The Netherlands won the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Tel Aviv on Saturday, with the sad ballad on the piano by Duncan Laurence front porch crowned champion of Europe's annual musical extravaganza.
The 25-year-old was chosen as the first player before the Grand Final, but was ranked third only after the professional juries of the 41 participating countries voted, with Sweden and northern Macedonia. It went ahead thanks to the vote of the fans, ensuring the Netherlands the fifth ever win in the competition. Italy came second, followed by Russia, Switzerland and Norway.
"This is dreaming great, this is for the music before, always," said Laurence, while he was awarded last year's winner trophy, Israeli Netta Barzilai.
An estimated 200 million people worldwide have witnessed the annual field competition with 26 nations fighting in the Grand Final of the 64th Eurovision.
Madonna was the main attraction, performing in her hit-staple, Like a prayer, Which marks 30 years since its release, and a new song Future from his next album Madame X. She took the stage after the participants ended their performances shortly after midnight, when the elaborate voting procedure began throughout Europe.
To maximize screen tension, artists are classified by a mix of fan and professional jury ratings. Viewers could not vote for their country, but nations that think like them tend to fall into blocks that support their regional favorites, with politics confusing art.
The Eurovision debuted in the wake of World War II to heal a divided continent. Over the years, the brazen spectacle of European unity has turned into an exaggerated and gay-friendly spectacle that brings together acts from across the continent, including those with little or no connection to Europe, such as the ;Australia.
Israel got the right to host the show after Barzilai won last year's competition with its catchy pop anthem Toy.
Politics on stage
The seemingly non-political affair has tried to avoid the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has been largely successful, despite the swirling threats of controversy. He asks that performing artists to boycott the show on Israeli policies towards the Palestinians have not generated much momentum.
A small protest took place outside the Tel Aviv Expo Center before the show, followed by another by the Gaza musicians at the start of the week. Even a recent round of rockets to Israel from there did not calm the excitement.
Madonna herself had addressed the demands of a Palestinian-led campaign to avoid performing in the event in Israel. But the Queen of Pop has rejected the boycott motions, saying that "she will never stop making music to satisfy someone's political agenda". However, two of his hugging dancers sported the flags of Israel and the Palestinians on their shoulders.
Madonna closes it #Eurovision performance of "Future" with a political declaration.
Two dancers wearing flags of Israel and Palestine walk with their arms around them in the distance. pic.twitter.com/3Uy3BAHVa3
All eyes were on the controversial steampunk band Hatari, who had attracted the attention initially by saying that it would be "absurd" to participate in Israel because of its policies towards the Palestinians.
They had sworn to use the spotlight of the Eurovision to expose the "face of the occupation", but their live metal rock performances passed without incident. Only at the end of the broadcast, when their final vote was announced, did they come up with a Palestinian flag, with whistling sounds from the audience.
For Israel, the mega event offered a much awaited opportunity to give its good face and project an image of normality in the world. Israeli-themed promotional clips with each of the participants dancing in various scenic locations across the country streamed before each show to a TV audience expected to be larger than the Super Bowl audience.
The event itself was hosted by a quartet of Israeli celebrities, including top model Bar Refaeli. Even the Israeli magical woman Gal Gadot made a cameo video appearance. The Tel Aviv room was full of thousands of screaming fans, while tens of thousands gathered to watch the final in the Eurovision village sponsored by the city in Tel Aviv and on public screenings elsewhere.
As the defending champion, Israel won the finals, along with the five European countries that financed the event the most. The other 20 participants qualified with a couple of semifinal rounds.
The spirit of Sweden Too late for loveSung by John Lundvik, she passed the professional jury vote and seems to be about to carry on the success of the Eurovision in Sweden, 45 years after the Swedish icons ABBA won with Waterloo.
Israel has won the Eurovision four times and has provided the country with some of its cultural milestones.
Hallelujah became the unofficial national song of the country after Milk and Honey won the race for Israel when it hosted the event at the end of the 70s, and Dana International became a national hero and a # 39; transgender world icon when he won with Diva in 1998. Barzilai became a model for plus-size women after his victory last year.
She didn't apologize for her weight, the loud colors she wears and the funky melodies and sounds that have become her trademark.
All the former winners of Israel took part in the event on Saturday with Barzilai and Dana International who were ceremoniously staged.