Eurovision Fans Call Out Show for Suppressing Audience Boos of Israel’s Eden Golan | Video

But loud boos could be heard on the broadcast when an Israeli representative submitted the nation’s votes

Sarah Louise Bennett/EBU

Plenty of tension has surrounded this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, with much of it centered around the inclusion of Israeli performer Eden Golan and her song “Hurricane.” Golan’s performances in the days ahead of Saturday night’s final were met with a healthy amount of booing from audience members opposed to the Israeli-Hamas war — and many fans have accused the show’s organizers of using anti-booing measures to drown out the sound of boos during the finals.

In a video shared by @willthefirst, boos are easy to hear as Golan took the stage Saturday night. He wrote, “A reminder that what you’re seeing on TV for Israel is not representative of what people ACTUALLY think #Eurovision.”

An even mix of boos and cheers were heard in a video from Golan’s performance shared by @IYepdas, who tweeted, “We could all hear the disapproval from the audience no matter what technology the EBU was using.” They were referencing the European Broadcasting Union, which oversees the competition.

Eurovision 2021 contestant Jendrik Sigwart, who performed for Germany that year, is among those who have addressed the controversy. “They play fake applause on TV,” he explained in a video shared online. “And with Israel performing this year, there are quite some boos, and you don’t hear anything on TV. What the f–k? I feel betrayed. I feel shocked.”

Farruck Younus, who runs the Implausible Blog, gave a head’s up about possible anti-booing measures on Friday when he tweeted, “#Eurovision2024 is using anti-booing solutions to reduce the sound of the boos during the Israeli performance. So not only is @Eurovision ignoring the murder of over 35,000 Palestinians by Israel, @EBU_HQ are manipulating the sound of the audience: cancel culture on top of cancel culture.”

“I have loved watching Eurovision for as long as I can remember. But I’m absolutely disgusted by their whitewashing of what’s happening in Gaza. Shame on them #BoycottEurovision,” Younus added.

Eurovision has not replied to TheWrap’s request for comment.

A spokesperson told HuffPost UK that Swedish broadcaster SVT deployed methods to balance the sound throughout the week, but did not censor anything from the audience itself.

“Just like in all major TV productions with an audience, SVT [Sweden’s national broadcaster] work on the broadcast sound to even out the levels for TV viewers. This is solely to achieve as balanced a sound mix as possible for the audience; and SVT do not censor sound from the arena audience,” the spokesperson said.

“The same principle applies to all competing performances and opening and interval acts.”

Israeli public broadcaster Kan shared several videos of Golan before and after her performance in the final. In one, the singer is shown practicing the song as her team surrounded her and hurled insults, apparently in preparation for what could happen at the event.

Kan shared a second video of Golan’s entire final performance. Booing from the audience is not audible in the video shared.

Golan’s performance wasn’t the only part of the show that inspired audience rebuke. When host Petra Mede mentioned the Netherlands during several segments, the audience loudly voiced its unhappiness before being muted. Dutch contestant Joost Klein, one of the favorites to win the event, was disqualified on Thursday for reasons that have yet to be fully disclosed.

Boos were again heard on the live broadcast as Israel’s jury tallied its votes.

Though organizers of the 68th Eurovision contest have attempted to keep politics out of the event as per usual, tensions have been simmering since Eden Golan’s song “October Rain” was approved for the competition. This year’s Eurovision has taken place as the Israeli-Hamas war has continued to bring devastation to Gaza.

Israel’s security agency Shin Bet ordered Golan to remain in her hotel room ahead of the final as thousands of people staged a protest in the city’s streets. Golan has also been met with disdain from her fellow contestants, including Greece’s Marina Satti, who pretended to fall asleep as Golan answered questions from a reporter about her song.

In 2015, Eurovision admitted to deploying anti-booing technology during the year’s broadcast after Russia’s contestant was booed the year before in response to homophobic legislation passed by the country — and to military action Russia had taken in Ukraine.

Jarmo Siim, a Eurovision spokesperson, told ABC News of the booing, “We found the reaction last year was quite embarrassing. We don’t believe it’s in the spirit of the competition.”


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