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11th May 2024

Netherlands disqualified from Eurovision following ‘incident’

Charlie Herbert

Joost Klein had been one of the favourites to win

The Netherlands’ entrant for Eurovision has been kicked out of the contest following an “incident” on Thursday night.

Joost Klein, who was due to represent the Netherlands in Saturday night’s grand final, allegedly made verbal threats to a female production worker at the event’s venue in Malmo, Sweden.

The performer was sent home after the production worker made an allegation of intimidation to Swedish police, the BBC reports.

In a statement, Eurovision organisers 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 Avrtotros said Klein’s disqualification was “disproportionate.”

Klein had been one of the favourites to win this year’s Eurovision with his track Europapa, a happy-hardcore inspired song which had been labelled by one critic as “so bad” it will “put you off music forever.”

The song had been dedicated to his late father, who he had promised he would one day perform at Eurovision.

But as his props were being set up on stage inside Malmö Arena during the first dress rehearsal for Saturday’s live final, a production manager said they should be removed.

His performance was then skipped in the rehearsal with no explanation.

Event organisers, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), said they were “investigating an incident that was reported to us involving the Dutch artist”.

And on Saturday, Swedish police said they had received reports of a man making “unlawful threats” at Malmö Arena, after Thursday’s semi-final.

A spokesperson said: “The police have taken all essential investigative measures and questioned the suspect, plaintiff and witnesses.

“The investigation has been completed by the police… and the case will now go to the prosecutor within a few weeks.”

The final will go ahead with 25 entrants tonight.

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