Eurovision Disqualifies Dutch Entrant Hours Before Final

Just hours before this year’s Eurovision Song Contest final was scheduled to begin in Malmo, Sweden, on Saturday, the glitzy singing competition was thrown into crisis after organizers banned the Netherlands’ entry from taking part.

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.

Shortly afterward, the European Broadcasting Union, which organizes the contest, 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.

Eurovision organizers said in a new statement that it was Klein under investigation, and 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 spokesperson said that, on Thursday, Klein made “a threatening movement” toward a camera operator who was trying to film him after his semifinal performance. The camera operator had continued recording Klein even though he had “repeatedly indicated that he did not want to be,” the spokesperson added.

Klein’s Eurovision journey, the spokesperson said, “shouldn’t have ended this way.”

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