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Eurovision bosses promise to review all incidents for those who “didn’t respect the spirit of the rules and the competition”

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has released a statement promising to review all incidents for those who “didn’t respect the spirit of the rules” at the Eurovision Song Contest 2024.

  • READ MORE: Inside the raging debate to watch Eurovision 2024: “This feels bigger than the contest”

This year’s competition, which was ultimately won by Switzerland’s Nemo, was surrounded by controversy for allowing Israel to compete amid the ongoing conflict with Hamas in Gaza.

A statement shared by the EBU to both The Mirror and The Irish Times read: “We regret that some delegations at the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö didn’t respect the spirit of the rules and the competition both onsite and during their broadcasts. We spoke to a number of delegations during the event regarding various issues that were brought to our attention.

It continued: “The EBU’s governing bodies will, together with the heads of delegations, review the events surrounding the ESC in Malmö to move forward in a positive way and to ensure the values of the event are respected by everyone.

“Individual cases will be discussed by the event’s governing body, the Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group made up of representatives from participating broadcasters, at its next meeting.”

The statement’s release comes after the slew of controversies that took over this year’s edition of the song contest. The Netherlands’ Eurovision entrant was disqualified from the contest in Malmö, Sweden after being accused of making verbal threats towards a female member of production crew, police said.

The artist was placed under investigation by organisers Friday (May 10) due to an “incident” and was not allowed to perform at the final dress rehearsal.

Elsewhere, Bambie Thug spoke out against the EBU during post-Eurovision interviews, claiming that they don’t fully represent “what Eurovision is”.

The self-described ‘ouija-pop’ artist came sixth in the annual contest. At the end of their performance, they proclaimed “Love will triumph over hate!”

The Cork singer has also faced significant challenges throughout the competition due to their pro-Palestinian stance. It was revealed they were forced to remove the words ‘ceasefire’ and ‘freedom for Palestine’ in a medieval script from their costume due to Eurovision’s political neutrality clause. A now-deleted TikTok showed Bambie reacting to the decision, telling the camera: “It’s fucked up”.

They also criticised the EBU in more direct terms and revealed that the atmosphere around this year’s controversial edition of the contest had been “so hard and so horrible”.

“i just want to say,” they said, “we are what the Eurovision is. The EBU is not what the Eurovision is. Fuck the EBU. I don’t even care anymore. Fuck them. The thing that makes this is the contestants, the community behind it, the love and the power and the support of all of us is what is making change.”

Israel was finally confirmed to compete after changes were made to the lyrics and the song’s title was changed to ‘Hurricane’.

Recently, the organisers doubled down on their choice, with the EBU saying: “I fully agree it is a family event and the great thing about this music competition is that it’s all about values. It’s about uniting onstage all of these young talents, these participants, and they do great. It’s about diversity and inclusion.

“But there are competition rules and you need to follow the competition rules and take decisions based on these competition rules. If you were to exclude Kan outside of these competition rules, that would have been a political decision, as such, which we cannot take.”

The EBU’s decision has also proved controversial amongst longtime Eurovision fans, who NME interviewed before the competition tonight. Though Jay Aston from former UK Eurovision-winning group The Fizz (fka Buck’s Fizz) said she would be watching, other fans such as musician Jason Kwan have expressed doubt over the competition’s political neutrality clause.

Kwan claimed Eurovision was “inherently and explicitly political” due to the EBU’s decision to include Israel and to censor “pro-Palestinian artists, and even outwardly using the official social account to like problematic posts and block accounts who have provided genuine critique and questions around the EBU’s decisions.”

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