Eurovision’s Bambie Thug cried after finding out Israel had made it to final

Ireland’s Eurovision Song Contest entry Bambie Thug has said they cried with their team after discovering Israel had qualified for the grand finale.

Israel’s entry Eden Golan qualified on Thursday for the final with her song Hurricane amid pro-Palestinian protests against the country being included in the event.

Bambie, who uses the pronouns they/them, wore a keffiyeh material, commonly used to suggest pro-Palestinian leanings, and carried Irish flags when they spoke to journalists ahead of the event at Malmo Arena in Sweden.

Asked how they felt when Golan qualified, the singer, who has become the first Irish entry to make the final since 2018, said: “I cried with my team.”

Discussing Israel’s inclusion, they added: “It is a complete overshadow of everything, goes against everything that Eurovision is meant to be.

“It’s a big, big community together and their contestant was never allowed to even meet us.

“God forbid we have some conversation where minds might be changed.

“It’s definitely putting a cloud above it for everyone.”

The singer also said they were fearful Ireland might miss out on votes due to the ongoing boycott to stop Eurovision.

In March, Bambie shared a statement, signed by a number of Eurovision contestants, setting out why they will remain in the competition.

They said: “I am fearful that we will miss a lot of votes because of the boycotting and that those then will make someone else maybe more with the chance to win.

“But there are 200 million viewers and I think that, regardless, our performance stands out and it’s undeniable how theatrical … a moment that is.”

Ahead of Golan’s performance on Thursday, a heavy police presence arrived at Malmo’s main square in anticipation of protests.

Bambie will perform at the grand finale on Saturday with their gothic Doomsday Blue.

Irish premier Simon Harris said the “whole country will be rooting” for the singer when the contest takes place.

The EBU and Golan’s representatives have been approached for comment.