Eurovision organisers confirm ‘independent expert’ to analyse 2024 competition

The 2024 Eurovision Song Contest is set to be reviewed by an “independent expert” following a year mired in controversy.

The international singing competition saw the disqualification of Netherlands’s contestant Joost Klein over an “incident” where he was alleged to have made verbal threats to a female production worker, as well as controversy over the participation of Israeli contestant Eden Golan in the wake of the worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza.

The national broadcaster for Israel later claimed its delegation faced “an unprecedented display of hatred” from other countries and their entrants during the competition.

Eurovision 2024
Joost Klein performing Europapa for Netherlands at the Second Semi-Final of the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest in Malmo, Sweden (Alma Bengtsson/EBU)

Confirming a review will take place, organisers of Eurovision told the PA news agency in a statement: “The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) seeks to continuously improve its services and events.

“To further strengthen the Eurovision Song Contest, we have asked an independent expert to look at ESC 2024 in Malmo to share insights and learnings with the EBU’s governing bodies to support the continuous improvement of this global event.”

Following the competition, which saw Switzerland triumph with musician Nemo, organisers said it would be reviewing the contest after some delegations “didn’t respect the spirit of the rules”.

During the week-long contest, pro-Palestinian protesters showed their support for Gaza and condemned Israel taking part in Eurovision, while Golan’s performances throughout the week were met with a mix of boos and cheers.

A statement from the Israeli public broadcaster Kan said: “This year, the Israeli delegation faced immense pressure and an unprecedented display of hatred, notably from other delegations and artists, publicly and collectively, solely because of the simple fact that we are Israeli’s and that we were there.

“However, throughout the journey, the delegation maintained a dignified and respectful approach towards artists and other delegations, striving to foster unity around music while adhering to the competition’s rules, unlike some other delegations.”

APTOPIX Sweden Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final
Nemo of Switzerland, who performed the song The Code, celebrates after winning the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmo, Sweden (Martin Meissner)

The Israeli delegation were criticised by contestants including Ireland’s Bambie Thug, who has been outspoken about their pro-Palestine views.

They accused the Israeli broadcaster of a rule break over inciting “violence” and said they have been waiting to hear back from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) about what action would be taken.

There was also controversy after the disqualification of Netherlands’s entrant Klein during the contest.

The move was strongly criticised by the Dutch broadcaster AVROTROS, who called the penalty “very heavy and disproportionate”.