Eurovision: Netherlands reveals why Joost Klein was disqualified from Grand Final

’The penalty was very heavy and disproportionate,’ contest’s Dutch organisers said

Jacob Stolworthy
Sunday 12 May 2024 13:25
Dutch Eurovison fans speak out after Netherlands contestant Joost Klein kicked off contest

Netherlands has shed more light on the “incident” that led to Eurovision’s disqualification of Dutch delegate Joost Klein.

Klein was barred from being able to perform at the event hours before it was scheduled to take place as police investigated a complaint of inappropriate behaviour made by a female member of the production crew.

This year’s tumultuous contest, which was won by Switzerland’s delegate Nemo, proceeded with 25 acts, including the UK’s Olly Alexander, who struggled to earn points, and Israel’s Eden Golan, who was booed by those gathered in the arena in Malmö, Sweden.

Organising body, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), released a statement saying that, “while the legal process takes its course, it would not be appropriate for him to continue in the contest”.

AVROTROS, who organises Netherlands’ entry to the Eurovision Song Contest, was unimpressed by the decision, stating it had ”proposed several solutions” to the issue.

The incident occurred at the semi-finals on Thursday (9 May), with the Dutch TV company shedding more light on what went down.

According to AVROTROS, Klein "repeatedly indicated that he did not want to be filmed”, which “led to a threatening movement from Joost towards the camera”.

They said: “Joost did not touch the camera woman.”

The EBU confirmed that, “contrary to some media reports and social media speculation, this incident did not involve any other performer or delegation member”.

After Klein was disqualified, AVROTROS said it found "the penalty very heavy and disproportionate", stating: “We stand for good manners – let there be no misunderstanding about that – but in our view, an exclusion order is not proportional to this incident."

Joost Klein was disqualified from Eurovision 2024 hours before he was due to perform (TT NEWS AGENCY/AFP via Getty Ima)

Explaining its 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.”

Switzerland won Eurovision with a whopping 591 points, closely followed by Croatia with 547 points.

Rounding out the top five were Ukraine (453 points), France (445 points) and Israel, who were awarded a full 12 points from the UK’s public vote. The country’s act, Eden Golan, received 375 points overall but, as noted by Graham Norton, received boos from the crowd.

The UK’s entry Olly Alexander finished in 18th place, out of 25, and received just 46 points for his song “Dizzy”, none of which came from the public televote.

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