07:29 GMT +319 September 2019
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    Former participants in the Eurovision Song Contest, Austria's Conchita Wurst, Swedish Mans Zelmerlow, Israeli singer Gali Atari, Greek singer Eleni Foureira and Ukrainian singer Verka Serdyuchka, from left, perform during the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest grand final in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, May 18, 2019.

    Political as Ever: Top Memorable Moments from Eurovision 2019

    © AP Photo / Sebastian Scheiner
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    Europe's most popular song contest, held in Israel that won the previous year's competition, might not be as exciting as it used to be in the past, yet it pinpointed some interesting points about the contest itself.

    Dutch contestant Duncan Laurence won with his song "Arcade”, marking the first win for the Netherlands since 1975. Yet there are other interesting things worth mentioning about the 64th edition of the song competition held in Tel Aviv this Saturday.

    Not as Politically Neutral as It Seems

    Although the European Broadcasting Union tries to keep the event politically neutral, and Eurovision has had controversial hosts before, this year was marked with constant reminders of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Most noticeable was the move by Iceland’s entry Hatari to wave Palestinian scarves as they were awarded their public vote points. The group, described on the official Eurovision site as an “award-winning, anti-capitalist, BDSM, techno-dystopian, performance art collective,” has also filled their Instagram with images showing Palestinian flags.

    ​The scarves and flags were later taken away by staff members, as another video shows.

    Madonna, who was one of the guest stars during the contest, also came under fire, as two of the singer’s dancers wore Israeli and Palestinian flags on their backs during her interval performance.

    Madonna Was Excruciating

    Even though opinions about the political statement made by her performance may vary, social media agreed on one thing: her vocals were terrible. The pop icon was pitchy and seemed to be off key during most of her performance, making users laugh.

    ​Ironically, while remaining popular in the US, her performance wasn’t on air in her own country as Logo TV channel, which had aired Eurovision in previous years, decided not to broadcast the contest in 2019.

    READ MORE: Eurovision Row: Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie Calls Madonna 'Total Prostitute'

    Visuals Are Not Enough

    The most impressively staged songs underperformed during the voting. Azerbaijan had dancing medical-looking robots projecting a laser-drawn heart onto Chingiz’s chest. Australia had Kate Miller-Heidke seemingly floating in space, making what users now describe one of the best memes of 2019. Russia’s Sergey Lazarev cleverly made you think he was surrounded by mirrors before the reflections began to do their own thing – yet he got only as high as third place in the competition.

     

    No Contestants as Good As Previous Winners

    While it didn’t look that bad during the event, a segment which showed Eurovision stars of the past performing each other’s songs made the audience question whether Eurovision 2019 was good enough. Konchita Wurst, Måns Zelmerlöw and Eleni Foureira and a 2007 runner-up for Ukraine Verka Serduchka took the stage, singing together, which, as many netizens pointed out, was one of the most memorable events of the evening.

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    Tags:
    Eurovision 2019, song contest, Eurovision, Conchita Wurst, Madonna, Palestine, Israel
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