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Eurovision boss teases ‘exciting changes’ for the grand final as Dutch act axed-Asyia Iftikhar-Entertainment – Metro

Voting will be radically different this year.

Eurovision boss teases ‘exciting changes’ for the grand final as Dutch act axed-Asyia Iftikhar-Entertainment – Metro

Olly Alexander will represent the UK in tonight’s finals (Picture: Getty)

As the Eurovision Grand Final approaches, executive supervisor Martin Österdahl has shared a sneak peek at what to expect from the extravagant finale.

Eurovision Song Contest 2024 is taking place in the Swedish city Malmo with 33-year-old artist Olly Alexander representing the UK with hit song Dizzy.

After a tense week of semi-final performances, 25 countries have progressed to the Grand Final happening tonight. Among the favourites to take home the coveted trophy are Croatia’s Baby Lasagna and Switzerland’s Nemo.

Meanwhile, legendary Eurovision host Graham Norton has shared his hopes for an Irish victory, with popular act Bambie Thug.

One less country, however, will be performing after The Netherlands’ Joost Klein was kicked out by the Eurovision’s organisers as police investigate a complaint of inappropriate behaviour.

As fans gather to watch the annual singing competition, Eurovision’s top boss Martin shed light on the ‘tweaks’ coming to Eurovision tonight.

‘We always try to tweak a little bit on what arguably is the world’s oldest entertainment format and longest-running TV show,’ Martin, who has been in his role since 2020, explained to Variety.

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Martin Österdahl is shaking things up for the Grand Final (Picture: Leszek Szymanski/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

This year they are trying to ‘increase engagement’ with a ‘couple of things’.

The first is a change to voting. Instead of waiting until all the acts have performed to vote for the best, you can now ring up as and when you see something you like on stage.

‘We also introduced the rest-of-the-world vote last year and we have extended their time window so that they can actually vote 24 hours before the show starts,’ Martin concluded.

Elsewhere in the interview with Variety, Martin responded to the ongoing controversy surrounding Israel’s inclusion.

There have been protests and calls to boycott the show for not ousting Israel’s act Eden Golan due to the country’s war on Hamas in Gaza which has led to 35,000 deaths and thousands more injured.

Israeli performer Eden Golan has been a source of tension throughout the competition (Picture: AP)

In response to the political turbulence, Martin admitted ‘it’s been difficult this year’.

‘Our job is to is to be a beacon of light,’ he continued.

‘We came back as the first big entertainment show and event after the pandemic and we were a beacon at that point.

‘I’m hoping we can do that again and show to the world that if we can put our differences aside for a moment and unite together in music, there’s still hope for a brighter future for us.

Several artists have spoken about Israel’s inclusion, represented by 20-year-old singer Eden Golan, in this year’s competition including Bambie and former winner Loreen.

Eurovision’s grand finale airs tonight on BBC Oneand iPlayer at 8pm.

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