Joost Klein's Eurovision fate hangs in balance amid backstage incident

Written by Jakob A. Overgaard

May.11 - 2024 9:01 AM CET

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In a twist that could alter the outcome of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, Dutch contestant Joost Klein may not perform in the upcoming final.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has temporarily suspended Klein pending an investigation into a backstage incident, the specifics of which remain undisclosed. This unexpected development has cast a shadow over Klein's anticipated performance this Saturday.

As reported by numerous media outloets, e.g. nu.nl.

The decision to withhold Klein from Friday evening's dress rehearsal was announced by the EBU, which stated that jurors would instead view a taped performance from an earlier session this week. This rehearsal is crucial as it is considered by the juries across Europe to finalize their scores for the contestants.

Klein, who is known for his song "Europapa," a tribute to his late parents, had vowed to fulfill his promise to them by competing at Eurovision.

His song has been regarded as one of the favorites in this year's competition. However, the current situation has put his participation in jeopardy.

On Friday afternoon, during the initial dress rehearsal for the grand final, Klein’s absence became evident. His stage props were initially being set up in the Malmö Arena when suddenly, a production manager halted the process.

Without any explanation, Klein’s slot was bypassed, and the subsequent performance was from Israel’s Eden Golan.

Later in the evening, the EBU made a public statement confirming the ongoing investigation involving the Dutch artist but did not provide further details. The statement highlighted that discussions were also ongoing between the EBU and AVROTROS, the Dutch broadcaster involved in the contest.

Speculation around Klein’s suspension has been rife, with initial theories suggesting an altercation with the Israeli delegation.

This year's Eurovision has been fraught with geopolitical tensions, reflected in the complex security dynamics of the event. At a press conference just a day earlier, when an Israeli journalist queried if participating brought any risk or danger, Klein interjected, prompting a discussion on the security measures in place.

The EBU has assured that it is taking all necessary steps to ensure the event remains a safe and inclusive environment for all participants.

They have yet to decide whether Klein's performance from the second semi-final will suffice or if he will be allowed to perform live should the investigation conclude in time. The organization promised further updates as the situation develops.

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