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Dutchman Joost Klein excluded from Eurovision 2024

MALMO, Sweden (AP) — A Dutch public broadcaster reacted angrily after the Dutch competition contestant Eurovision Song Contest was dramatically kicked out of the competition hours before Saturday’s final following a backstage incident which police are investigating.

The European Broadcasting Union, which organizes Eurovisionsaid Swedish police were investigating “a complaint made by a female member of the production team” about Joost Klein, and that it would not be appropriate for him to participate while legal proceedings are ongoing.

Klein was unable to perform at two dress rehearsals on Friday in the Swedish city of Malmö, and organizers said they were investigating an “incident”. Although rumors swirled that the incident was linked to the Israeli delegation, organizers said it “did not involve any other artists or members of the delegation.”

The EBU said Klein would not receive any points from national juries or Eurovision viewers, who help choose the winner, and that the Netherlands would not appear on the competition’s scoreboard. Dutch viewers will still be able to vote in the contest, since viewers from Eurovision member countries are not allowed to vote for their own nation’s act.

It was unclear whether Klein was still in Malmö on Saturday.

Such a last-minute disqualification is unprecedented in Eurovision’s 68-year history, although countries have boycotted the event and, in some cases, been expelled – including Russia, expelled after its invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Dutch broadcaster AVROTOS, one of dozens of public channels that collectively finance and broadcast the competition, said it “finds the disqualification disproportionate and is shocked by the decision.”

“We deeply regret this and will return to it later,” he said in a statement.

The 26-year-old Dutch singer and rapper was a bookies’ favorite, as well as a fan favorite, with his song “Europapa”, an upbeat Euro-techno ode to the continent that is also a tribute to Klein’s late parents. when he was young.

The competition which pits nations against each other for the glory of pop music has already been marked by divisions over the inclusion of Israel. He attracted major events Palestinians and their supporters, who argue that Israel should be excluded because of its conduct of war against Hamas.

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News Source : apnews.com

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