NME Festival blog: The Netherlands win as UK comes last


The UK gathered just 16 points

Duncan Laurence of the Netherlands has won this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in a closely fought battle between Italy and Russia.

Amassing 492 points with song ‘Arcade’, Laurence’s win marks the first time the Netherlands have won the contest since 1975. Italy finished second with 465 and Russia third with 369 points. The UK faired less well, coming last with just 16 points for song ‘Bigger Than Us’.

Speaking about the win, Laurence said: “Here’s to dreaming big, this is to music first, always.”

You can see footage and reaction from the contest here:

Earlier in the evening, Madonna performed a politically tinged performance at the final in Tel Aviv, Israel, which saw two dancers with Palestinian and Israeli flags on their backs embrace. It wasn’t the only political statement of the evening, as Iceland unveiled a Palestinian flag in front of the Israeli audience.

During her performance, Madonna sang ‘Like A Prayer’ and later ‘Future’, with Migos‘ Quavo, the latter taken from her upcoming new album, ‘Madame X’. The performance also saw The Queen of Pop also include a spoken segment saying: “They are so naive – they think we are not aware of their crimes. We know, but we’re just not ready to act.

“The storm isn’t in the air, it’s inside of us. I want to tell you about love and loneliness. But it’s getting late now. Can’t you hear outside of your Supreme hoodie, the wind that’s beginning to howl?”

Madonna at Eurovision

Towards the end of her performance, Madonna added: “Let’s never underestimate the power of music to bring people together” and urged people to “wake up” before two dancers, one wearing an Israeli flag, the other a Palestinian flag, briefly embraced.

Organisers for the event later responded to the performance’s political edge via a statement. It read: “In the live broadcast… two of Madonna’s dancers briefly displayed the Israeli and Palestinian flags on the back of their outfits. This element of the performance was not part of the rehearsals which had been cleared.

“…The Eurovision Song Contest is a non-political event and Madonna had been made aware of this.”





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