Duncan Laurence’s mournful piano ballad “Arcade” has won Eurovision 2019 for the Netherlands. According to The Independent, Laurence scored 492 points, and was showered in gold glitter when he won the international contest. “Oh god, this is to music first,” he said as he claimed his trophy. “Thank you, thank you.” Italy came in second place with “Soldi,” followed by Russia, Switzerland and Norway.
Meanwhile, Madonna’s performance at the Tel Aviv-hosted event generated controversy even before it began. Pro-Palestinian rights activists urged the singer not to perform at an Israeli event, but she said that she wanted to use the event to create “a new path toward peace.” Well, people on both sides of the issue now have at least one thing in common: being mad at Madonna. Mads sang “Like a Prayer” and her new single, “Future,” as her backup dancers wore both Palestinian and Israeli flags. The European Broadcasting Service said it had not approved the political statement, as Eurovision is supposed to be “non-political.” Palestinian rights activists would argue that an event in Tel Aviv is inherently political. Madonna’s main takeaway is that music has the power to unite people. “Let’s not underestimate the power of music to bring people together,” she said in a video before her set. “That’s the most important thing. Music makes the people come together.”