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Dutch entry Joost Klein disqualified and thousands protest Israel : Eurovision final 2024 latest

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Published Time: 11.05.2024 - 19:25:33 Modified Time: 11.05.2024 - 19:25:33

Andreas Hillergren/TT/Reuters Chosen by us to get you up to speed at a glanceBreak out your most retina-searing sequins and prepare your giant hamster wheel it’s time for the 68th Eurovision Song Contest! The final of Europe’s wackiest music competition will be broadcast live tonight from Malmö in Sweden, after the Scandi nation’s Loreen triumphed last year with her song Tattoo

: Andreas Hillergren/TT/Reuters

Chosen by us to get you up to speed at a glance

Break out your most retina-searing sequins and prepare your giant hamster wheel: it’s time for the 68th Eurovision Song Contest! The final of Europe’s wackiest music competition will be broadcast live tonight from Malmö in Sweden, after the Scandi nation’s Loreen triumphed last year with her song Tattoo.

The UK’s 2024 hopeful is Olly Alexander, but – let’s be real – he’s not among the main favourites. Instead, watch out for the likes of Croatia’s deliriously batty Baby Lasagna, Switzerland’s Carmen-riffing Nemo, and Ireland’s Pagan witch entry, Bambi Thug.

But, as much as the organisers would like to stress that this is a non-political event, the talk of the night will likely be Israel. Their 20-year-old singer, Eden Golan, has been met with a storm of protest over the war in Gaza. Further controversy has come with the last-minute exclusion of the Dutch entry following an incident involving a female crew member.

Follow all the Eurovision grand final action with us live. Coverage begins on BBC One and BBC iPlayer at 8pm tonight.

That would be Olly Alexander, of the band Years & Years (and also recently an actor in the moving TV drama It’s A Sin). His Pet Shop Boys-esque electro-dance-pop track Dizzy is a decent listen, but we’re not holding our breath for a British victory.Neil calls Dizzy “a blend of Balearic beats and sugary sentiments delivering upbeat sentiments with a minor chord melodic tension” – imitating last year’s Swedish winner. But it’s just too formulaic, he fears.Still, if Alexander can finish higher than Mae Muller did last year (25th place – ouch), we’ll call that a partial win.

: AP Photo/Martin Meissner

The dynamic duo of Hollywood actress Malin Åkerman and comedian and Eurovision regular Petra Mede. They’ve also hosted the semi-finals, so should be unfazed by the most eccentric acts – although this year’s political drama makes this a rather unusual challenge, with potential for a few surprises along the way.Graham Norton will, as usual, be providing snarky commentary for British viewers, and Joanna Lumley is our glamorous UK jury spokesperson.

: JESSICA GOW/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

The Dutch broadcaster, AVROTROS, has hit out against the EBU for disqualifying Joost Klein, saying that it was a “heavy” and disproportionate” response to the incident.

They explained that Klein had repeatedly asked not to be filmed coming off the stage and had made a “threatening movement” towards the camerawoman, but clarified that he did not touch her.

AVROTROS added that despite posing “several solutions” to the EBU to keep Klein in the contest, he was disqualified

In a statement, they said: 

Statement AVROTROS #europapa #eurovision #eurovision2024 pic.twitter/XunuOe4jU6

As if the EBU didn’t have enough drama on its hands… Just today, it’s been announced that Dutch contestant Joost Klein has been disqualified from competing in the grand final following an incident with a female crew member.Previously, rapper Klein was barred from the dress rehearsals while the EBU looked into the matter.In a statement today announcing Klein’s exclusion, the EBU said: “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.”That clarification about “any other performer” is likely because at the semi-finals press conference, Klein made a comment after Israel’s Eden Golan was told by organisers she didn’t have to answer a question about her presence potentially putting other contestants’ safety at risk. “Why not?” demanded Klein.

: Corinne Cumming/EBU/PA

: JESSICA GOW/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

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