Ireland's Eurovision entry admits they broke down in tears after Israel qualified for final

Ireland's Eurovision act Bambie Thug admitted they cried when they found out Israel had made it through to the final amid mass protests and boycotts -Credit:AP Photo/Martin Meissner
Ireland's Eurovision act Bambie Thug admitted they cried when they found out Israel had made it through to the final amid mass protests and boycotts -Credit:AP Photo/Martin Meissner

Eurovision's Bambie Thug was moved to tears after learning that Israel had secured a spot in the grand finale of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Israel's representative, Eden Golan, made it through to the final round with her song 'Hurricane', despite facing pro-Palestinian protests against her country's participation in the event.

Bambie, who identifies with they/them pronouns, donned a keffiyeh - a symbol often associated with pro-Palestinian sentiments - and held Irish flags while addressing the press before the event at Malmo Arena in Sweden, the Mirror reports.

When asked about their reaction to Golan's qualification, the singer, who is the first Irish entry to reach the final since 2018, admitted: "I cried with my team."

On the topic of Israel's participation, they commented: "It is a complete overshadow of everything, goes against everything that Eurovision is meant to be.

Israel's Eurovision act Eden Golan on stage in Sweden
Israel's Eurovision act Eden Golan is in the live final -Credit:AFP via Getty Images

"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 expressed concerns that Ireland could lose votes due to the ongoing boycott of Eurovision.

In March, Bambie released a statement, co-signed by several other Eurovision contestants, explaining their decision to stay in the competition.

They remarked: "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 anticipated performance on Thursday, Malmo's main square saw an increased police presence in preparation for potential protests.

Bambie is set to take the stage at the grand finale on Saturday with their haunting track Doomsday Blue.

Simon Harris, Ireland's premier, has expressed that the "whole country will be rooting" for the artist during the contest. Both the EBU and Golan's team have been contacted for a statement.

In the hours leading up to tonight's climactic final, calls have been made for Olly Alexander and others to withdraw from Eurovision in solidarity with the BDS movement.

Queers For Palestine reached out to the UK contestant via an open letter on Instagram, stating: "Can you hear your fans chanting all over Europe for you to do the right thing and boycott Eurovision? "

olly looking sad
Olly has been urged to quit the show -Credit:BBC

The letter continued: "Despite the slogan 'United by Music', this Eurovision will forever be remembered as among the most complicit: United by Genocide.

"The organisers, the European Broadcasting Union (@ebu_hq), are shielding genocidal Israel by not disqualifying it from the competition, while simultaneously prohibiting any expressions of support for Palestine.

"Olly, once you take the stage on Saturday there is no going back. We know that the last few months have been a hard time for you.

"Being asked to sacrifice such a big career moment is no easy choice, and we appreciate the thought you must have put into it.

"As many of us know, taking a stand can be sincerely challenging, but your community stood with you in opposition to Israel's pinkwashing of genocide with the Voices 4 London letter you signed. You still have the power to make a difference we are all looking to you."

The message went on: "We know you must feel dizzy with the pressure. But we ask one last time: join the millions of us around the world who support Palestinian liberation and are prepared to make sacrifices when necessary and when called upon to do so by oppressed communities."

"We in Queers for Palestine salute the countless venues and organisers across Britain from Edinburgh to Bristol, London to Brighton and all over Europe, who have cancelled Eurovision screening parties, heeding the call from Palestinians and their own communities, queer and otherwise.

"They recognise that what they stand to lose is minor in comparison to the genocide being inflicted on Palestinians in Gaza every day.

"As we write this, Israel is on the verge of invading Rafah, the last designated "safe zone" in besieged Gaza, after bombing it for days.

"Whatever glitz and glamour of Eurovision remains, after being so thoroughly tarnished by the EBU's failure to ban apartheid Israel, can only constitute a disgraceful artwashing and pinkwashing of genocide. You should have no part in it, as we believe you recognise."

It was concluded with a plea: "Olly, as a beloved queer icon you have substantial influence. As drag queen said on BBC Newsnight yesterday to all of us: '"This is something you can do. Boycott.'

"We will be boycotting Eurovision until Israel is banned. You can still join us. You will be rich in our love and admiration, and in your heart for having done the right thing."

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