unrelated to Israel’s delegation and did not involve any other performers or delegation members.

As a consequence of his disqualification, Klein will not receive any points from national juries or Eurovision viewers, and the Netherlands will not be featured on the competition’s scoreboard. However, Dutch viewers will still be permitted to vote in the contest, as voting is prohibited for acts from one’s own nation.

It remains uncertain whether Klein remained in Malmo on Saturday.

This eleventh-hour disqualification represents an unprecedented occurrence in Eurovision’s 68-year history, notwithstanding previous instances of countries withdrawing or being expelled — such as Russia’s expulsion following its invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

AVROTROS, the Dutch broadcaster contributing to Eurovision, expressed shock over the decision. Subsequently, they clarified that Klein, upon exiting the stage after Thursday’s semifinal, was filmed without consent and responded with a threatening gesture toward the camera. AVROTROS emphasized that Klein did not physically touch the camera or the camerawoman and regarded his expulsion as an overly severe and disproportionate penalty.

“We are deeply disappointed for the millions of fans who were eagerly anticipating tonight,” the broadcaster stated. “Joost’s contribution to the Netherlands and Europe should not have concluded in this manner.”

The 26-year-old Dutch artist had been a favorite among bookmakers and fans with his song “Europapa,” a lively Euro-techno track celebrating the continent’s diversity and paying homage to Klein’s deceased parents.

Dave Adams, a British fan dressed as Klein, expressed disappointment at the disqualification but remained hopeful about the outcome of the competition.

The Eurovision competition, renowned for pitting nations against each other in pursuit of pop music glory, has been marked by controversy surrounding Israel’s participation, drawing significant protests from Palestinians and their supporters who advocate for Israel’s exclusion due to its actions during the Gaza conflict.

 

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