Eurovision Dutch Contestant Joost Klein Disqualified

Dutch Eurovision contestant Joost Klein has been disqualified ahead of the competition’s Grand Final on Saturday night.

The performer was sent home after an allegation of intimidation was made to Swedish police by a female member of the production crew.

In a statementthe organizers of the event said: “While the legal process takes its course, it would not be appropriate for him to continue in the Contest. 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 behavior 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 behavior towards a team member is deemed in breach of Contest rules.”

Dutch broadcaster Avrtotros called the disqualification “disproportionate” in a statement on social media, adding that it was “shocked” by the decision and would “come back to this later.”

There was speculation on social media surrounding Joost’s conduct towards the Israeli contestant, 20-year-old Eden Golan, who has faced criticism over her participation and was booed while rehearsing this week.

Golan has become a lightning rod for wider criticism of Israel’s ongoing air strikes on Gaza, which, according to the territory’s health officials, has killed more than 34,000 people — most of them women and children — in seven months. It began in October when Palestinian militant group Hamas launched an incursion on an Israeli music festival and killed over 1,200 people.

The inclusion of Israel, a Eurovision winner in 1978, 1979, 1998 and 2018, in this year’s contest has sparked furious debate across Europe, particularly as Russia was barred from the event in 2022 after it invaded Ukraine.

The competition is now facing mass boycott as pro-Palestinian demonstrators take to outside the Eurovision venue in Malmö, Sweden, hosts of this year’s competition.

The Grand Final of the 68th Eurovision Song Contest will now proceed with 25 participating songs.

In Sweden, the Eurovision Grand Final kicks off at 9 p.m. local time, which is 12 p.m. PT.

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