11 May, 2024 @ 17:07
2 mins read

Eurovision chaos: Major contender is disqualified just HOURS before final, Ireland misses dress rehearsals and protests erupt in Finland – while Israel is tipped as a FAVOURITE

THE final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2024 has been plunged into chaos just hours before it is due to begin.

The organiser of the event, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), revealed this morning that the Netherlands has been banned from competing.

It comes after the country’s act, Joost Klein, was allegedly involved in an ‘incident’ with the Israeli delegation.

The atmosphere in Malmo, Sweden, is said to be ‘tense’ due to the controversial inclusion of Israel, as it faces accusations of human rights absues over its military campaign in Gaza.

READ MORE: When and where can I watch Eurovision in Spain?

Joost Klein has been removed from the Eurovision final (CREDIT: Instagram)

The said ‘incident’ involving Klein is being kept under wraps, but according to reports, the Swedish police are investigating.

A member of the production team is said to have filed a complaint after the artist’s performance in the semi-final on Thursday.

“While the legal process continues, it would not be appropriate for them to continue in the competition,” the EBU added in a statement.

The organisation insisted the decision was unrelated to rumours of a fight between the Dutch interpreter and the Israeli team.

“We would like to make it clear that, contrary to some media reports and social media speculation, no other artists or members of any other delegation were involved in this incident,” it said.

Ireland’s Bambi Thug celebrates after making it through the semi-final of Eurovision 2024

Meanwhile, the delegation of the Netherlands said the decision adopted by the EBU was “disproportionate.” The statement also warned that “they will return to this matter later.”

It comes after a group of protesters in neighbouring Finland stormed the facilities of the Finnish public television network Yle, demanding that the final be boycotted due to Israel’s involvement.

Activists sat on the floor and unfurled banners reading ‘Boycott Eurovision’ and to ‘stop the genocide.’

Protesters argue that Israel is using the event to improve its image and have urged Yle to defend its values by withdrawing from the event.

There were also fears of another drop out today after it emerged Ireland’s entry had not performed during the dress rehearsal.

The artist, Bambie Thug, explained via Instagram: “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!”

Israel is the second most likely to win Eurovision tonight, according to Eurovision World

The EBU said it was looking into the matter.

It comes as Israel has emerged as a favourite in the contest, despite having received boos and jeers during their semi-final performance.

Eurovision World, which creates betting odds using data from Europe’s biggest bookmakers, says the country has a 22% chance of victory.

It is only beaten by Croatia’s Baby Lasagna, which has a 41% chance. The final will begin at 9pm Spanish time tonight.

Laurence Dollimore

Laurence has a BA and MA in International Relations and a Gold Standard diploma in Multi-Media journalism from News Associates in London. He has almost a decade of experience and previously worked as a senior reporter for the Mail Online in London.

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