Madonna's Eurovision performance divides viewers

Brenda Watkins
May 21, 2019

Some campaigners wore shirts saying "Eurovision: I'm not your Toy", a play on the song "Toy" by the Israeli singer Netta Barzilai, whose win at last year's competition brought the 2019 finals to Israel. Italy finished in second place with 465 votes and Russian Federation came in third with 369.

Brisbane singer-songwriter Miller-Heidke stunned with a spectacular stage show, wearing a full ball gown while perched atop a moving pole.

Australia's Kate Miller-Heidke came in a very respectable 9th place, with her death-defying track "Zero Gravity". Not least because if they win with Hatrid Mun Sigra (that's Hate Will Prevail), they plan to erect Israel's "first liberal BDSM enclave".

Iceland's entry, the leather-clad BDSM group Hatari, had slammed Eurovision in Israel as being "built on a lie", but nonetheless took to the stage - choosing to instead focus on Eurovision as a champion of diversity and inclusiveness.

Globalvision events were to be hosted by the Palestinian city of Ramallah, in Haifa, Israel which is home to many Arabs, as well as in London and Dublin.

"In the live broadcast of the Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final, two of Madonna's dancers briefly displayed the Israeli and Palestinian flags on the back of their outfits".

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In a statement carried by USA media earlier this week, Madonna said: "I'll never stop playing music to suit someone's political agenda nor will I stop speaking out against violations of human rights wherever in the world they may be". Even more so was the lack of visible security - a token bag search but no police in evidence and no gun-toting soldiers such as you might see in many European capitals for an event of this type.

With Madonna's guest performance meting out "a message of peace", others in the music industry echoed the Queen of Pop's commitment to playing in Israel.

Critics had said Marimi's song was too slow and lacked personality, but Marimi gave it a little extra for the performance. In the jury vote, Sweden had been only narrowly ahead of North Macedonia.

In the weeks leading up to the competition, the Dutchman had hardly budged as the far and away favorite among bookmakers and experts.

Madonna told Eurovision Song Contest performers: "You're all winners, no matter what happens".

The EBU considered the possibility of similarly inviting countries to participate in future editions of the contest.

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