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Eurovision removes the Netherlands from rehearsals and its participation in the final is up in the air: the mysterious incident investigated by the EBU

Joost Klein, representative of the Netherlands at Eurovision. (Ida Marie Odgaard/EFE)

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has suspended this Friday the rehearsals for the final of Eurovision 2024 of the Netherlands for an “incident” in which its candidate would have been involved, Joost Kleinand that is being investigated.

We are investigating an incident that has been communicated to us and that implicates the Dutch artist. He will not rehearse until further notice,” says the statement, which indicates that there will be more information when it is available.

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After hours of uncertainty and silence on the part of the EBU, the institution has issued a statement minutes before the start of the Jury Show – the general rehearsal of the final in which the jurors vote – to inform that Netherlands would not be present in the same.

Joost Klein, representative of the Netherlands at Eurovision, during a rehearsal.  (REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger)
Joost Klein, representative of the Netherlands at Eurovision, during a rehearsal. (REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger)

“The investigation into the incident with the Dutch artist at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest is still ongoing. Discussions are also taking place between the EBU and AVROTROS, the participating Dutch broadcaster. While the investigation continues, the EBU has decided that Joost Klein will not perform during general rehearsal 2 of the competition, which is voted on by juries from the 37 participating countries,” reads the note, which clarifies that for this Friday’s show recording of the performance will be used of the Netherlands in the second semi-final this Thursday.

Klein, who yes he has participated in the flag parade initial of the first rehearsal this Friday, has not appeared on stage when her turn to perform arrived, in fifth place, one ahead of the Israeli candidate, Eden Golan.

Precisely, both experienced a tense situation in the press conference after the second semifinal this Thursday, in which they achieved their qualification. It happened when a Polish journalist asked the Israeli artist about her responsibility in the highest level of terrorist alert that Malmö was experiencing: “By being here, you are a security risk and a danger to everyone! Do not care?”.

Eden Golan, during the flag parade of the Eurovision 2024 final rehearsal. (REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger)
Eden Golan, during the flag parade of the Eurovision 2024 final rehearsal. (REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger)

Faced with this question, the moderator of the press conference told Golan that, if he did not want to, he did not have to answer it. “Why not?”, Klein then intervened out loud, an episode that quickly went viral on the networks. Finally, the singer answered the journalist’s question: “I believe that we are all here for a reason and also that the EBU has taken all the precautions to make this safe for everyone.”

Given what happened this Friday, the first reports pointed to an incident between Joost and a member of the Israeli delegation, although later the Swedish media spoke of a confrontation between the artist and a photographer. Other versions of the news allude to an alleged violent attitude of the Dutch representative towards a woman who is part of the contest’s production team. Meanwhile, The EBU still does not clarify what happened nor make a decision about it.

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This situation occurs in a very tense edition due to all the voices opposed to Israel, immersed in a bloody military offensive in Gaza with almost 35,000 Palestinian civilian deaths, being part of the competition.

In the semi-final, Golan heard boos from her detractors and applause from her supporters for much of her performance on Thursday. Furthermore, the streets of Malmö hosted a large pro-Palestinian demonstration calling for Israel’s expulsion from Eurovision.

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