Israel’s Eden Golan booed during Eurovision 2024 performance

Israel’s controversial Eurovision entrant was booed during her live performance on the show last night, while other parts of the audience reacted with cheers.

READ MORE: Inside the raging debate to watch Eurovision 2024: “This feels bigger than the contest”

The 68th Eurovision Song Contest took place last night (May 11) in Malmö, Sweden, and was won by Switzerland’s Nemo, whose song ‘The Code’ won the jury vote and came fifth in the public vote.

Israel’s entry ‘Hurricane’ by Eden Golan did not score high with the jury, but received one of the highest scores in the public vote. Her performance came early in the night, and was met with a decidedly mixed reaction from the live audience.

As fan footage from inside the room appears to show, there was a somewhat negative reaction from parts of the audience during Golan’s rendition of her song, with cries of “Free Palestine” being audible. Check out live footage below:

Israel booed onstage. #Eurovision2024

— Emilia Kettle (Journo) (@EmiliaKettle) May 11, 2024

The boos for Israel in the arena are HEAVY

— ‎Christopher (@chrismegrath) May 11, 2024

Closing boos to match

— ‎Christopher (@chrismegrath) May 11, 2024

Television viewers also detected boos when points were awarded to Israel via the televote later in the broadcast. Countries including the UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy all awarded Israel the maximum 12 points in the public vote.

The BBC’s commentator Graham Norton commented on the “mixed reaction” during Golan’s performance. “In some of the open rehearsals we heard more booing, but there was quite a lot of cheering tonight as well and I should tell you that that song is tipped to do very well tonight,” he said.

Martin Österdahl, the executive supervisor of the European Broadcasting Union, which oversees the contest, was also heavily booed when he spoke on the broadcast.

The EBU Executive Supervisor Martin Österdahl has beem booed by the audience.

— Kubas (@kubasaak) May 10, 2024

Golan had been booed during dress rehearsals earlier in the week and was booed again during the semi-finals, albeit with a mix of cheering as well, on Thursday (May 9). Golan went on to say she was “overwhelmed with emotions” after that show (per BBC).

“It is truly such an honour to be here on stage, representing [Israel] with pride,” she continued. “I’m so grateful for everyone who voted and took part in supporting us, and me.”

This year’s contest was dogged with controversy following the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and its decision to allow Israel to compete amongst the Israel-Palestine conflict.

The move was criticised as “cultural cover and endorsement for the catastrophic violence that Israel has unleashed on Palestinians” by organisations such as Queers for Palestine, who wrote an open letter to UK entry Olly Alexander to boycott the contest this year.

Over 1,000 Swedish artists called for Israel to be banned this year, such as RobynFever Ray, and First Aid Kit, and artists such as Olly Alexander faced calls to boycott the event.

Ireland’s entrant Bambie Thug addressed the situation in a recent interview with NME, saying: “It’s a lot when I know that my heart is in the right place and when it’s not my decision. I have had to take a break from social media because it is weighing on me. A lot of stuff is completely nasty and uncalled for.

“As artists, we’re easy targets, but at the end of the day, I have said that I don’t think they made the right decision,” they continued. “I still stand by that. But people should be coming for the EBU and for the broadcasters, not us as artists. I stand by my statement and I am completely for Palestine, and I think it’s ridiculous that it’s gone on for so long. I think the world is quite removed from its heart and its consciousness right now.”

The post Israel’s Eden Golan booed during Eurovision 2024 performance appeared first on NME.

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