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Dutch act barred from second Eurovision final rehearsal amid ‘incident’ probe | BreakingNews.ie

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Joost Klein, the Eurovision Song Contest entrant for the Netherlands, will not perform in a second dress rehearsal for the grand final while an investigation into an unspecified “incident” continues, the organisers have said.

The 26-year-old Dutch rapper and singer qualified at the Malmo Arena venue in Sweden on Thursday evening with his up-tempo song Europapa, a tribute to his late parents.

He was seen briefly at rehearsals on Friday during the flag parade before missing the performance of his track.

A statement from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said: “The investigation into the incident with the Dutch artist in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest is still ongoing.

“Discussions are also taking place between the EBU and Avrotros, the Dutch participating broadcaster.

“While the investigation continues, the EBU has decided that Joost Klein will not perform during dress rehearsal two of the competition, which is voted on by juries in the 37 participating countries.

“His performance from semi-final two will be used instead.”

It comes as Spain’s state-owned broadcaster told the event’s organisers “press and opinion” needed to be respected.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, RTVE wrote: “The Spanish delegation from @eurovision_tve has conveyed to @EBU_HQ its commitment to freedom of the press and opinion, and has asked that @Eurovision is seen to respect this.”

Israel’s entry is Eden Golan (Martin Meissner/AP)

This year’s contest has been mired in controversy around the participation of Israel in the wake of the worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza.

Israeli act Eden Golan, whose emotional song Hurricane was reworked from a previous track called October Rain, which was thought to reference the Hamas attacks on Israel that sparked the conflict, will take part in Saturday’s final.

RTVE also announced it would host the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Madrid on November 16th after previous winners France turned down the opportunity.

The media event where Ana Maria Bordas, head of the Spanish delegation, announced Madrid would be the next host of the junior version of the contest, was conducted in a way that did not appear to allow for questions.

Earlier, the EBU cancelled a media conference with the acts who were granted automatic places in the grand final.

An email from the organisers read: “Please note that the big five and Sweden media conference originally scheduled for 18.30 has been cancelled because all artists want to focus on rehearsals.”

It also came as the EBU website appeared to have run into technical difficulty, showing “access denied” and refusing entry permission.

Ireland’s entry Bambie Thug will be among the 26 nations competing for the title on Saturday night from 8pm Irish time.

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