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Bambie Thug speaking at last night's press conference

'The EBU is not what the Eurovision is - f**k the EBU' - Bambie Thug

Their comments come after a chaotic week at the Eurovision, where several acts spoke of tensions backstage.


IRELAND’S BAMBIE THUG has excoriated the European Broadcasting Union for its stance on Israel’s status in the Eurovision, speaking in the wake of last night’s Grand Final in Malmö. 

The non-binary singer finished in sixth place in the competition, while another non-binary act, Switzerland’s Nemo, won.

The contest has been beset by controversy all week and a number of acts have spoken of tensions backstage in recent days. 

Two major pro-Gaza protests took place in Malmö during the week of the contest, including on the day of the Grand Final. 

They came following long-running campaigns in a number of Eurovision countries calling on the EBU to ban the Israeli broadcaster Kan from the competition. 

Bambie Thug, who had rejected calls to boycott the contest and said they intended to stay in as a pro-Palestinian voice, said the atmosphere behind the scenes had been horrible. 

Earlier in the week, the Cork singer was told by the EBU that they had to change their stage make-up after it emerged that it contained pro-Palestine messages written in the Ogham alphabet. 

It had been reported yesterday afternoon that the singer may not appear in the final at all after a separate dispute with the EBU emerged at the start of the final rehearsal show. 

Bambie Thug said in a statement on social media just hours before the televised final started that they were awaiting word from the broadcasting union on an alleged breach of rules by Israeli TV commentators during their semi-final performance earlier in the week. 

“There’s a lot more anger and a lot more drive in me now,” the singer said yesterday in an interview about the commentary with RTÉ News, adding that in their opinion Israel should not be allowed to take further part in the contest. 

According to RTÉ’s report a commentator on KAN warned TV viewers with children tuning in on Tuesday that Bambie Thug’s performance would be “the most scary” of the show.

They added that there was some controversy about the song in Ireland and that the singer also liked to “speak negatively about Israel” before adding, “prepare your curses”.

Bambie Thug said that the EBU confirmed that KAN’s commentators had “broken the rules of conduct during the semi-final 1″.

Just hours before the final the singer posted a fresh update to say they had been “patiently waiting to hear what action is set to be taken by the EBU following this rule break” but had since “seen a statement by EBU Director General Noel Curran which contradicts this earlier confirmation”.

“I am still waiting for an official update from the EBU.” 

Once the final was over, Bambie Thug also accused KAN of inciting violence against them.

“So now that I am free I can talk about everything right? KAN, the broadcaster, incited violence against me twice, three times,” they told reporters.

“We brought it up to the EBU, they said they’d follow up. They waited until the last minute, we still haven’t got a statement back. They allowed us to be scapegoats, allowed us to be the spokesperson for standing up for ourselves.”

They added that they hope Israel would not be allowed to partake next year due to the conduct of KAN. 

Curran earlier yesterday gave an interview to Swedish national broadcaster SVT, which is hosting the competition this year. Curran said that the Israeli broadcaster had not broken any of the EBU’s rules regarding the competition.

In a clip of the interview posted online by SVT, Curran described KAN as a broadcaster that had come under immense pressure from the Israeli government in recent years – adding that they had been allowed to continue in the competition as it was found that they had not broken any rules. The question is not included in the edit posted online, and it’s not clear if Curran was asked about any events that took place at the contest on Saturday.

“I’m so proud of Nemo for winning,” Bambie Thug told reporters in the Eurovision media centre after the show. 

“I’m so proud of all of us that are in the top ten that have been fighting for this shit behind the scenes because it has been so horrible for us and I am so proud of us.

“And I just want to say we are what the Eurovision is. The EBU is not what the Eurovision is – fuck the EBU. I don’t even care anymore. Fuck them.

“The thing that makes it is the contestants, the community behind it, the love and the power and the support of all of us is what is making change.”

Earlier, Italian singer Angelina Mango told the BBC that there was “a lot of tension” backstage.

Controversies throughout the week had made it “difficult to be in the present and enjoy every moment,” she added.

Asked in his interview with SVT about the decision not to bar Israel from the contest this year, Curran said that he “can’t look back and say the decision was the wrong decision”. 

That decision was made after consulting with the union’s member broadcasters, he added. “I respect the protesters,” Curran said. ”I’m not going to pretend that this has been a completely normal Eurovision.” 

There is no welcoming event planned in Ireland for Bambie Thug’s homecoming as they are based in London. 

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