UK Eurovision 2024 entry left in tears as he addresses Israel inclusion controversy: 'Really distressed'

UK Eurovision 2024 entry left in tears as he addresses Israel inclusion controversy: 'Really distressed'

Olly Alexander teases his Eurovision Song Contest entry song

Lauren Williams

By Lauren Williams

Published: 03/05/2024

- 15:45

The Eurovision Song Contest begins its first round next week on May 7, with Olly Alexander representing the UK

Olly Alexander has defended his involvement in the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest - which kicks off in Sweden later this month - after some fans were angered that Israel was taking part amid the ongoing war against Hamas.

In October last year, Hamas - a terrorist organisation with bases in the Gaza Strip - unleashed an attack on Israel which saw over 1,000 civilians killed in their own homes.

Israel has since retaliated with strikes on Gaza but has been criticised due to the number of civilian casualties caught in the crossfire.

Due to the ongoing war, some Eurovision fans think that Israel should be banned from taking part in this years competition due to the severity of the war and the toll it is having on civilian lives.

Many have highlighted that Russia has not been involved in the contest since they began an unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in 2022, further highlighting their reasons to have Israel pulled from the contest.

Alexander is representing the UK this year - and received some backlash of his own as many slammed the singer's involvement - leaving him to admit the furore around the event has taken a toll on him.

Olly Alexander

Olly admitted to being emotional about his involvement in the contest this year


Eagle-eyed fans noted that he seemed downcast and not his usual self during the Eurovision pre-party in London.

He addressed the moment as he recently told The Times: "Yes, I struggled that day. I was holed up in a room trying not to have a breakdown. Normally, you get on stage and turn it on, but I felt really unable to do that.

"It was tough... I just could not get it together and then I felt ashamed of myself and embarrassed.”

According to the publication [via the Mirror], Alexander began to cry as he emotionally added: "Obviously there are a lot of things I wish were different. And this is so much bigger than me and Eurovision, it really is.

“Obviously, I wish there wasn’t a war or this insane humanitarian crisis. I wish for peace and I have found this experience, at times, extremely... I’ve just felt really sad and distressed.

"But I still believe it’s a good thing when people come together for entertainment. That’s why I wanted to do Eurovision.”

Eurovision Song Contest

The contest kicks off next Tuesday


While Russia has not participated in Eurovision since its illegal invasion of Ukraine began, it has not strictly been banned from the contest.

Instead, the European Broadcasting Union excluded Russia's broadcasters from participating - and the Russian broadcaster has not renewed its interest since.

Back in March, Alexander dropped the full music video for his Eurovision song Dizzy which was met with some divided opinions from listeners.

One X user penned: "I am in shock this is a UK entry. The PRODUCTION. Subtle reminder to those that came before not too long ago.. electro velvet.. josh dubovie.. ENGLEBURT HUMPERDINK. The UK is on an upward trajectory."

Olly Alexanders

Olly is the UK's 2024 representative


"An amazing song and video," a second added followed by the confident prediction: "2024 winner."

Another supported: "Wow Olly Alexander! Insanely obsessed with the rhythm & the style of #Dizzy. It's very catchy. It reminds me of the 2000s sound."

However, some thought that the song was another that wouldn't take us to victory, as one staed: "'Dizzy' actually sounds better then I expected from the snippets. Can't see it win #Eurovision though. And to do good Olly needs to bring his A-game and a spectacular staging."

"Does everyone have to say it’s good when it’s s***?"

A second also feared: "Fantastic song and Olly is amazing however and being realistic this year the competition is too high and there are better songs than Dizzy." (sic)

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