Dutch artist cut from Eurovision final after complaint by female crew

Klein missed two scheduled dress rehearsals on Friday while an investigation took place, ITV News Entertainment Editor Nina Nannar reports

The Dutch Eurovision act will not be competing in the Grand Final of this year's contest following a complaint by a female member of the production crew, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has said.

The Contest will go ahead with 25 countries now that Joost Klein will not be participating, while Ireland's entry missed their dress rehearsal on Saturday due to an "urgent" situation.

Both Bambie Thug and the organisers of Eurovision said they hoped the situation would be "resolved shortly", so the singer could take part in the Grand Final.

Addressing Joost Klein's disqualification, the EBU said: "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", it said.

"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."

Dutch broadcaster AVROTROS has said it "finds the disqualification disproportionate" and is "shocked" by the decision.

"We deeply regret this and will come back to this later," it said in a post on X.

Klein missed two scheduled dress rehearsals on Friday while an investigation into an incident took place.

The 26-year-old rapper and singer qualified in the semi-final on Thursday with his up-tempo song Europapa, a tribute to his late parents.

Swedish news outlets had reported that he was being investigated after an incident involving a television production worker.

Such a last-minute disqualification is unprecedented in the 68-year history of Eurovision.

Previous disqualifications include the Belarusian entry in 2021, but that was on the basis of the song lyrics being too political and the act refusing to change them, while Romania was barred in 2016 after not having paid outstanding debts owed to the EBU.

The EBU also banned Russia from competing in 2022 following the country's invasion of Ukraine. Russia continues to not be allowed to enter the Contest.

How does this change the event?

The Eurovision Song Contest released a statement explaining the changes that would be made to the Grand Final in light of Klein being cut from the event:

  • All contestants will keep their original place in the running order, there will just be no song in position five, which is when Klein was due to perform;

  • The jury results, which were received after the second dress rehearsal on Friday 10 May, have been recalculated so that the Netherlands will not receive any points;

  • No points will be awarded to the Netherlands from the viewing public;

  • Viewers in the Netherlands are still allowed to vote in the Grand Final and the Netherlands Jury result in still valid;

  • The Netherlands will not appear on the scoreboard.

The EBU will inform all of its broadcasting partners that the Netherlands are no longer participating and it will endeavour to block the voting lines so that viewers cannot vote for the act.

"We ask that no one attempts to vote for Song 5. Should anyone try to vote for song 5 their votes will not count but there is a possibly viewers may be charged," the Eurovision Song Contest said in a statement.

Klein's removal from the final is just the latest in a string of controversies and challenges at this year's Eurovision Song Contest.

'Urgent' situation causes Ireland to miss dress rehearsal

Ireland's Eurovision contestant Bambie Thug said they missed their dress rehearsal following a “situation” which required “urgent attention” from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

On their Instagram story, they 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.

“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.”

The EBU issued a statement that said: “We are just looking into it.”

Eurovision employee questioned

An employee at Eurovision was questioned by police over allegations of threats at the Contest, it was announced on Saturday.

Police confirmed he is not a Eurovision act.

A spokeswoman for the Swedish Police Authority said in a statement: “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," Swedish authorities said.

“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.”

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