Singer's axing from Eurovision ‘disproportionate’, says Dutch broadcaster

The 68th edition of the popular song contest has not been without controversy.

Joost Klein’s axing from Eurovision ‘disproportionate’, says Dutch broadcaster Corinne Cumming/EBU

The Netherlands entry for the Eurovision Song Contest, Joost Klein, was disqualified following a “threatening movement” from the singer towards a camerawoman, a Dutch radio and television broadcaster said.

A statement from the Netherlands’ Songfestival, which sends acts to the Eurovision Song Contest, on X added that AVROTROS, the Dutch radio and television broadcaster, found the “penalty very heavy and disproportionate” and said it was “very disappointed”.

On X, formerly Twitter, the statement said: “An incident occurred after last Thursday’s performance. Against clearly made agreements, Joost was filmed when he had just gotten off stage and had to rush to the green room.

“At that moment, Joost repeatedly indicated that he did not want to be filmed. This wasn’t respected.

“This led to a threatening movement from Joost towards the camera. Joost did not touch the camerawoman. This incident was reported, followed by an investigation by the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) and police”.

Joost Klein at a press conference.PA Media

The statement said they had “consulted extensively with the EBU and proposed several solutions”, but that “nevertheless, the EBU has still decided to disqualify Joost Klein”.

It added that AVROTROS “finds the penalty very heavy and disproportionate”, saying they “stand for good manners – let there be no misunderstanding about that – but in our view, an exclusion order is not proportional to this incident”.

The statement ended saying: “We are very disappointed and upset for the millions of fans who were so excited for tonight. What Joost brought to the Netherlands and Europe shouldn’t have ended this way.”

Klein, 26, entered with the song Europapa, which is a tribute to his late parents.

He was disqualified from Saturday night’s grand final following a Swedish police investigation into allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

The EBU said police were investigating 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,” it said in a statement.

“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.

Joost Klein on stage.PA Media

“In light of this, Joost Klein’s behaviour towards a team member is deemed in breach of contest rules.”

A follow-up statement said Dutch viewers would still be allowed to vote in the grand final and added that the Dutch jury result is still valid.

The EBU also said that it will inform all telecommunications partners that the Netherlands is no longer taking part and will endeavour to block the lines for song number five, which was Klein’s performance slot.

There will now be one less contestant in the televised final on Saturday which will see performances from the likes of UK entry Olly Alexander, Ireland’s Bambie Thug and Israel’s Eden Golan, who will compete alongside 22 other countries.

This year’s contest has faced multiple calls to boycott the competition over Israel’s participation and the week has seen protests in the centre of Malmo, the host city.

Croatia’s Baby Lasagna, real name Marko Purisic, has been tipped as a favourite to win, with the song Rim Tim Tagi Dim.

The EBU has been approached for comment.

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code