Dutch performer who played in Russia after the invasion banned from Eurovision finals

Joost Klein
Joost Klein

Dutch performer Joost Klein, who performed in Russia after its full-scale invasion of Ukraine and was set to represent the Netherlands at the Eurovision finals, has been banned from the competition, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) announced.

"Swedish police have investigated a complaint made by a female member of the production crew after an incident following his performance in Thursday night's semi-final," the EBU said in its statement.

"While the legal process takes its course, it would not be appropriate for him to continue in the contest."

Read also: Dutch Eurovision 2024 representative collaborated with Russian artists after full-scale invasion

Klein participated in yesterday's flag parade part of the dress rehearsal before being removed before his time to rehearse his song.

Ukrainian media had earlier reported that Klein had collaborated with Russia's CMH (CrazyMegaHell) and Russian Village Boys in March 2023, before performing in St. Petersburg in Summer 2022 - several months after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Media on-site in Malmo, Sweden suspected his removal could be related to an altercation he had with Israeli artist Eden Golan during a Thursday press conference.

Golan was asked if she had "ever thought that by being here you bring risk and danger for other participants and public?"

When the moderator mentioned that she did not have to answer, Klein interrupted to ask "Why not?"

The EBU was quick to point out that the altercation with the Israeli artist was not part of its decision to qualify Joost.

"We would like to make it clear that, contrary to some media reports and social media speculation, this incident did not involve any other performer or delegation member," the EBU said.

The EBU statement did not address Klein's performance in Russia post-Ukrainian invasion.

It is unclear whether Klein's altercation with the Israeli artist or his post-Ukrainian invasion performances in Russia played any part in the EBU's decision to band the Dutch artist.

Read also: Ukraine’s Eurovision Wartime Playlist

Local media reported that the incident involved a member of the television production team, the BBC reported.

"We maintain a zero-tolerance policy towards inappropriate behavior at our event and are committed to providing a safe and secure working environment for all staff at the contest," the EBU said.

"In light of this, Joost Klein's behavior towards a team member is deemed in breach of contest rules."

Swedish police confirmed that a man made "unlawful threats" at Malmö Arena following Thursday's semi-final, the BBC confirmed.

"The police have taken all essential investigative measures and have questioned the suspect, plaintiff, and witnesses," a police spokesperson said.

"The investigation has been completed by the police ... the case will now go to the prosecutor within a few weeks."

In its 67-year history, no contestant has ever been banned from the finals this late in the competition.

Dutch broadcaster Avrtotros said the decision to ban Klein was "disproportionate" and that it was "shocked by the decision."

The group promised to "come back to this later."

Read also: Before Eurovision 2024 - Alyona Alyona and Jerry Heil's 5 best joint collaborations before Teresa & Maria

NV will have live text updates during tonight's Eurovision finals.

The broadcast is available in English on YouTube and begins at 10:00 p.m. EET on May 11.

Ukraine is represented by the song Teresa & Maria by Alyona Alyona and Jerry Heil.

We’re bringing the voice of Ukraine to the world. Support us with a one-time donation, or become a Patron!

Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine