the EBU “regrets” that certain delegations did not “respect the spirit of the rules” of the competition

the EBU “regrets” that certain delegations did not “respect the spirit of the rules” of the competition
the EBU “regrets” that certain delegations did not “respect the spirit of the rules” of the competition

Following a particularly controversial edition, Eurovision organizers discuss the many tensions that marred the competition behind the scenes.

Two days after Switzerland’s victory at Eurovision 2024, in Malmö in Sweden, the organizers return to this controversial edition. In a press release published Monday May 13 and relayed by the BBC, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) “regrets” that certain delegations have not “respected the spirit of the rules.”

“We spoke with a number of delegations during the event, regarding various issues reported to us,” the organization said.

Before continuing: “The governing branches of the EBU, in partnership with the heads of delegation, will look into the events surrounding the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö in order to move forward positively and ensure that the values ​​of the event are respected by all”, we can read.

The EBU adds that each of the cases will be discussed later. But does not specify which artists or which incidents she is referring to. However, the 68th edition of Eurovision was particularly eventful.

Succession of controversies

Israel’s participation, in the midst of the Jewish state’s war against Hamas, has been the subject of numerous calls for boycott over recent months. It also gave rise to major pro-Palestinian demonstrations in the city of Malmö on the sidelines of the competition, where a major security system had been put in place precisely to avoid any clashes.

Eden Golan, the Israeli candidate, was surrounded by a large police force throughout the competition, only leaving her hotel room for rehearsals and official performances. In addition, on the evening of the final, the interpreter of Hurricane was booed during her appearance on stage.

Bambie Thug, the openly pro-Palestinian Irish candidate, accused the Israeli broadcaster at the end of the competition of having “incited violence” against her, without giving further details:

“We spoke about it to the EBU who waited until the last minute,” she told the media after the competition, as shown in a video from The Independent.

“They still haven’t communicated anything to us. They have let us become scapegoats (…). The (Israeli) broadcaster has not respected the rules and I hope that next year they will not be allowed to to participate for this reason It was so hard, so horrible for us (…) F*****g the EBU.”

Other images seem to show that certain candidates were particularly harsh with Eden Golan. Starting with Bambie Thug who, at the microphone of Sky News, launched a barely disguised dig at him. Arriving sixth in the final ranking, just behind the representative of Israel, the Irishwoman declared:

“The Top 6, except for one person, is made up entirely of freedom fighters.”

Tensions started during the first semi-final on May 7. Also according to the BBC, a commentator on Kan, the Israeli public broadcasting company, said at the time that Bambie Thug had “spoken badly about Israel”, adding “prepare your evil spells.” A probable reference to the esoteric aesthetic of the Irish singer, which the latter would have little taste for.

On the Thursday of the second semi-final, during a collegiate press conference, Greek candidate Marina Satti pretended to yawn and fall asleep as Eden Golan answered questions.

Joost Klein, the Dutch candidate, also stood out during the same press conference by expressing his disagreement with being placed next to Eden Golan. In particular, he had ostensibly covered his face with the Dutch flag on several occasions.

Backstage altercation

Joost Klein, in fact, is at the heart of a parallel controversy due to his elimination from the competition at the last minute for unclear reasons. The EBU announced his exclusion on May 11, hours before the grand final:

“Swedish police have investigated a complaint made by a female member of the production team following an incident after her performance in Thursday night’s semi-final,” the organization said.

While specifying that the incident at the origin of his exclusion “did not involve any other artist or member of the delegation.”

Avrotros, the Eurovision broadcaster in the Netherlands, reacted by explaining that Joost Klein had become angry after being filmed even though he had asked “repeatedly” not to be filmed. The fact that his request was not “respected” resulted in “a threatening movement” from the artist towards the camera. Avrotros specifies that “Joost did not touch the camerawoman”. Swedish police have opened an investigation into “intimidation” and, according to the Guardian, it is likely that the 26-year-old singer will face prosecution.

Nemo, non-binary artist who won the competition for Switzerland with his song The Codedeclared for his part that the experience had been “very intense”, and that “Eurovision perhaps needed some adjustments.”

Slimane, who defended France with his song Mon amour, delivered a message of peace during his final rehearsal, launching, in reference to the Eurovision slogan this year: “united by music”: “We have need to be united by music, yes, but in love and peace.”

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