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Bambie Thug Alamy Stock Photo

'If I wasn’t in the competition, I would also be boycotting': Bambie Thug responds to backlash

They said that while they stand with those who choose to boycott the song contest, dropping out would mean “less competition” for Israel.

IRELAND’S EUROVISION ENTRANT Bambie Thug has faced backlash for their decision not to boycott the song contest.

It comes as acts have been called to leave the competition over Israel’s participation, amid the humanitarian crisis in Gaza caused by Israel’s war on Hamas.

Over 30,000 Palestinians are reported to have died as a result of Israel’s military campaign in Gaza, which was initiated in response to 7 October attacks by Hamas. 

Speaking on The Late Late Show last night, Bambie Thug said they stand with those who choose to boycott the song contest, but that dropping out would mean “less competition” for Israel.

I think if I wasn’t in the competition, I would also be boycotting.

“There a lot of moving parts and at the end of the day, without the group of us who is pro-Palestine, it is less competition for the other side to win and it’s less of solidarity there. Obviously it’s incredibly heavy and I’m extremely behind everybody.

“We all met up and had chats about it and felt strongly about it… we couldn’t stay silent on the matter.

“But at the end of the day, it’s the EBU [European Broadcasting Union] who have to make the decision and unfortunately, in my eyes, they aren’t making the right decision. So yeah, it’s bitter sweet the whole thing.”

Following their comments on air, people took to X to express dissatisfaction with their stance, with the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign saying they “can’t have it both ways”.

This morning, Bambie Thug posted: “People will literally take anything you say and twist it, bully you online and tell you to unalive yourself daily if you’re not doing what they think you should be doing and if you ever actually acted on it they’d suddenly speak nicely about you when ur gone. Sense?”

Olly Alexander, the UK’s entrant, faced similar backlash over the same decision.

A group called Queers for Palestine had written an open letter to the gay artist asking him to boycott. He replied online saying that he supports a ceasefire but he and other contestants plan to use the Eurovision platform to “come together and call for peace”.

In replies to his post on X, some called him “selfish” and accused of “supporting genocide”, while others said he made the right decision and wished him well.

Meanwhile, the lyrics for Israel’s re-written Eurovision entry song have been approved after the country’s original submission faced scrutiny from the competition’s organisers. 

There were reports that the first version of the song proposed by Israel, October Rain, was rejected by the organisers, due to perceived political lyrics relating to the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

The revised song, Hurricane, contains vague lyrics about overcoming struggle, similar to many other pop songs that have been entered into the competition over the years.