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Norway’s Eurovision entry Gåte nearly dropped out of the competition this year

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Norway’s Gåte have said they considered withdrawing from Eurovision this year “until the last second”.

This year’s song contest has seen multiple controversies arise in the build up to the finale, which aired last Saturday (May 11).

On top of the shock disqualification of Dutch entry Joost Klein, Eurovision organisers the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) had faced significant criticism for the inclusion of Israel amidst the Israel-Palestine crisis.

Additionally, there were reports of a “crisis meeting” between four countries and the EBU just hours before the finale was due to begin. These four countries were later revealed to be the United Kingdom, Portgual, Ireland, and the eventual winner of this year, Switzerland.

Now, Norway’s entry Gåte have spoken to Norwegian media about their own threat to pull out. Guitarist Magnus Børmark told newspaper Aftenposten that he felt the artists were forced into a “political role”, and therefore had to shoulder the responsibility for the political questions surrounding the contest.

“Withdrawing was on our plans until the last second,” he told Aftenposten. “We eventually had constructive talks with the EBU. Things were just good enough for it to be implemented.”

Gåte (Photo by Martin Sylvest Andersen/Getty Images)

The controversies in this year’s competition did not stop at its build-up; Portuguese entry Iolanda’s finale performance was apparently replaced with separate footage due to her “pro-Palestine” nails.

The singer wore nails with the pattern of a keffiyeh, a Palestinian scarf. The uploaded YouTube footage, however, shows her wearing plain white nails from her semi-final performance.

The broadcaster will allegedly consider a “formal protest” to the Eurovision organisers if they conclude Iolanda was “discriminated” against.

Meanwhile, Nemo seemed to allude at the thorny issues plaguing Eurovision this year by suggesting it might need “fixing”.

The singer made the comments after hearing the EBU’s policy banning nonbinary flags. Nemo, who is the first nonbinary Eurovision winner in history, said there was an “double standard”, confirming they “smuggled” their flag into the contest: “The trophy can be fixed – maybe Eurovision needs fixing a little bit too, every now and then.”

Irish entry Bambie Thug has also hit out at the competition for “not supporting them” amidst their complaint to the EBU.

Bambie claimed in an interview after the competition that the Israeli broadcaster KAN “incited violence against me twice, three times.

“We brought it up to the EBU,” they told reporters. “They said they’d follow up. They waited to the last minute, we still haven’t gotten statement back to us, allowed us to be scapegoats, allowed us to be the spokesperson for standing up for ourselves.”

They would later declare: “Fuck the EBU”, adding: “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.”

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