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Dutch singer Joost Klein kicked out of Eurovision before final show

The Eurovision Song Contest in Malmo, Sweden was rocked by controversy as Dutch performer Joost Klein was expelled just hours before the final. The European Broadcasting Union cited a complaint from a female crew member for Klein’s removal, leading to a divisive atmosphere in the competition due to Israel’s participation.

Protests against Israel’s involvement in the event have been widespread, with demonstrations in Malmo and Finland calling for a boycott. Despite the turmoil, 25 acts are set to perform in front of a global audience of millions.

Favorites for this year’s contest include nonbinary Swiss singer Nemo and Croatia’s Baby Lasagna, whose rock song tackles the issue of Croatians leaving their country for better opportunities. Despite the contest’s reputation for bubblegum pop, Eurovision often addresses political and social issues through its music.

Israeli singer Eden Golan faced backlash for her song “Hurricane,” previously titled “October Rain,” due to references to recent conflict in the region. The competition’s ban on overtly political statements has caused controversy in the past, with organizers reprimanding Israel for the original song title.

Protesters argue that Israel’s participation in Eurovision is inappropriate given current events in the region, sparking tension and debate among fans and performers alike. Social media harassment and pressure have added to the stress of participating musicians, with many feeling unable to speak out due to contest rules.

Despite the turmoil, last year’s Eurovision champion Loreen emphasized the importance of love in healing trauma and promoting unity. As the competition unfolds, the divisive atmosphere continues to impact both viewers and performers, highlighting the complex intersection of music, politics, and social issues on the global stage.

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