Irish eyes on Bambie Thug in politically-charged Eurovision final

webnexttech | Irish eyes on Bambie Thug in politically-charged Eurovision final

Tonight’s event marks the end of a turbulent week in Malmö, with further demonstrations in protest at Israel’s participation to take place ahead of the final. Thousands protested on Thursday before Israel’s semi-final performance. Singer Eden Golan performed her song ‘Hurricane’ to a mix of boos and cheers in the Malmö Arena. The 20-year-old singer took to the stage having spent the whole day locked down in her hotel room by her country’s Shin Bet security agency after receiving death threats. Last night, confusion also surrounded the Dutch participation in tonight’s final. Joost Klein, the Dutch performer, was not allowed to participate in the final dress rehearsal due to “an incident”. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said that the matter remained under investigation. Since the semi-final, Israel has become one of the favourites to win the competition. France, Switzerland, and Croatia are still marginally ahead of Israel in the odds, with Ireland rounding out the top five. Bambie Thug will perform 10th tonight, one place ahead of Latvia, whose song was co-written by Mayo’s Liam Geddes. Reacting to their placement in the running order, Bambie said: “Tenth? Take away the zero and it’s number one.” Bambie Thug has been one of the few contestants outspoken about their pro-Palestine views. As part of their dress rehearsal performance, the Cork artist wore face make-up that spelled “Ceasefire” and “Saoirse don Phalaistín” in the ancient Irish Ogham alphabet. After it was noted what the words meant, the EBU asked Bambie to change the pro-Palestinian markings. Their new ogham make-up reading ‘Crown the Witch’ only across their face and legs was debuted at their dress rehearsal yesterday evening. When asked in a post-rehearsal interview how they felt about Israel qualifying for the grand final, Bambie admitted: “I cried, with my team,” they said, before getting emotional again. To help Bambie deal with the intensity the controversy brings to the contest, friends and family have flown in from Macroom, London, and Roma in Sweden to support them. Bambie said they were feeling prepared and ready. “My energies are definitely ready to be released on stage. I’m definitely in a different zone. I don’t know if I’m in a more grounded zone or my roots feel much more clasped into the earth,” they said. Asked what it would mean to bring the Eurovision crown back to Ireland, they said: “It would mean everything. It would be an amazing year for Cork too. Can you imagine Cillian Murphy gets the Oscar and we get the Eurovision?”

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