The Eurovision Song Contest has been left in crisis after a raft of major crises unraveled just hours before the grand final is due to start. 

Ireland’s entry Bambie Thug missed their final dress rehearsal after they said a ‘situation’ required ‘urgent attention’ from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), who are organising the event. 

Irish Broadcaster RTE reported they were upset by Israel TV’s coverage of their semi-final appearance.

And they were not alone in missing the final practice performance – as Switzerland entry Nemo and Greece’s Marina Satti were also both absent this afternoon. 

It comes just hours after it was revealed Dutch contender Joost Klein has been axed from the contest after being quizzed by police over an incident involving ‘a female member of the production crew’. 

Meanwhile, thousands of pro Palestine protestors gathered in Malmö demanding Israel’s contestant Eden Golan be kicked out of the final while a Norwegian juror has quit. 

On their Instagram story, Bambie Thug wrote: ‘Dear Coven, There was a situation while we were waiting to go to stage for the flag parade rehearsal which I felt needed urgent attention from the EBU – the EBU have taken this matter seriously and we have been in a discussion about what action needs to be taken.

The Dutch singer Joost Klein is seen on stage performing the song Europapa during the Eurovision semi-final on Thursday

The Dutch singer Joost Klein is seen on stage performing the song Europapa during the Eurovision semi-final on Thursday 

Nemo performing the song The Code. Switzerland's entry has also not turned up to the final dress rehearsal

Nemo performing the song The Code. Switzerland’s entry has also not turned up to the final dress rehearsal 

Joost Klein poses during a press conference prior to the final after the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest on Thursday

Joost Klein poses during a press conference prior to the final after the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest on Thursday 

‘This means I have missed my dress rehearsal – I am really sorry to the fans that have come to see me. I hope to see you on the stage tonight.’

In response, the organisers of Eurovision said: ‘We are just looking into it.’

It comes as:

  • Thousands of pro Palestine protestors have gathered in Malmö demanding Israel’s contestant Eden Golan is kicked out of the final
  • Fans fear for Ireland’s hopeful after Bambie Thug pulled out of flag parade rehearsal because of situation that ‘needed urgent attention’
  • Allessandra Mele – who was supposed to announce Norway’s point allocation – pulled out due to the ‘inflamed situation in Malmö’
  • Greece’s Marina Satti failed to turn up for the final practice performance
  • Switzerland’s entry Nemo also did not appear for her final practice

The official page of the Netherlands’ Songfestival, which sends acts to Eurovision, said it is ‘shocked’ by Joost Klein being cut from Eurovision and finds the decision ‘disproportionate’.

Entering with the song Europapa, a tribute to his late parents, the 26-year-old rapper and singer from the Netherlands had qualified for the grand final on Thursday evening. 

But a spokeswoman for the Swedish Police Authority said: ‘A man is suspected of unlawful threats. The crime is said to have been committed at Malmo Arena on Thursday evening.

‘The man is questioned by the police but not detained. The plaintiff is an employee at Eurovision.

‘The police have taken all essential investigative measures and questioned the suspect, plaintiff and witnesses. The investigation has been completed by the police.

‘The case follows the normal legal process. The police have used faster prosecution and the case will now go to the prosecutor within a few weeks.’

Israeli singer Eden Golan is seen warming up for Eurovision by getting her entourage to boo her and yell 'Free Palestine' ahead of tonight's final

Israeli singer Eden Golan is seen warming up for Eurovision by getting her entourage to boo her and yell ‘Free Palestine’ ahead of tonight’s final

Members of Golan's team are seen trying to throw her off with loud boos and pro-Palestinian chants as the 20-year-old contestant rehearsed her power ballad Hurricane

Members of Golan’s team are seen trying to throw her off with loud boos and pro-Palestinian chants as the 20-year-old contestant rehearsed her power ballad Hurricane

His participation was already in doubt after he failed to perform at two dress rehearsals on Friday, with Swedish police later announcing it was investigating the singer.

There is already a heavy police presence as thousands of pro-Palestine protesters descended on the Swedish city to called from Golan to be expelled from the competition. 

Golan has become a lightning rod for criticism from protesters who have demanded she be excluded from the competition, while others have called for a boycott of the famous song contest and a ceasefire in the seven-month war in Gaza.

Demonstrators waved Palestine flags and shouted ‘stop the genocide’ and ‘no to Eurovision genocide’ while others held up photographs of children killed in Gaza.

One protestor was dressed as a Hamas fighter in combat fatigue but Swedish police refused to take any action as they looked on.

With tensions running high in the city, it has emerged that Israel’s entrant Eden Golan is being guarded by armed officers from Sweden’s security service and Shin Bet, Israel’s security agency.

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The officers accompanied her into the Malmö Arena, where tonight’s final takes place and have also been with her in the hotel where she is staying with other members of Israel’s Eurovision delegation.

Extra security in Malmo ahead of The Grand Final of Eurovision that will take place in Malmo, Sweden tonight

Extra security in Malmo ahead of The Grand Final of Eurovision that will take place in Malmo, Sweden tonight

Police on scene as the media await the participants of the Eurovision final outside the Clarion Hotel in Malmö, Sweden

Police on scene as the media await the participants of the Eurovision final outside the Clarion Hotel in Malmö, Sweden

Around 5,000 protestors assembled in a central square in Malmö with around 100 police on duty for the ‘Stop Israel’ demonstration.

The 20-year-old contestant has also been preparing for a fiery reception herself as she was filmed rehearsing her power ballad Hurricane while other members of her team try to throw her off with loud boos and pro-Palestinian chants. 

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) announced on Saturday that Klein would no longer be competing just hours before the final is set to take place. 

A statement from the EBU said: ‘The Dutch artist Joost Klein will not be competing in the Grand Final of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

‘Swedish police have investigated a complaint made by a female member of the production crew after an incident following his performance in Thursday night’s Semi Final.

‘While the legal process takes its course, it would not be appropriate for him to continue in the Contest.

‘We would like to make it clear that, contrary to some media reports and social media speculation, this incident did not involve any other performer or delegation member.

‘We maintain a zero-tolerance policy towards inappropriate behaviour at our event and are committed to providing a safe and secure working environment for all staff at the Contest.

‘In light of this, Joost Klein’s behaviour towards a team member is deemed in breach of Contest rules.

‘The Grand Final of the 68th Eurovision Song Contest will now proceed with 25 participating songs.’

Dutch broadcaster Avrotros has said that it found Klein’s disqualification from the contest ‘disproportionate’.

In a statement on X, formerly Twitter, the Netherlands’ delegation’s official page Songfestival said: ‘We have taken note of the disqualification by the EBU. @AVROTROS finds the disqualification disproportionate and is shocked by the decision. We deeply regret this and will come back to this later.’

The Dutch singer was one of the bookies’ favourites to win the contest with his playful pop-rap song Europapa which mixes tunes of pop with happy hardcore and was described by one critic as being ‘so bad’ it will ‘put you off music forever’. 

Klein, who lost his parents at a young age, said the song is about an orphan who travels around Europe trying to find himself, as his father taught him to believe in a Europe without borders. 

Eden Golan waves an Israel flag as she performs the song Hurricane before the final dress rehearsal ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest final at the Malmo Arena

Eden Golan waves an Israel flag as she performs the song Hurricane before the final dress rehearsal ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest final at the Malmo Arena

Audience members hold Palestinian flags in the crowd during the final Eurovision dress rehearsal on Saturday

Audience members hold Palestinian flags in the crowd during the final Eurovision dress rehearsal on Saturday 

Olly Alexander from United Kingdom leaving his hotel in Malmo today

Olly Alexander from United Kingdom leaving his hotel in Malmo today

Nebulossa who is representing Spain leaves the hotel for a dress rehearsal before the Eurovision Song Contest final

Nebulossa who is representing Spain leaves the hotel for a dress rehearsal before the Eurovision Song Contest final

Windows95man who is representing Finland leaves the hotel for a dress rehearsal before the Eurovision Song Contest final

Windows95man who is representing Finland leaves the hotel for a dress rehearsal before the Eurovision Song Contest final

Irish entrant Bambie Thug leaves the hotel for tonight's dress rehearsal

Irish entrant Bambie Thug leaves the hotel for tonight’s dress rehearsal

Police escort performers from hotels Extra security in Malmo ahead of The Grand Final of Eurovision that will take place in Malmo, Sweden tonight

Police escort performers from hotels Extra security in Malmo ahead of The Grand Final of Eurovision that will take place in Malmo, Sweden tonight

Armed police officers stand outside the hotel where the Dutch delegation is staying prior to the final of the Eurovision Song Contest

Armed police officers stand outside the hotel where the Dutch delegation is staying prior to the final of the Eurovision Song Contest

Extra security in Malmo ahead of The Grand Final of Eurovision that will take place in Malmo, Sweden tonight

Extra security in Malmo ahead of The Grand Final of Eurovision that will take place in Malmo, Sweden tonight

Police on scene as the media await the participants of the Eurovision final outside the Clarion Hotel

Police on scene as the media await the participants of the Eurovision final outside the Clarion Hotel

Armed police officers have been stationed outside of the Clarion Hotel in Malmo, where contestants taking part in tonight’s finale have been staying during the competition. 

Singers have already been seen exiting the hotel, surrounded by officers and journalists as they head to the contest venue in the heart of the city where they will later perform in front of thousands of viewers across the globe. 

It comes as protesters will again take to the streets in Sweden’s third-largest city, which has a large Muslim population, later today to show their outrage over the decision to allow Golan to take part in the famous song contest.

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It will be the second protest to take place this week after as many as 5,000 people took to the city’s streets on Thursday. 

During the demonstrations, smoke canisters in the colours of the Palestinian flag were set off and protesters carried signs displaying images of Gaza civilians who have been injured amid the Hamas-Israel conflict.

Other banners displayed messages including ‘welcome to Genocide song contest’ and ‘stop using Eurovision to whitewash Israeli crimes’.

At one point, the pro-Palestinian demonstrators were told to go back by police and, following shouts of ‘free Palestine’, returned to the main gathering.

There was also a banner done in the style of Eurovision with the words ‘genocide’ on it, an accusation vigorously denied by Israel amid the country’s war with Hamas, sparked by the terror group’s October 7 attack last year.

The Hamas attack saw some 1,200 people in Israel killed and around 250 kidnapped by gunmen and taken back into Gaza. Since then, Israeli attacks on the coastal territory have resulted in over 34,000 deaths and a humanitarian catastrophe.

People take to the streets to protest against Israel's Eurovision Song Contest participation in Malmo, Sweden on Thursday

People take to the streets to protest against Israel’s Eurovision Song Contest participation in Malmo, Sweden on Thursday 

Thousands of pro-Palestine protesters demonstrate in Malmo, calling for Golan to be excluded from the competition

Thousands of pro-Palestine protesters demonstrate in Malmo, calling for Golan to be excluded from the competition

Greta Thunberg can be seen joining the thousands protesters in the southern Swedish city demonstrating against Israel competing in the famous song contest

Greta Thunberg can be seen joining the thousands protesters in the southern Swedish city demonstrating against Israel competing in the famous song contest

Protesters hold a banner reading 'Welcome to Genocide song contest' in Malmo today

Protesters hold a banner reading ‘Welcome to Genocide song contest’ in Malmo today

Protesters gather during the Stop Israel demonstration against Israel's participation in the 68th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC), amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Malmo, Sweden, May 9, 2024

Protesters gather during the Stop Israel demonstration against Israel’s participation in the 68th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC), amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Malmo, Sweden, May 9, 2024

A demonstrator displays a poster during a protest against Israeli participation in the Eurovision Song Contest, ahead of the second semi-final, in Malmo Sweden, May 9, 2024

A demonstrator displays a poster during a protest against Israeli participation in the Eurovision Song Contest, ahead of the second semi-final, in Malmo Sweden, May 9, 2024

As a result of the protests, Israel’s national security agency Shin Bet ordered Golan to stay in her hotel room ahead of her semi final performance, which saw her qualify for tonight’s final. 

Protesters argue that Israel should not be allowed to take part amid a war that has killed almost 35,000 Palestinians. 

‘I don’t think they should be a part of it at all because they are committing crimes against humanity,’ said local resident Lorenzo Mayr, who attended a demonstration on Thursday.

During Golan’s rehearsals on Wednesday of her song Hurricane, which was reworked from an early track October Rain (thought to be a reference to the attack by Hamas), she was booed and there were reportedly shouts of ‘free Palestine’.

One person wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter: ‘The atmosphere inside the arena was horrible. You could feel the tension. Shouts of ‘free Palestine’ in the quiet parts. Booing audible in places. People arguing in the standing section.’

Another person, who posted a video of boos raining down on the singer, added: ‘The atmosphere was so uncomfortable.’

Denmark, Finland, Norway and even host country Sweden have repeatedly called for Israel to be banned from the contest altogether. 

And in Belgium, two Ministers demanded that the Jewish state be treated the same as Russia, which has been barred since 2022 following its invasion of Ukraine.

Eden Golan performing the song Hurricane during the second dress rehearsal on Wednesday ahead of the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest

Eden Golan performing the song Hurricane during the second dress rehearsal on Wednesday ahead of the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest 

Israeli act Golan pictured at a press conference with the entries that advanced to the final after the second semi-final on Thursday

Israeli act Golan pictured at a press conference with the entries that advanced to the final after the second semi-final on Thursday 

Eden Golan representing Israel stands on stage during rehearsals ahead of the grand final of the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest

Eden Golan representing Israel stands on stage during rehearsals ahead of the grand final of the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest

Golan, who was born in Israel but grew up in Russia, has faced death threats ahead of her performances at the Malmo Arena, while even her fellow contestants have been accused of bullying her during a press conference earlier this week. 

Greek singer Marina Satti caused a stir after she was seen dramatically yawning and pretending to fall asleep while Eden was speaking to the press during a panel event.

Satti can be seen with her head slumped on her hand, looking towards the crowd before closing her eyes and pretending to yawn. 

She then puts her head in her arms and lays her head on the table in an apparent show of boredom while Golan continues to talk. 

Meanwhile, Ireland’s entry Bambie Thug, 31, revealed they cried with their team after discovering Israel had qualified for the grand finale. 

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But the Israeli singer has remained defiant in the build up to the final and says she hopes her performance will help to unite people.

‘I won’t let anything break me,’ she told MailOnline in an interview this week. ‘I wouldn’t say I’m worried. I’m prepared.’

Speaking to Reuters, she said: ‘It’s a super important moment for us, especially this year. I feel honoured to have the opportunity to be the voice of my country.’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also praised 20-year-old Golan for performing despite ‘contending with an ugly wave of anti-Semitism.’ 

Golan of Israel arrives on stage for the introducing of the artists during the dress rehearsal for the final at the Eurovision Song Contest on Friday

Golan of Israel arrives on stage for the introducing of the artists during the dress rehearsal for the final at the Eurovision Song Contest on Friday

Golan is seen performing the song Hurricane during the dress rehearsal for tonight's final

Golan is seen performing the song Hurricane during the dress rehearsal for tonight’s final

Tonight’s final will see 26 acts – narrowed from 37 entrants by two semi-final runoffs – are due to perform three-minute songs in front of a live audience of thousands and an estimated 180 million viewers around the world.

It all makes for a messy climax to an event that draws both adoration and derision with its campy, kitschy ethos and passion for pop.

Dean Vuletic, an expert on the history of the contest, says that despite this year’s divisions, ‘there is no other cultural event which brings Europeans together quite like Eurovision does.’

‘Just this moment where everyone is watching the same television show, which is being broadcast live across 37 countries – that’s something very special.’

This year’s entries range from emotional to eccentric. They include the goofy 1990s nostalgia of Finland’s Windows95man, who emerges from a giant onstage egg wearing very little clothing. 

The favorites include Swiss singer Nemo – who would be the first nonbinary Eurovision winner if their operatic song The Code tops the voting – and Croatia’s Baby Lasagna. 

His song Rim Tim Tagi Dim is a rollicking rock number that tackles the issue of young Croatians leaving the country in search of a better life.

Chart-topping pop star Olly Alexander will be flying the flag for Britain in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest this weekend – despite describing himself as ‘ambivalent’ about the Union Jack.

The 33-year-old is hoping to become the UK’s first Eurovision winner since Katrina and the Waves in 1997 after overcoming his ordeal of being bullied at school to find fame and success as both a singer and an actor.

But he is apparently feeling the pressure to nail his performance after the singer cancelled an interview last night so he could rehearse.

An email sent from the organisers of the show on Friday read: ‘Please note that the big five and Sweden media conference originally scheduled for 18.30 (5.30pm BST) has been cancelled because all artists want to focus on rehearsals.’

Olly Alexander representing Britain with the song 'Dizzy' performs during the first semi final of the 68th Eurovision Song Contest

Olly Alexander representing Britain with the song ‘Dizzy’ performs during the first semi final of the 68th Eurovision Song Contest

Bambie Thug representing Ireland performs on stage during the first semi final of the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest, in Malmo, Sweden

Bambie Thug representing Ireland performs on stage during the first semi final of the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest, in Malmo, Sweden

Croatian singer Marko Purisic, aka Baby Lasagna, representing Croatia with his song 'Rim Tim Tagi Dim' at the first semi final

Croatian singer Marko Purisic, aka Baby Lasagna, representing Croatia with his song ‘Rim Tim Tagi Dim’ at the first semi final 

Switzerland's Nemo (pictured) is one of the favourites to win the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest - but has said that they do not feel 'pressure' of having the momentum to triumph

Switzerland’s Nemo (pictured) is one of the favourites to win the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest – but has said that they do not feel ‘pressure’ of having the momentum to triumph

Vuletic says that despite the contest’s reputation for disposable bubblegum pop, Eurovision often tackles ‘political and social issues such as feminism, European integration, gender identity.’

‘And I think they’re the very interesting songs to look out for, especially because they’re the most highly ranked by the bookies,’ he said.

The competing musicians are feeling the pressure, inundated with messages and abuse on social media and unable to speak out because of the contest rules. 

Italy’s contestant, Angelina Mango, made a statement by walking into the Eurovision media center on Friday and performing John Lennon’s Imagine as dozens of journalists gathered around her.

Swedish singer Loreen, last year’s Eurovision champion – and one of only two performers to win the contest twice – urged people not to shut down the ‘community of love’ that is Eurovision.

‘What is happening in the world today and in different places is distorting and traumatizing all of us,’ she told The Associated Press.

‘What heals trauma -. Does trauma heal trauma? Does negativity heal negativity? It doesn’t work like that. The only thing that heals trauma for real – this is science – is love.’

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