After an unspecified incident, the Netherlands’ participation in the final of the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) remains open. The European Broadcasting Union EBU announced on Friday evening in Malmö that the Dutchman Joost Klein, as before in a rehearsal in the afternoon, would not take part in the so-called jury rehearsal. Klein’s performance in the second semi-final on Thursday will be used to award the jury’s points.

“We are currently investigating an incident that was reported to us in connection with the Dutch artist,” the EBU said on Friday. Although Klein appeared at the first rehearsal of the final and was present at the flag parade, he did not rehearse his song “Europapa”.

According to the EBU, the investigation into the incident continues. There are also discussions between the EBU and the Dutch broadcaster. With his song “Europapa”, Klein is one of the ESC’s extended circle of favorites. The winner in the final will be determined on Saturday evening, but half of the points will come from the jury. She awards this based on the rehearsal on Friday evening, from which Klein is now excluded. Only the audience can vote in the final show on Saturday.

The background to the incident is unclear. After the second semi-final on Thursday evening, the Dutchman interrupted a question to Israel’s starter Eden Golan at the press conference and demonstratively pulled a flag over his head, both of which were considered disrespectful. According to Swedish media reports, Joost Klein was physically attacked after the semi-final, and this attack will be the subject of the test.

On Thursday, Joost Klein secured the Netherlands a place in the final of the singing competition, which will take place on Saturday in Malmö (9 p.m.). The 26-year-old stormed the charts in Germany last year when, together with Berlin rapper Ski Aggu, he transformed Otto Waalke’s well-known song “Friesenjung” into a techno version.

In general, the mood at the ESC this year is tense against the backdrop of the Gaza war. On Thursday, thousands of demonstrators called for Israel to be excluded from the competition. That evening, the candidate for Israel, Eden Golan, appeared and brought the country to the final. The music competition described itself as a non-political event.