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French Eurovision entry Slimane cuts rehearsal performance short to give unexpected speech about “peace”

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French Eurovision entry Slimane has interrupted his own rehearsal performance to give an unexpected speech about “peace”.

During rehearsals today, Slimane made a surprising change to his song ‘Mon Amour’, where he replaced his a capella section with a speech about “peace”.

Footage of the performance shows the French-Algerian singer saying: “When I was a child, I dreamed of music. I dreamed about this dream – to be a singer, to sing about peace. We must be United by Music, yes, but with love and peace. Everyone wants to sing their song but they want to be united by love and peace.”

Eurovision has rules in place forbidding political statements or lyrics; it is unclear whether there will be penalties given for Slimane’s speech.

The message may be alluding to the controversial inclusion of Israel in this year’s competition, who have faced several calls to be excluded amongst their role in the Israel-Palestine conflict. Eurovision organisers the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) have doubled down on this decision saying: “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.”

It also follows the whirlwind news that Dutch entry Joost Klein has been disqualified from the contest on the grounds of allegedly verbally threatening a female member of production crew. Dutch broadcaster AVROTROS called the decision “disproportionate”, adding they were “very disappointed”.

They also claimed the “incident” surrounded Klein who was “filmed when he had just gotten off stage and had to rush to the greenroom. At that moment, Joost repeatedly indicated that he did not want to be filmed. This wasn’t respected. This led to a threatening movement from Joost towards the camera. Joost did not touch the camera woman.”

AVROTROS added: “We stand for good manners – let there be no misunderstanding about that – but in our view, an exclusion order is not proportional to this incident.”

Meanwhile, Irish entry Bambie Thug has reportedly raised a complaint with the EBU due to Israeli broadcaster KAN’s commentary about their performance.

The comments, which told viewers to “prepare your curses” and claim Bambie’s performance was “the most scary” of the night, were labelled “in breach of the rules” of the EBU.

Bambie added: “I hope the EBU will address it correctly.”

In other news, Bambie has called on Eurovision organisers to “show some humanity” over the political issues impacting the contest.

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