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08th May 2024

Eurovision organisers order Bambie Thug to change pro-Palestine message

Simon Kelly

Bambie Thug Eurovision

They are due to perform in the final on Saturday.

Irish Eurovision contestant Bambie Thug was ordered by the European Broadcasting Union to change their pro-Palestinian message for their semi final performance on Tuesday night.

The ‘Doomsday Blue’ singer qualified for the Eurovision final after impressing during their semi-final performance in Malmö on May 7.

They became the first Irish act to qualify for the final since 2018.

Following their performance, the 31-year-old told a press conference they were forced to change their body paint in Ogham script, which translated to ‘ceasefire and freedom’.

“It was very important for me because I’m pro-justice and pro-peace,” they said about the message, which nodded to the situation in Gaza and Israel’s inclusion in the contest.

“Unfortunately, I had to change those messages today to ‘crown the witch’ only (which was an) order from the EBU.”

A spokeswoman for the EBU said: “The writing seen on Bambie Thug’s body during dress rehearsals contravened contest rules that are designed to protect the non-political nature of the event.

“After discussions with the Irish delegation, they agreed to change the text for the live show.”

Eurovision organisers order Bambie Thug to change pro-Palestine message

Bambie Thug will now perform their song ‘Doomsday Blue’ in the Eurovision finals on Saturday, May 11.

The Macroom singer has faced increasing backlash to their decision to perform in Malmo, despite calls for a boycott over Israel’s inclusion in the competition.

Last month, over 400 Irish artists called for Bambie Thug to boycott the event in solidarity with Palestine, including Derry Girls actor Siobhán McSweeney and singer-songwriter Erica-Cody, who competed against Bambie Thug for a place at Eurovision this year.

The open letter, which was posted on the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign website, notes a previous statement from Bambie Thug, where they said, “my heart has and always will be with the oppressed”.

The letter argues that “by participating in Eurovision you will be standing with the oppressor”.

The letter went on to say that Palestinians have asked performers to boycott the contest and the artists are asking the Bambie Thug to stand ‘on the right side of history.’

In an interview on the Late Late Show earlier last month, the Cork artist said: “I stand with anyone doing the boycott. I think if I wasn’t in the competition, I would also be boycotting. There are a lot of moving parts.

“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,” they added.

“Obviously it’s incredibly heavy and I am extremely behind everybody.”

Bambie Thug also expressed disappointment at Eurovison organizers for allowing Israel take a global stage at the competition despite calls for a ban, similar to their decision to ban Russia after the country invaded Ukraine in 2022.

The finale airs on Saturday, May 11 at 8pm and will be shown on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player.

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Bambie Thug