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Eurovision 2024. Whistling during the performance of the representative of Israel, Eden Golan

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The 68th final of the Eurovision Song Contest takes place on Saturday evening in Malmö, Sweden. This year's European music festival takes place in the shadow of the confusion surrounding the participation of a 20-year-old representative of Israel. How did she fare in the competition?

This year, Israel is represented by the song “Hurricane”, performed by 20-year-old Eden Golan, one of the youngest participants in the competition. The artist is considered by bookmakers and some fans to be one of the favorites, but her participation in the competition is controversial. Hers first the performance during Wednesday's dress rehearsal was disrupted by pro-Palestinian shouts and boos. During the semi-final concert, expressions of opposition and reluctance towards her presence on stage were also heard: whistles and boos.

Protests against Israel's participation in the competition also continued on Saturday, ahead of Eden Golan's appearance in the grand final. During the artist's Saturday performance, amidst the applause, whistles from the audience were also clearly audible.

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There were also recordings from in front of the stage on social media, where you can clearly hear the booing accompanying the 20-year-old's performance.

SEE ALSO: Media: Israel plans to expand operations in Rafah. A dispute with Biden is on the line

Eurovision 2024. Protests against Israel's participation in the competition

The BBC reports that thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters gathered in Malmö, Sweden, where Saturday's final takes place. The following people took part in the protests in front of the Malmö Arena: Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. According to the British public broadcaster's website, some of the protesters allegedly chanted “Eurovision united by genocide.”

Swedish activist Greta Thunberg is led away by police from the Malmo Arena during a protest against Israel's participation in the Eurovision Song ContestPAP/EPA/Johan Nilsson/TT

Eden Golan herself was supposed to have armed security during preparations for the final, and when she was not on stage, she remained locked in her hotel room – writes the BBC. The competition takes place with additional security measures.

SEE ALSO: Eurovision 2024. How to vote and how are the votes counted?

Eurovision 2024. Who is Eden Golan

Eden Golan is an Israeli-Russian singer from Tel Aviv. She grew up in Russia, where her parents lived. The 20-year-old finalist started performing on stage at the age of several years as a dancer. In 2015, she took part in the Russian preselections of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. As reported by the official Eurovision website, Golan “draws musical inspirations from various styles, and her big dream is to sing with Beyoncé.

Eurovision 2024. Eden Golan from IsraelPAP/EPA/ANDREAS HILLERGREN

Original Eden Golan lyrics have been changed after the Eurovision organizer's reservations. Eden Golan's original song was titled “October Rain” and, according to the EBU, it contained political references to the Hamas attack on Israel.

Eurovision 2024. Confusion before the final

Earlier on Saturday it was announced that Dutch artist Joost Klein was excluded from the competition finals. He was mentioned as one of the competition's favorites. The European Broadcasting Union said in a statement that “Swedish police have launched an investigation into a complaint lodged by a female member of the production team following an incident that occurred after the artist's performance in Thursday's semi-final.” Organizers also said it “would not be appropriate for him to continue attending the event” while the proceedings were ongoing. Moreover, during the day the media reported that representatives of Ireland, Greece and Switzerland might not appear on stage either.

Joost Klein (Netherlands)JESSICA GOW/EPA/PAP

Bambie Thug, representing Ireland, announced on social media that she had missed the dress rehearsal. “I apologize to the fans who came to see me. I hope to see you on stage tonight,” she wrote. The European Broadcasting Union was to hold a special crisis speech on this matter. As the BBC writes, she did it after filing a complaint regarding the coverage of her appearance on Israeli television. The singer said that the comments made during the coverage of her performance in Tuesday's semi-final violated the rules of the competition.

The following participants take part in the grand final of this year's competition, after Tuesday's semi-final: Teya Dora (Serbia), Iolanda (Portugal), Raiven (Slovenia), Alyona Alyona and Jerry Heil (Ukraine), Silvester Telt (Lithuania), Windows95man (Finland), Silia Kapsis (Cyprus), Baby Lasagna (Croatia), Bambie Thug (Ireland), Tali (Luxembourg). To the finals Polish representative Luna did not qualify with the song “The Tower”. On Thursday, the next ten finalists were: Dons (Latvia), Kaleen (Austria), Joost Klein (Netherlands), Gate (Norway), Eden Golan (Israel), Marina Satti (Greece), 5miinust, Puuluup (Estonia), Nemo (Switzerland) ), Nuca Buzaladze (Georgia) and Ladaniva (Armenia). Apart from them, without qualification, participation in the final was guaranteed to the hosts – the Swedes and representatives of the so-called the big five – Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain and France.

This year's Eurovision hosts are Swedish comedian and TV presenter Petra Mede and Swedish-American actress Malin Åkerman.

SEE ALSO: The most popular songs of Eurovision 2024. List

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/JESSICA GOW

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