Dutch Contestant Joost Got Disqualified From Eurovision After a Backstage Incident

Joost Klein was disqualified from Eurovision after a confrontation with a member of the production staff.


May 13 2024, Published 9:53 a.m. ET

Joost at a press event for Eurovision.
Source: Getty Images

If you've ever lived in Europe or been sucked into it, you're likely aware that Eurovision is one of the biggest and silliest traditions on the continent. The song competition involves musical acts from each country competing head to head to determine which act is the best.

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While there's always drama around the winner of a given year's competition, the Eurovision competition in 2024 has some extra drama following the news that Joost Klein, the Dutch contestant, was disqualified. Now, many want to better understand why the disqualification occurred. Here's what we know.

Joost waving a Netherlands flag in a suit with huge shoulder pads.
Source: Getty Images
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Why was Joost disqualified from Eurovision?

Joost was reportedly disqualified following an incident that took place backstage at the competition. Joost was accused of intimidating a female member of the production crew, and Swedish police were contacted.

The Netherlands Songfestival said that Joost said repeatedly that he didn't want to be filmed and that he "did not touch the camera woman."

Dutch broadcaster Avrotros jumped to Joost's defense and provided additional context around his disqualification.

"Against clearly made agreements, Joost was filmed when he had just gotten off stage and had to rush to the greenroom," they said in a statement. "At that moment, Joost repeatedly indicated that he did not want to be filmed. This wasn't respected.

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"This led to a threatening movement from Joost towards the camera. Joost did not touch the camerawoman," the statement continued.

Avrotros said that they had consulted extensively with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and proposed multiple solutions that would have kept Joost in the competition. Ultimately, though, the decision was made to disqualify him and send him home. The EBU said that it would be inappropriate for him to continue in the contest while legal proceedings are ongoing.

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Joost Klein was among the year's favorite.

Before his disqualification, Joost was among the favorites to win the competition with his song Europapa. The anthem is dedicated to his father, who died of cancer when Joost was just 12. Now at age 26, Joost had finally fulfilled the promise he made to his father to appear on the stage at Eurovision. Unfortunately, his dream of victory was cut short.

In a statement released by the EBU, they explained that they have a zero-tolerance policy for behavior that they deem to be inappropriate.

"We maintain a zero-tolerance policy towards inappropriate behaviour at our event and are committed to providing a safe and secure working environment for all staff at the Contest," the statement read.

"In light of this, Joost Klein's behaviour towards a team member is deemed in breach of Contest rules."

Contestants have been disqualified in the past, but no contestant has ever suffered this fate so close to the final. Reports surrounding the incident have stressed the fact that it took place between Joost and a member of the production team, as opposed to another contestant. Joost hasn't spoken about his disqualification, and the exact story of what happened backstage is still being contested.

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