EurovisionMalmö 2024

Broadcasters and delegations deny claims over Eurovision 2024 withdrawal

A recent report in Norwegian media suggested as many as six countries were prepared to walk away from the Eurovision Song Contest 2024 with 25 minutes to go before broadcast. Now delegations and broadcasters have come forward to deny these claims.

Six countries in Eurovision crisis talks

According to Norwegian media outlet VG, six participating nations in the Eurovision Song Contest 2024 were considering withdrawing at the eleventh hour. During a turbulent Eurovision week in Malmö, multiple delegations and broadcasters held crisis talks with the EBU ahead of the live Grand Final. Among them, included the winners Switzerland, as well as Ireland, Portugal, Norway, Greece and the United Kingdom. As a result, this would have led to a Grand Final of only 19 acts.

Of course, Norway and Ireland were the two most openly critical delegations of the EBU throughout the contest. An investigation over incidents reported by the Irish delegation is currently underway. Meanwhile Norway confirmed their heated exchange with EBU representatives concluded with constructive talks to ensure their continued participation.

Much of the behind the scenes discussions surrounded backstage concerns about the alleged behaviour of the Israeli delegation and national broadcaster KAN during the week. With artists such as Olly Alexander and Bambie Thug facing increased pressure to boycott the contest. However, the artists reaffirmed their supportive stance of Palestine and intentions to remain in the contest.

Withdrawal reports denied by delegations and broadcasters

Since this initial report, multiple delegations and broadcasters have refuted these claims. A spokesperson for ERT responded in a interview with EurovisionFun. Although they did not rule out other broadcasters having concerns, the ERT spokesperson reiterated there was no doubts surrounding Marina Satti’s continuation in the contest.

We never discussed or considered withdrawing from the competition for any reason. The publication (VG) is incorrect at least when it comes to Greece.

ERT Spokesperson

Meanwhile, Rita Barradas who owns the agency representing Iolanda also reached out to the media to respond to the claims. This came after the uploading of Portugal Grand Final performance was alleged to have been delayed due to Iolanda painting Palestinian motifs on her fingernails. Moreover, RTP had revealed they were among a collective broadcasters demanding an urgent meeting with EBU officials after the contest.

As far as Portugal is concerned, it was never a question of us withdrawing from the contest, or having spoken to the EBU in that regard, much less 25 minutes before the start of the show. There were many controversial issues in this edition, but Portugal’s withdrawal on the day of the final, was never put on the table.

Rita Barradas

Another delegation playing down the media allegations is Switzerland. The Swiss Head of Delegation for, Yves Schifferle reported to Watson that whilst constructive talks took place with the EBU, it was led by Nemo themselves and not anyone from the Swiss broadcaster. As well as confirming that although complaints about backstage behaviour were raised by multiple artists, withdrawing before the show was not an option the Swiss delegation were considering.

It wasn’t up for debate that the Swiss delegation would withdraw from the ESC. Some acts sought talks with the EBU regarding certain etiquette in the backstage area.

Yves Schifferle

Do you agree with the decisions of the delegations? Let us know! Be sure to stay updated by following @ESCXTRA on Twitter, @escxtra on Instagram, @escxtra on TikTok and liking our Facebook page for the latest updates! Also, be sure to follow us on Spotify for the latest music from your favourite Eurovision acts. As well as YouTube for our interviews and reactions ahead of Eurovision 2025.

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