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Käärijä bows out of delegating Finnish points for Eurovision tonight as it “does not feel right”

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Former Eurovision entrant Käärijä has announced he will not participate as the spokesperson for the Finnish jury hours before the finale is due to start.

Käärijä, who was the runner-up to Eurovision last year with his song ‘Cha Cha Cha’, took to social media to announce that he was pulling out of announcing the Finnish jury’s points for tonight’s competition.

On Instagram Stories, Käärijä wrote: “I have decided not to participate as the spokesperson for the Finnish jury in tonight’s Eurovision finale. Giving out the points does not feel right”. Käärijä did not explicitly say why he was not participating.

The shock decision follows a similar move from Norway’s spokesperson Alessandra Mele, who came fifth last year with her song ‘Queen of Kings’. Taking to TikTok, Mele said: “Tonight, I was supposed to give out Norway’s points during the Eurovision final. Even though I’m thankful that I was given the opportunity to do so, I have taken the decision to withdraw.

“United by Music – Eurovision’s motto – is the reason why I do music – unite people, bring them together. But right now, those words are just empty words. There’s a genocide going on, and I’m asking you all to please open up your eyes, open up your heart, let love lead you to the truth. it’s right in front of you. Free Palestine.”

Take a look at the two messages below:

@alessandrasmusic

#eurovision2024 #freepalestine

♬ original sound – Alessandra Mele

Eurovision has faced several controversies in the last few days, beginning with the announcement of Dutch entry Joost Klein’s disqualificaion. Earlier today, the news of Klein’s disqualification was shared by Eurovision organisers, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). He was accused of making verbal threats towards a female member of production crew, according to police.

As a result, Klein was placed under investigation by the organisers yesterday (May 10) due to an “incident” and was not allowed to perform his song ‘Europapa’ during the final dress rehearsal.

Dutch broadcaster AVROTROS called the expulsion “disproportionate”, writing: “An incident occured after last Thursday’s performance”, they began. “Against clearly made agreements, Joost 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.”

They added that they found the disqualification “very heavy and disproportionate”, continuing: “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.”

“We are very disappointed and upset for the millions of fans who were so excited for tonight. What Joost brough to the Netherlands and Europe shouldn’t have ended this way.”

Meanwhile, Irish Eurovision entrant Bambie Thug reportedly raised a complaint with the Eurovision organisers due to Israeli broadcaster KAN’s commentary on 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.”

French Eurovision entry Slimane also cut his own rehearsals performance short to give an unexpected speech about “peace”, 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.” It is unclear whether he will be sanctioned for violating the EBU’s political neutrality rules.

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