Dutch Eurovision act stopped from rehearsing by organisers over ‘incident’

The Eurovision Song Contest act for the Netherlands, Joost Klein, has been stopped from rehearsing by organisers over an unexplained “incident”.

Entering with the fun song Europapa, a tribute to his late parents, the 26-year-old Dutch rapper and singer qualified for the grand final on Thursday evening at the Malmo Arena venue in Sweden.

He was seen briefly at rehearsals on Friday during the flag parade before missing the performance of his track.

A statement from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to the PA news agency said: “We are currently investigating an incident that was reported to us involving the Dutch artist. He will not be rehearsing until further notice.

“We have no further comment at this time and will update in due course.”

During a press conference on Thursday, Klein told Israeli act Eden Golan she should answer a question on whether she is compromising the safety of other contestants at Eurovision by taking part.

A journalist had asked Golan: “Have you ever thought that by being here you bring risk and danger for other participants and public?”

When Golan was told by the moderator that she did not have to answer the question, Klein chimed in, saying: “Why not?”

Golan said: “I think we’re all here for one reason, and one reason only, and the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) is taking all safety precautions to make this a safe and united place for everyone, and so I think it’s safe for everyone and we wouldn’t be here (if not).”

Earlier, when Klein was asked if his song can unite people by music, he replied: “I think that’s a good question for the EBU.”

It has been reported by local media that he faced censure following another issue on Thursday.

During the semi-final on Thursday, Golan was applauded and cheered by the audience while singing Hurricane, which was reworked from an early song, October Rain, thought to be reference to the attacks by Hamas on Israel in October.

Israel has faced calls to boycott Eurovision following the start of its offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Dutch broadcaster Avrotros and Swedish channel SVT, who are organising the contest, have been contacted for comment.