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Netherlands Entrant Joost Klein Has Been Disqualified From Eurovision

The unprecedented action comes after a complaint made by a female member of the production crew.

joost klein
Source: EBU/SARAH LOUISE BENNETT

Joost Klein has been disqualified from Eurovision 2024.

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Joost Klein, the Dutch contestant for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, has been ejected from the final after a complaint made by a female member of the production crew.

In a statement issued by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the body in charge of the annual song contest, just hours before the ceremony on Saturday May 11, they said that the disqualification came following “a complaint made by a female member of the production crew after an incident following his performance in Thursday night’s Semi Final”. The complaint is now being investigated by Swedish police.

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joost klein
Source: EBU/SARAH LOUISE BENNETT

The complaint against Klein is now being investigated by Swedish police.

The EBU also added that incident did not involve any other performer or delegation member, following reports of friction between Klein and the Israeli singer Eden Golan.

Israel’s presence in the competition amid the ongoing war in Gaza has been the subject of controversy in the build-up to the contest, and at a recent press conference, a Polish reporter asked Golan if she was putting the other contestants in danger by participating. When a moderator told the performer she didn't have to answer, Klein then asked “Why not?”

However, Klein’s ejection now appears to be unrelated to that incident. The EBU statement adds that: “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 behavior towards a team member is deemed in breach of Contest rules.”

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joost klein
Source: EBU/Corinne Cumming

Klein's disqualification is unique in Eurovision history.

It is the first time in Eurovision’s 68-year history that a contestant has been disqualified after the official start of the event.

The disqualification follows Klein’s omission from rehearsals on Friday May 10. While speculation raged on social media about why that last-minute decision had been taken, the EBU refused to be drawn on the reasons, telling the BBC: “While the investigation continues the EBU has decided that Joost Klein will not perform during Dress Rehearsal 2… His performance from Semi Final 2 will be used instead.”

But now it seems those investigations have been deemed sufficiently serious to eject Klein from the competition altogether.

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joost klein
Source: EBU/Corinne Cumming

Klein's song 'Europapa' was one of the pre-tournament favorites.

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Joost Klein was one of the pre-tournament favorites this year, with his song “Europapa” described by Q as, “Combining a “lovably”-quirky singer, a mad comedy rap, a man dressed as a blue chicken on the keyboards and a chorus of remarkable silliness,” with “a ridiculous message imploring world peace and goodwill to all mankind at the end.”

In a statement, the The Dutch Public Broadcasting (NPO) described the decision as “drastic”.

“The NPO considers this a very drastic decision,” they said. “This is a disappointment for the millions of Eurovision fans in the Netherlands and other European countries. We will extensively evaluate the course of events after the Eurovision Song Contest with [Dutch broadcaster] AVROTROS, the EBU and all other parties involved.”

There will be no replacement for Klein in tonight’s final, with the running order reduced from 26 contestants to 25, although the Dutch jury and public will still be allowed to vote.

joost klein
Source: EBU/SARAH LOUISE BENNETT

The EBU says it maintains 'a zero-tolerance policy towards inappropriate behaviour'.

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Statement by the European Broadcasting Union

The Dutch artist Joost Klein will not be competing in the Grand Final of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

Swedish police have investigated 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.

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.

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

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