The Netherlands' Joost Klein is kicked out of Eurovision, but the Dutch can still vote

The Netherlands' Joost Klein is kicked out of Eurovision, but the Dutch can still vote

The European Broadcast Union put out a statement around midday on Saturday saying that the complaint was made after an incident following Klein's performance in Thursday night’s Semi Final.

He had failed to attend two dress rehearsals in Malmo on Friday, prompting an investigation into the "incident", by the EBU, the organiser of the contest.

It added that "while the legal process takes its course, it would not be appropriate for him to continue in the Contest."

“No points will be awarded to the Netherlands from the viewing public,” the EBU said.

“Dutch viewers are still allowed to vote in the grand final and the Dutch jury result is still valid. The EBU will inform all telecommunications partners that the Netherlands is no longer participating, and we will endeavour to block the lines for song five.”

Though rumours had been flying the incident was connected to Israel’s delegation, organisers said the incident “did not involve any other performer or delegation member.”

It was unclear whether Klein was still in Malmo on Saturday.

Such a last-minute disqualification is unprecedented in the 68-year history of Eurovision, although countries have boycotted the event and in some cases been expelled — including Russia, kicked out after its 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

Dutch broadcaster AVROTOS, one of dozens of public broadcasters that collectively fund and broadcast the contest, said it “finds the disqualification disproportionate and is shocked by the decision.”

The EBU said "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."

The 26-year-old Dutch singer and rapper had been a bookies’ favourite, as well as a fan favourite, with his song “Europapa,” an upbeat Euro-techno ode to the continent that is also a tribute to Klein’s parents who died when he was a child.

The competition was already proving divisive over the inclusion of Israel. It has attracted large protests from Palestinians and their supporters, who say Israel should be excluded after killing thousands of Palestinian civilians in Gaza.