Eurovision final: Joost Klein disqualified after ‘threatening movement’ says Dutch broadcaster

Joost Klein of the Netherlands has been disqualified from the final of the Eurovision Song Contest (AP)
Joost Klein of the Netherlands has been disqualified from the final of the Eurovision Song Contest (AP)

The Netherlands entry for the Eurovision Song Contest, Joost Klein, was disqualified following a “threating movement” from the singer towards a camerawoman, a Dutch radio and television broadcaster has claimed.

The statement from the Netherlands’ Songfestival X page said Dutch radio and television broadcaster AVROTROS found Klein’s disqualification by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) “disproportionate” and said it was “very disappointed”.

In a statement on its official X page it said: “An incident occurred after last Thursday’s performance.

“Against clearly made agreements, Joost was filmed when he had just gotten off stage and had to rush to the greenroom.

“At that moment, Joost repeatedly indicated that he did not want to be filmed.

“This wasn’t respected. This led to a threatening movement from Joost towards the camera.

“Joost did not touch the camerawoman.

“This incident was reported, followed by an investigation by the EBU and police.

“Yesterday and today we consulted extensively with the EBU and proposed several solutions.

“Nevertheless, the EBU has still decided to disqualify Joost Klein.

“AVROTROS finds the penalty very heavy and disproportionate.

“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.

“We are very disappointed and upset for the millions of fans who were so excited for tonight.

“What Joost brought to the Netherlands and Europe shouldn’t have ended this way.”

Klein, who entered with the song Europapa, was disqualified from the Eurovision Song Contest grand final following a Swedish police investigation into allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

The EBU said police were investigating a complaint made by a female member of the production crew after an incident following his performance in Thursday night’s semi-final.

“While the legal process takes its course, it would not be appropriate for him to continue in the contest,” it said in a statement.

“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.

“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.”

A follow-up statement said Dutch viewers would still be allowed to vote in the grand final and added that the Dutch jury result is still valid.

The union also said that it will inform all telecommunications partners that the Netherlands is no longer taking part and will endeavour to block the lines for song number five, which was Klein’s performance slot.

There will now be one less contestant in the televised final on Saturday which will see performances from the likes of UK entry Olly Alexander, Ireland’s Bambie Thug and Israel’s Eden Golan, who will compete alongside 22 other countries.

On Saturday, Bambie Thug said they missed their dress rehearsal after a “situation” required “urgent attention” from the EBU.

On their Instagram story, they wrote: “Dear Coven, There was a situation while we were waiting to go to stage for the flag parade rehearsal which I felt needed urgent attention from the EBU – the EBU have taken this matter seriously and we have been in a discussion about what action needs to be taken.

“This means I have missed my dress rehearsal – I am really sorry to the fans that have come to see me.

“I hope to see you on the stage tonight.”

The EBU has been approached for comment.