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19.05.2019 General News

Netherlands wins Eurovision as Madonna dancers spark controversy

By RFI
REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun
MAY 19, 2019 GENERAL NEWS

The Netherlands have won the 2019 Eurovision song contest at a show in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv.

The extravaganza passed off without too much political controversy, though two incidents temporarily drew attention away from the songs and toward Israel's conflict with the Palestinians.

Local media showed images of two of Madonna's dancers side-by-side with Israeli and Palestinian flags on their backs during her performance.

Icelandic group Hatari meanwhile displayed scarfs with Palestinian flags when results were being announced.

The European Broadcasting Union, which organises the event, condemned both displays.

Referring to Madonna's dancers, it said "this element of the performance was not part of the rehearsals".

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

After performances by all 26 finalists, Duncan Laurence of the Netherlands took the prize with the stirring power ballad "Arcade". Italy finished second and Russia third.

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