Music

French Singer Halts Eurovision 2024 Rehearsal Performance to Deliver Peace Statement

With less than four hours to go before the live grand final of the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest, developments on the ground in Malmö, Sweden, are heating up at a fast pace.

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During the third dress rehearsal for the grand final, still in progress at Malmö Arena, the singer from France stopped his performance to deliver a statement. Slimane unexpectedly halted the song and called for peace and unity.

The European Broadcasting Union has rules in place forbidding any political statements or lyrics. It is not clear if at this late date Slimane would be disqualified from performing tonight on the live show. His statement was not broadcast and was only heard in the arena.

Joost Klein from the Netherlands has already been disqualified, based on a backstage incident.

Also this afternoon, Alessandra Mele, who performed for Norway in the 2023 competition and who was scheduled to be the spokesperson for her country delivering their jury’s points, has withdrawn from that assignment.

She released the following statement on Instagram: “Tonight I was supposed to give out Norway’s points during the Eurovision final. Even though I’m thankful I was given the opportunity to do so, I’ve taken the decision to withdraw. United By Music — Eurovision’s motto — is the reason I do music. Unite people, bring them together. But right now those words are just empty words. There is a genocide going on and I’m asking you all to please open up your eyes, open up your heart. Let love lead you to the truth. It’s right in front of you. Free Palestine.”

Journalist Ingvild Helljesen will deliver Norway’s points during the live show. As of press time, demonstrators on the streets of Malmö can be heard protesting Israel’s participation.

This is a developing story.

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