pro-European candidate from the Netherlands suspended from competition after “incident”

pro-European candidate from the Netherlands suspended from competition after “incident”
pro-European candidate from the Netherlands suspended from competition after “incident”

The participation in the final of the competition on Saturday by Joost Klein, author of the song “Europapa” in which he praises a Europe without borders, remains uncertain for the moment.

The hope of winning Eurovision is fading for the Netherlands. The Dutch candidate, Joost Klein, “will not repeat again until further notice”, announced the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), in charge of the musical competition, in a press release cited by Sky News, this Friday, May 10, the day before the grand final. The 26-year-old singer was to perform his song there Europapa in fifth place, ahead of Israeli Eden Golan and her title Hurricane.

“We are currently investigating an incident reported to us involving the Dutch artist”wrote the EBU before adding: “We have no further comment at this time and will update the information in due course.” For the moment, Joost Klein’s participation in the final remains uncertain.

“Why not ?”

This suspension is concomitant with his already controversial intervention during a press conference this Friday, May 10 which brought together several other participants in the competition, including Eden Golan, the Israeli candidate. The latter, who is the subject of violent criticism against the backdrop of the war in Gaza, was asked a sensitive question by a journalist: “Have you ever considered that by being here you are putting other participants at risk and danger?” The young woman imposed a silence of several seconds, before a member of the Israeli delegation explained to her that she was not “no obligation to answer if [elle] don’t want it”.

Two chairs away, Joost Klein, who was slumped in his chair and had placed a red sheet over his head, immediately woke up to scream “Why not ?”. Is this the reason why, also this Friday afternoon, the EBU announced the suspension of the candidate from the Netherlands who “will not repeat again until further notice” ? There is no certainty at this stage, the organizers having just justified their decision due to a “incident”. According to public television SVT, the“incident” mentioned by the EBU would be a confrontation between Joost Klein and a photographer.

Eden Golan finally answered the question by stating that the candidates are all there to “for one and only reason” and that the organizers take “all necessary precautions to make this place a safe and united place for all”. “I think that’s the case for everyone and we wouldn’t be here”she added.

The day before, at the end of the semi-final, the 26-year-old young man had expressed his disagreement with being placed next to the Israeli representative, notably covering his face with the Dutch flag on several occasions.

“Europe, let’s unite!”

Joost Klein is best known for his title Europapa in which he sings the colors of the European flag. “Europe, let’s unite! It’s now or never ! I love you all !”, he shouts at the start of the song, while the European elections are being held in a month. Words that resemble the EU motto: “United in diversity.” In his clip, the singer with peroxide bangs appears like a politician in a blue blazer with oversized shoulder pads, in front of microphones and in front of European flags.

These allusions are not anecdotal. Last fall, Geert Wilders’ far-right party, anti-immigration and eurosceptic, came first in the legislative elections in the Netherlands with a historic score of 23% of the vote. In his piece, Joost Klein, on the other hand, praises the abolition of the borders of the Shengen space: “I want to leave the Netherlands but I lost my passport. Luckily, I don’t need a visa to be near you.” “Music is an iceberg that people only see the tip of. I don’t blame them but I invite them to look below the surface.explains the singer at 20 minutes.

Read alsoStéphane Bern: “I deplore the politicization of Eurovision”

A total of 26 countries will compete on Saturday evening on the Eurovision stage in Malmö, Sweden. France, automatically qualified for the final, will be represented by Slimane and his title My love.

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