Eurovision’s Bambie Thug in tears after learning Israel has reached the final

Ireland’s Eurovision entrant Bambie Thug said they cried with their team after discovering Israel had qualified for the grand final. Israeli contestant Eden Golan qualified for the final on Thursday with her song Hurricane, amid pro-Palestinian protests against the country’s inclusion in the event.

Bambie, who uses the pronouns they/them, wore a keffiyeh material, commonly used to suggest pro-Palestinian leanings, and carried Irish flags when they spoke to journalists ahead of the event at Sweden’s Malmo Arena. Asked how they felt when Golan qualified, the singer, who became the first Irish entry to reach the final since 2018, said: “I cried with my team.”

Discussing Israel’s inclusion, they added: “It’s a complete shadow of everything, it goes against everything Eurovision is meant to be. It’s a big, big community together and not even their competitor was allowed to meet us.

“God forbid we have a conversation where minds might be changed. It certainly puts a cloud over him for everyone.”

The singer also said she fears Ireland could lose votes due to the ongoing boycott to stop Eurovision. In March, Bambie shared a statement, signed by a number of Eurovision contestants, outlining why they will remain in the competition.

They said: “I’m afraid we’re going to miss out on a lot of votes because of the boycott and those will then make someone else maybe more likely to win. But there are 200 million viewers and I think regardless, our performance stands out and it’s undeniable how theatrical it is… a moment that it is.”

Ahead of Golan’s performance on Thursday, a heavy police presence arrived in Malmo’s main square in anticipation of protests. Bambie will perform at the grand finale on Saturday with their gothic Doomsday Blue.

Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris said “the whole country will be rooting” for the singer when the contest takes place. Representatives for the EBU and Golan have been contacted for comment.

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