Bookies’ favorite The Netherlands has received Eurovision, as Madonna results in sizzling water with organisers after exhibiting Israeli and Palestinian flags throughout her efficiency.
It has been 44 years because the nation final received the worldwide singing competitors.
Represented by Duncan Laurence, The Netherlands with 492 factors nudged into first place forward of Italy, who had 465 factors.
The UK’s Michael Rice got here final with a complete of 16 factors, however he appeared to win over the hearts of many Brits watching at house, together with presenter Piers Morgan who wrote on Twitter: “Cheer up Michael Rice, we could have come final however we had been nonetheless higher than Madonna.”
Many noticed it as a Brexit-related snub, because it was the primary time the UK got here final since 2010.
Laurence’s stripped again efficiency of Arcade noticed him play piano below a highlight on an in any other case empty stage.
“To dreaming large,” Laurence stated after his win was introduced. “That is to music first,” he added.
The Netherlands carried out properly within the judges’ votes, which had seen the nation initially jostle with Italy, North Macedonia and Sweden for first place.
However excessive votes from most people boosted Switzerland and Norway into fourth and fifth place with 360 and 338 factors – behind Russia who got here in third with 369 factors.
Sweden, who had been prime of the board following the judges’ vote with 239 factors ended up sixth with 332.
Laurence’s win means the competition will likely be held in The Netherlands subsequent 12 months.
This 12 months it was held in Tel Aviv, Israel, which sparked a backlash as some argued the nation’s battle with Palestinians shouldn’t be endorsed.
Madonna carried out in the course of the present, regardless of requires her and different stars to boycott the occasion.
She sang her 1989 hit Like A Prayer, with a 35-strong choir, and her new single Future, alongside American rapper Quavo.
Professional-Palestinian activists accused Madonna of “artwashing” and had urged her to cancel.
Through the efficiency, her dancers turned their backs to the group and had been revealed to have Israeli and Palestinian flags on their backs. They linked their arms and walked collectively in the identical course moments earlier than the phrases “WAKE UP” appeared on a display screen behind Madonna and Quavo.
Organisers stated it had not been a part of the authorized act and that the star had been “made conscious” the occasion is “non-political”.
Eurovision stated: “Within the dwell broadcast of the Eurovision Music Contest Grand Closing, two of Madonna’s dancers briefly displayed the Israeli and Palestinian flags on the again of their outfits.
“This factor of the efficiency was not a part of the rehearsals which had been cleared with the EBU and the Host Broadcaster, KAN. The Eurovision Music Contest is a non-political occasion and Madonna had been made conscious of this.”
Including to organisers’ complications, Iceland, who carried out a heavy steel tune whereas wearing bondage gear, waved Palestinian flags in entrance of the digicam throughout a televised backstage section.
The band, named Hatari, could also be reprimanded over the motion.
Eurovision launched a press release saying: “The Eurovision Music Contest is a non-political occasion and this immediately contradicts the Contest guidelines. The banners had been rapidly eliminated and the results of this motion will likely be mentioned by the Reference Group (the Contest’s government board) after the Contest.”
Hatari’s gesture was labelled a “fig-leaf” gesture by Palestinian Marketing campaign For The Educational And Cultural Boycott Of Israel (PACBI), which had demanded all acts pull out of the occasion.
A spokesperson stated: “Palestinian civil society overwhelmingly rejects fig-leaf gestures of solidarity from worldwide artists crossing our peaceable picket line.”
Earlier than the ultimate, the band, named Hatari, had challenged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a wrestling match. He didn’t reply.