Irish Eurovision performer misses final rehearsal

Bambie Thug rehearsing Doomsday Blue for Ireland at the First Rehearsal of the First Semi-Final at Malmö Arena — Sarah Louise Bennett / EBU

With tempers already frayed in the Malmö Arena, Eurovision Song Contest organisers continue to deal with the fallout from various flare-ups.

This afternoon, during the ‘family show’, the Irish entrant Bambie Thug was missing from the flag parade at the start of the show and did not perform.Posting online, they said:

“There was a situation while we were waiting to go to stage for the flag parade rehearsal, which I felt needed urgent attention from the EBU.

“The EBU have taken this matter seriously and we have been in a discussion about what action needs to be taken. This means I have missed my dress rehearsal – I am really sorry to the fans that have come to see me. I hope to see you on stage tonight.”

In addition to Ireland, Greece and Switzerland also missed the flag parade.

No style

Reports from the Arena suggest the problem came when a stylist from the Israeli delegation filmed backstage preparations without permission. Several delegations complained and the stylist was removed. The Israeli delegation was then moved away from all other acts and their team allocated a separate room. It is anticipating they will not be in the general ‘green room’ area tonight.

Complaints

Separately, Eurovoix reports that during an interview with RTÉ News, Bambie complained about commentary broadcast by Israeli broadcaster Kan during the Tuesday semi-final.

“There will be a lot of spells and black magic and dark clothing, Satanic symbols, and voodoo dolls, like we are at Cats Square in Jerusalem in the mid-90s,” the commentator said, referring to a well-known public square in Jerusalem that was central to the city’s nightlife in the 1990s and synonymous with goth culture.

The commentator said there was “some controversy” in Ireland about the song, referencing a petition calling on RTÉ to disqualify Doomsday Blue as Ireland’s entry.

He also noted that Bambie Thug liked to “speak negatively about Israel”.

“There’s a lot more anger and a lot more drive in me now,” Bambie Thug said in an interview with RTÉ News.

In yet another statement, the EBU said: “We’ve spoken to KAN, the Israeli broadcaster, about this matter and reiterated the importance of all commentators respecting all the artists taking part in the competition and abiding by the rules and regulations of the event.”

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