Eurovision 2024 in Malmö drew headlines beyond the music because of the protests against Israel’s participation, withdrawal threats before the Grand Final and a historic disqualification of the Netherlands’ artist Joost Klein. Following the debacle, there were repeated calls for structural changes in the contest’s organisational team at the EBU — a sentiment echoed by the conclusions of an independent investigation.

Now, it has been revealed that Martin Österdahl will stay on as Eurovision Executive Supervisor for 2025, but with newly created positions alongside him to help bolster the leadership team, which the Swedish television producer has welcomed.

In an interview with Swedish Radio, EBU Media Director, Jean Philip De Tender, confirmed that Martin Österdahl stays on as Executive Supervisor. The tasks of the Executive Supervisor will be spread out to more roles, such as the new ESC Director, who will be appointed in the next couple of weeks.

The ESC Director’s responsibility will be of a more strategic manner, with the Executive Supervisor focusing solely on the production of Eurovision and more hands-on matters during the contest.

Commenting on the controversial events surrounding this year’s contest and what the EBU’s investigation led by an independent expert concluded, De Tender noted:

“When the Eurovision Song Contest started almost 70 years ago, our agreements with the artists were on one page, today they are on hundreds of pages. We need to be clearer and really work to ensure that everyone participating in the event understands what they are getting into.

“The new updated rules do not change anything regarding Israel’s participation, as the rule is still that as long as the broadcasting TV company can demonstrate that they are an independent public service company, they are allowed to participate.  

“Eurovision must continue to be a non-political event in the same spirit as the Olympic Games.”

Jean Philip De Tender, EBU Media Director

Martin Österdahl supports changes

Eurovision Executive Supervisor Martin Österdahl welcomes the announcement of the organisational changes in the EBU.

These reinforcements are needed“, says Martin Österdahl in an interview with Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.

The new role of ESC Director will oversee Martin Österdahl’s work, as well as take over some of his longer-term duties. But Österdahl does not see it as stepping aside. In the future, his managerial role also means participating in the new working group that will work with crisis management and crisis communication.

“The Eurovision Song Contest has grown explosively, not least during the last four years, and the event has in many ways grown out of our organisation”, says Österdahl.

“If we compare ourselves to a larger sporting event that has the same amount of media pressure, we have probably been a bit naïve on Eurovision’s part and not really had the resources we need.”

Booed by the crowd

Eurovision in Malmö 2024 was characterised by protests against Israel’s participation, threats of withdrawal and the disqualification of the Dutch entry during Eurovision week. Martin Österdahl was booed by a frustrated audience in the arena during the Grand Final.

“My focus was that we would get through these last-minute changes, that they would be seamless and that everyone would come out of it with their skin intact. If an outlet for the frustration and disappointment was needed, then booing towards me is perfectly fine. The main thing was that no one was hurt”, he says.

Middle East issue is complicated

Martin Österdahl is proud that Eurovision 2024 had high viewing figures and that the competition created great engagement. He points out that Eurovision has lived with “geopolitical tensions” throughout the years, but that it was especially difficult in Malmö.

“The Middle East issue is complicated. They struggle with it in the White House and at 10 Downing Street, so it is clear that it is difficult for an organisation like the EBU as well. I don’t have definitive answers as to how we will solve it in the future, but that the decision-making mandate becomes clearer and that communication improves, that is what we will concentrate on.”

– Some artists threatened to quit. Will the new working group work to counter such things?

“During the summer and autumn, we will review how the communication within the member organisation works and make sure that all information gets through all the way. From the highest delegation, to the head of delegation, to the artists. There was obviously a lack of clear communication”, says Martin Österdahl.

The EBU will take measures to make the line of decision clearer to the public regarding the rules of participation for countries, and who ultimately make the decisions as to which countries are allowed to participate or not.

Joost Klein would be welcome again

During his interview with Swedish Radio, Jean Philip De Tender was also asked if the disqualification of Joost Klein from Eurovision 2024 would impact the chances of the Dutch artist’s rumoured return to the 2025 competition

“That is a decision that AVROTROS (the Dutch broadcaster) would have to make. If they want to submit an entry, that abides by the rules, I see no reason as to why he would be excluded.”

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msss
msss
4 days ago

yaay, hot babe will be back

F@ab
F@ab
4 days ago

Many good news here. Thanks for the article.

Tony
Tony
5 days ago

When I was a child, I really loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Now it has become a big joke without charm. I will watch the 2025 Contest, having a big party and celebrate the 25 years with “Fly on the wings of love “. I was in Sweden to see The Olsen Brothers win and the following year, I was in Parken. It was amazing.
After the 2025 Eurovision Song Contest in Switzerland, where it all began in 1956, it will be a goodbye to Eurovision Song Contest. Thank you for all the wonderful moments, but everything has its time.

LawnaDellPlay
LawnaDellPlay
5 days ago

EasterDoll

Iván el Conquistador
Iván el Conquistador
7 days ago

The shabbos goy remains in power

MissYouMrTakeItAway
MissYouMrTakeItAway
7 days ago

Live is too short; don’t forget this, guys… Eurovision is THE ONE moment in a year, a week to enjoy all the things we are usually delighted by Eurovision. I really want this event to dispense with all the toxic things it had this 2024.

Roy
Roy
9 days ago

Yeah yeah… Israel will be in the top 5 again next year.. mark my words… as long it is a decent good song like unicorn & hurricane.

Anonymous91
Anonymous91
8 days ago
Reply to  Roy

another reason for me to boycott this stupid contest

Hurricane isn’t a good song, just a average middle of road american ballad been there done that many many times before

Unicorn is a bop yes, but honestly Noa Kirel just has that superstar appeal potential also outside the esc bubble me thinks, same as most k-pop acts have, the perfect combo of looks, dance moves, slick vocals

Tony
Tony
7 days ago
Reply to  Anonymous91

Hurricane is a beautiful song and Eden has an amazing voice, which you can’t say about Noa Kirel. Today you can’t write a song that doesn’t remind you of something, and not many artists in Eurovision can sing very well. Maybe that’s why they have started to dance and swing their hair instead of singing. ……

Piet
Piet
9 days ago

The EBU should not be about saving Osterdahl’s job, but about truly changing the poisonous atmosphere that he and his board members have caused. There should be new leader and a completely new board to create a fresh, new, and healthy restart for Eurovision.

Barry
Barry
9 days ago

Instead of resigning they install more bureaucracy. EBU (marketing)managers are good to go

Cassette
Cassette
10 days ago

I love how this EBU stooge says “The Middle East Is Complicated” whilst simultaneously giving Israel a free pass to ruin our beloved contest. We human rights champions will still protest Israel’s inclusion next year and every year after that.

Iban
Iban
10 days ago
Reply to  Cassette

Well… your campaign failed in 2024 and will fail every year after that. The reason: human rights championship does not belong to you (alone) – but to us all. The basic human rights (simply to live!) belongs even more to those who participated in the NOVA music festival and are no longer with us…

Raul
Raul
9 days ago
Reply to  Cassette

Well . Biased view isn’t it ? What about Nova Festival ? Iran ? Syria ? Sudan ? Yemen ? Iraq ? Guess what religion is common to all these geno… c..ide countrys ? And the Issue is Israel the only country democratic on this area of the globe. Yes . The Middle East ain’t a black and white situation . And I think that everyone forgot history : Inquisition II Great War etc

Cassette
Cassette
9 days ago
Reply to  Raul

Whatabout Whatabut Whatabout… Classic tactic of deflection from Israeli’s and their supporters to avoid their crimes. So manipulative. Either way we will see you in the hague! Adios!

Anya
Anya
8 days ago
Reply to  Cassette

He was pretty spot on about one thing, though:
“Eurovision must continue to be a non-political event in the same spirit as the Olympic Games.”

The Olympic Games were very non-political in 36 and that is where this song contest can be taken if a war-nation gets to host it.

Anonymous91
Anonymous91
7 days ago
Reply to  Anya

Olympic Games are an actual popular event, whereas this eurovision thing is just a irrelevant waste of money

i always watch olympics, i am invested in almost every sport event too

Samo
Samo
5 days ago
Reply to  Cassette

Israel haven’t done a single thing to “ruin the contest”. All the drama was caused by few pathetic artists who have decided to stage their protests in Eurovision.

Karl
Karl
10 days ago

This scoundrel must go.

Fatima
Fatima
11 days ago

People who really know about the contest never expected him to resign. Nor do they expect Klein to return.

GojoSatoru
GojoSatoru
8 days ago
Reply to  Fatima

Your hatred for Joost is insanely forced. Get a life.

Bettie
Bettie
11 days ago

A lot of words to say nothing important changes. And Joost can participate again? Off course he can, they are still cashing money from the Europapa YT videos on their channel… What he did was serious enough to DQ him but not serious enough to cash his money,

Anonymous91
Anonymous91
11 days ago

stupid moronic loser Osterdahl staying, of course must have lots of friends within the fascist ebu

tomato
tomato
11 days ago

So this guy stayed and all the other countries claiming they’d withdraw also stayed, okay

Jonny
Jonny
11 days ago

I am happy to hear this. It’s quite important that they don’t listen to this hysterical mob.

Iban
Iban
11 days ago
Reply to  Jonny

Fully agree!

Karl
Karl
11 days ago

:puke emoji:
This guy is the catalyst for leading Eurovision to crash and burn.

Mom
Mom
11 days ago

Who cares?

Dominic
Dominic
11 days ago

Ostendahl has some nerves of steel not to resign after the fiasco this year. At least I hope that he is truly open for a conversation about adjusting the rules for the better.

Thanos
Thanos
11 days ago

Once again, the EBU only cares about communication. They only change how they communicate the show to us, but of course not the actual problems the show has.

Sally
Sally
11 days ago
Reply to  Thanos

How can you say they only care about communication when we are STILL waiting for them to communicate with the world about the fiascos of this year’s contest beyond “Yeah, we’re looking at stuff”

Thanos
Thanos
11 days ago
Reply to  Sally

Of course I meant the useless, marketing-style communication not the real sincere one.

Azuro
Azuro
11 days ago

“The new updated rules do not change anything regarding Israel’s participation, as the rule is still that as long as the broadcasting TV company can demonstrate that they are an independent public service company, they are allowed to participate.

Dominic
Dominic
11 days ago
Reply to  Azuro

The big issue is that they have to have a specific rule that bans Israel from the contest. Option A: The rule would state that no country that instigates the war can participate in Eurovision. If so, they have to officially state that they think that Israel, and not Palestine, is the instigator. Which is, as of now, still highly debated on the world scene, and is not a black or white issue. Option B: The rule would state that no country currently at war can partcipate in Eurovision. In that case, Israel is immediately out, but so are Azerbaijan,… Read more »

Thanos
Thanos
11 days ago
Reply to  Dominic

The thing with instigators in a war though is that it is always debated when it’s a current event and a consensus is reached many years later in retrospect (if it’s ever reached). Even in the Russo-Ukrainian war, if you ask Put!n or some BRICS nations they’ll say that the instigator was Western and NATO expansionism. So in the high-ranking level it’s not debated, but rather they decide who the instigator is judging by who is their ally and who isn’t and where their interests are. That’s why they will never claim that their ally Israel is the instigator as… Read more »

Iban
Iban
11 days ago
Reply to  Thanos

We asked you already Thanos to bare politics from the contest and this platform – and you continue your politic crusade and activism (so inapproriate!).
Are you capabale of bringing us any comment purely related to MUSIC?? (like the choosing of Greece’s artist internally or a national final?)…
This is what we want (and deserve) to discuss in this platform!!
Show us you can…

Thanos
Thanos
11 days ago
Reply to  Iban

Mate I always talked about the contest here since I don’t even remember when that I’ve been here. I write reviews for every year’s Wiwi jury in the contest. But when I see the contest I love having problems and also participating in a tremendous injustice I feel the need to speak up

Karl
Karl
11 days ago

Mark my words: that Dutch HOD that resigned last week and was involved in the 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 edition was asked to take upon him the role as ESC Director !!!

They will only announce this as soon as Joost Klein os cleared of all charges.

Fatima
Fatima
11 days ago
Reply to  Karl

But even if he’s cleared of charges by the police Karl, we know he broke contest rules

Anna
Anna
11 days ago
Reply to  Fatima

But so did many others this year, broke the contest rules. So what’s your point?

Fatima
Fatima
11 days ago
Reply to  Anna

He was the one disqualified by the people determining those rules. Nothing will change that, whether we like it or not.

Bettie
Bettie
11 days ago
Reply to  Fatima

He wasn’t the only one.

Maighel
Maighel
11 days ago

Absolute disgrace! The EBU is corrupt to the bone!