Madonna Makes Statement of Unity at Eurovision

Iceland's Hatari unveils

Madonna makes political statement during Eurovision performance

Italy finished second and Russian Federation third in the results that combined votes from juries from participating countries as well as viewers at home. He surged ahead thanks to the fan vote, securing The Netherlands its fifth win ever in the competition.

Italy's Mahmood came second with 465 points while Russia' Sergey Lazarev was third with 369.

"This is to dreaming big".

It was a different story for Rice the last time he took part in a TV singing contest - he was the victor of the first series of BBC show All Together Now. She took the stage after participants wrapped up their performances shortly after midnight when the elaborate voting process got underway across Europe.

It ended with a message on screen for the world to "wake up".

Widening over the years to include channels subscribing to the European Broadcasting Union, and now spreading as far as Australia, the show lures in millions every year.

Security guards can be heard asking Hatari to hand over the "the flag of Palestine" moments after their protest. It was to be expected that there would be some form of protest, though; LGBTQ activists have been among those calling for boycotts of this year's Eurovision and there's a long tradition of musical artists calling off shows in Israel. A recent round of rocket fire toward Israel from there also failed to temper excitement.

Even with a jewel-encrusted eyepatch and a tiara, the queen of pop, 60, was upstaged by Eurovision contestants after she gave a shaky live rendition of her 1989 classic Like a Prayer. While her performance did close out with two dancers-one with the Israeli flag on their back, the other with the Palestinian flag-embracing, it wasn't like Madge made any screaming proclamations against injustice.

An online version of Madonna's Eurovision show was nowhere to be found for close to 24 hours after the competition finished.

Members of the band Hatari, who sang a techno-punk song with S&M themes, held up Palestinian banners to the cameras, violating Eurovision rules to abstain from politics. Israel-themed promotional clips featuring each of the participants dancing in various scenic locations across the country streamed before each performance to a TV audience expected to be larger than that of the Super Bowl. His country is one of a handful of non-European nations, including Israel, to take part.

The 21-year-old scored just 16 points between the public vote and global jury vote on a night when The Netherlands' Duncan Laurence won the crown with his song Arcade, scoring 492 points.

"Israel has won the Eurovision four previous times and it has provided the country with some of its cultural touchstones".

Eligibility to participate in the contest is determined not by geography but by membership in the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which organises the event. In her "be yourself", girl-power-themed ditty "Toy", the proudly overweight Netta Barzilai became Israel's fourth Eurovision victor.

Latest News