Tension explodes in the final Eurovision rehearsal: France, Greece and Switzerland are involved in incidents

The controversies do not stop just hours before the grand final of Eurovision 2024.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
11 May 2024 Saturday 05:29
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Tension explodes in the final Eurovision rehearsal: France, Greece and Switzerland are involved in incidents

The controversies do not stop just hours before the grand final of Eurovision 2024. This Saturday morning, the news came to light that the representative of the Netherlands, Joost Klein, had been expelled by the organization for "inappropriate behavior." The atmosphere, heated after these events, has finished heating up during the third general rehearsal of the gala, which has served to finally break out the tension. Several countries are now threatening not to appear in the final.

The tension in this edition was already palpable in the atmosphere throughout the week. Israel's participation in the full offensive in Gaza, as well as the attitude of its media and the country's delegation, has generated protests from several delegations and their artists. Precisely, this Saturday, Bambie Thug, the representative of Ireland, decided to be absent from the dress rehearsal to inform the European Broadcasting Union of a complaint about the pejorative comments made about her by the Israeli broadcasting corporation (KAN).

The Irish singer warned through her social networks of a serious “event” that occurred when they were waiting for the flag parade rehearsal. “I felt that urgent intervention by the EBU was necessary. The EBU is addressing the problem seriously and we are discussing what actions we should take,” she said in a statement. “This means I've missed my rehearsal. I am very sorry for all those fans who had come to see me. I hope we see each other on stage tonight,” said the singer.

For its part, Ireland's public broadcasting corporation (RTE) has not explicitly called for Israel's expulsion, but claims that its television's behavior violates the contest rules. On the other hand, they refer to the rules that the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has followed to exclude the Dutchman Joost Klein from the competition.

On the other hand, the Irish artist explained to RTÉ News what were the comments made by one of the commentators on Israeli public radio and television. Apparently, she warned the channel's viewers that her performance was “scary,” recommending that she not be watched by children. “There will be a lot of spells, black magic and dark clothes, satanic symbols and voodoo dolls, as if we were in Jerusalem's Cats Square in the mid-nineties,” the commentator said.

“I am furious at the fact that other delegations break the rules and are still allowed to be there,” the artist stated at the time. While Ireland is experiencing this situation, reactions of rejection of Israel's participation, or the war in Gaza, continue to occur from other delegations. During the flag parade three delegations did not come out: Ireland, Greece and Switzerland. In the case of the former, they did not go out to rehearse their number either. Yes, the representatives of the other two other countries did.

Nor has France been in agreement with everything that has happened. During her performance, Slimane, her representative, interrupted his performance to speak out and ask for peace. At the climax of the song, a cappella, she began to speak and threw a dart at the EBU. “United by music, yes. But with peace and love,” she said. A message similar to the one that the Italian Angelina Mango already launched before the press.

But the reactions have not ended here, since the criticism did not only come from artists. Shortly before 3:00 p.m., the withdrawal of the singer Alessandra Mele, who was to be the spokesperson for the votes of the Norwegian jury, was announced. “Tonight I was going to announce Norway's scores during the Eurovision final. Although I am grateful that I was given the opportunity to do so, I have made the decision to retire,” she began by saying on social media.

“The motto 'United by music' is the reason I make music: to bring people together. But right now, those words are just empty words. A genocide is taking place and I ask you to please open your eyes, to open your hearts. Let love guide you to the truth, it is right in front of you. Freedom for Palestine,” he ended by saying. Meanwhile, the atmosphere is very heated and Swedish television, SVT, has already reported on the holding of an EBU crisis cabinet to handle the unrest that arose after the expulsion of the Netherlands.