Eurovision viewers claim 'anti-booing' crowd noise used for Israel

Those watching the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2024 on TV claimed Israel's performance got an awkward reaction from the audience.

Eden Golan from Israel performs
Israel's Eden Golan was allegedly booed during the Eurovision semi-final. (Getty Images)

Eurovision viewers claimed fake crowd noise was played to drown out the boos for Israel's performance.

The second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2024 was broadcast live from Malmö, Sweden on Thursday evening. Israel's Edan Golan was one of the 16 competing acts performing to win one of 10 places in the grand final. But Israel's entry has caused controversy as some believe they should not have been allowed into the contest due to the conflict in Gaza. For that reason many Eurovision fans are staging a boycott of the contest this year.

Despite the controversy Israel has been voted through to the final on Saturday night by the public. The UK did not vote, as they had the semi-final vote on Tuesday night.

Eden Golan from Israel performs
Israel's participation in the Eurovision Song Contest 2024 has caused controversy. (Getty Images)

Israel's Edan Golan took to the stage to perform her song Hurricane in the second semi-final. She needs the public vote to go through to the final.

It was reported that a small number of people walked out of the room when Golan began her performance. Among them were former Ireland Eurovision act Jedward. A video on social media showed a man waving a Palestinian flag being removed from the venue during Israel's performance.

During the ballad the crowd was certainly not as vocal as during the other performances of the night.

Some viewers observed there seemed to be an 'awkward' silence during the performance, while others claimed they could hear booing. Others alleged the broadcast was using fake crowd noises as "anti-booing technology" to drown out the true reaction from the audience.

One wrote on social media platform X: "I could hear booing even over the fake crowd noise #Eurovision." Another commented: "I'm not surprised Israel is getting booed #eurovision." Another claimed: "some serious anti-booing technology at work here #eurovision." And another observed: "Anti-booing technology worked overtime tonight lol #Eurovision." Another asked: "Are they just nerfing the audio? You can still hear the booing tbh #Eurovision."

There was support online for Edan Golan by viewers who felt she put on a good effort in difficult circumstances.

One posted: "Easily the most emotional moment of this year's eurovision hurricane is such a beautiful song and eden golan performs it flawlessly, israel is standing strong and proud and it's here to stay no matter the hate! [sic]" Another said: "seeing israel performing at eurovision 7 months after the terrorist attacks and the antisemitism that's burst out since then is beautiful eden golan is a symbol of the resilience and strength of all israeli people." And another shared: "14. Israel Politics aside (as it should be in this comp!), a brilliant song and performance. #Eurovision #ISR #YSR"

But others voiced their displeasure.

One wrote: "#Eurovision Israel’s participation is a SHAME." Another posted: "Not really watched or been interested in #EUROVISION this year so far tbh but watching the semi final. The Israel song is prob the best I’ve heard tonight and the singer has a great voice . However I would never in a million years vote for them, not even if they paid me." And another said: "Even if Israel had been best song, it's not getting public vote, is it? #Eurovision"

Israel launched its offensive on Palestinian enclave Gaza in response to a surprise attack by Hamas on 7 October 2023, which saw 1,400 Israelis killed.

Russia was scheduled to participate in the Eurovision 2022 in Italy. But the country was suspended from the contest in February 2022 due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. That suspension remains in place and Russia may not participate in or broadcast the song contest.

07 May 2024, Sweden, Malmö: Baby Lasagna from Croatia with the song
Croatia's Baby Lasagna is favourite to win Eurovision 2024. (Getty Images)

Also going through with Israel from the second semi-final are Latvia, Austria, Netherlands, Norway, Greece, Estonia, Switzerland, Georgia, Estonia and Armenia.

Malta, Albania, Czechia, Denmark, San Marino, Belgium, Australia, Iceland, Poland, Azerbaijan and Moldova are all now out of the competition.

Already through to the final are Serbia, Portugal, Slovenia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Finland's Windows 95 Man, Cyprus, Luxembourg Croatia's Baby Lasagna and Ireland's Bambie Thug. They will join the 'big five' nations of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK in the competition on Saturday night, as well as hosts Sweden.

Croatia's Baby Lasagna is the bookmakers favourite to win this year with his catchy rock tune Rim Tim Tagi Dim. He has overtaken previous favourite, Switzerland's Nemo Mettler, with song The Code.

The Eurovision Grand Final takes place on Saturday 11 May.