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Dutch entry disqualified after ‘threatening movement’



The Netherlands entry for the Eurovision Song Contest, Joost Klein, was disqualified following a “threatening movement” from the singer towards a camerawoman, a Dutch radio and television broadcaster said.

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.

A statement from the Netherlands’ Songfestival, which sends acts to Eurovision, said Dutch radio and television broadcaster AVROTROS found Klein’s disqualification by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) “disproportionate” and said it was “very disappointed”.

In a statement on its official X page it said: “An incident occurred after last Thursday’s performance.

“Against clearly made agreements, Joost was filmed when he had just gotten off stage and had to rush to the greenroom. At that moment, Joost repeatedly indicated that he did not want to be filmed. This wasn’t respected.

“This led to a threatening movement from Joost towards the camera. Joost did not touch the camerawoman.

“This incident was reported, followed by an investigation by the EBU and police.

“Yesterday and today we consulted extensively with the EBU and proposed several solutions. Nevertheless, the EBU has still decided to disqualify Joost Klein. AVROTROS finds the penalty very heavy and disproportionate. We stand for good manners – let there be no misunderstanding about that – but in our view, an exclusion order is not proportional to this incident.

“We are very disappointed and upset for the millions of fans who were so excited for tonight.

“What Joost brought to the Netherlands and Europe shouldn’t have ended this way.”

It is still unclear if the Netherlands will participate in the Grand Final

Klein was disqualified from Saturday night’s Grand Final following a Swedish police investigation into allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

The EBU said police were investigating 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 in a statement.

“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.”

A follow-up statement said Dutch viewers would still be allowed to vote in the Grand Final and added that the Dutch jury result is still valid.

The EBU also said that it will inform all telecommunications partners that the Netherlands is no longer taking part and will endeavour to block the lines for song number five, which was Klein’s performance slot.

This year’s contest has faced multiple calls to boycott the competition over Israel’s participation and the week has seen protests in the centre of Malmo, the host city.

During the dress rehearsals, Palestinian flags – which had been banned by the organisers, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) – had been seen in the audience.

Palestinian flags were seen during the dress rehearsal

Also during the show, French contestant Slimane stopped singing his entry Mon Amour to call for peace amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

Meanwhile, Alessandra Mele withdrew from being Norway’s points spokesperson and said in an Instagram video that Eurovision’s motto – united by music – were “empty words”.

Kaarija, the jury spokesperson for Finland, and last year’s runner-up, also announced online that he had stepped down from his role as it “does not feel right”.

Croatia’s Baby Lasagna, real name Marko Purisic, has been tipped as a favourite to win the content, with the song Rim Tim Tagi Dim.

The EBU has been approached for comment.

Marty Whelan will host coverage of the event live on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player from 8pm, while Zbyszek Zalinski and Neil Doherty will lead commentary on RTÉ 2FM.

Source: Press Association

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