Eurovision Disqualifies Dutch Singer Hours Before Final

Hours before this year’s Eurovision Song Contest final, the organizers banned the Netherlands’ entry from taking part in the singing competition in Malmo, Sweden, on Saturday.

On Friday, the Dutch musician, Joost Klein, whose songs mix pop with hyperfast beats, did not appear for a scheduled rehearsal to perform his song “Europapa,” a song about a transcontinental European odyssey that had been among the favorites to win.

The European Broadcasting Union, which organizes the contest, also said in a statement that it was “investigating an incident” involving the Dutch artist. 

On Saturday morning, a Swedish police spokeswoman said in an email that officers were investigating a man “suspected of unlawful threats” toward a Eurovision employee and had passed a file to prosecutors to consider charges.

Due to the ongoing investigation, Eurovision organizers said that “it would not be appropriate” for the musician to compete in Saturday’s final while a legal process was underway.

The decision caused an immediate uproar among Eurovision fans on social media, many of whom were backing Klein to win.

AVROTROS, the Dutch public broadcaster that picked Klein to represent the Netherlands at Eurovision, also objected to his disqualification.

In an emailed statement, a spokesperson for the broadcaster said that the organizers’ decision was “very heavy and disproportionate.”

The investigation is still ongoing, but sadly, Klein’s Eurovision journey has ended.