The Latest: Israeli PM wishes Eurovision contestant luck

Combined Shape

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — The Latest on the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest (all times local):

2:00 a.m.

The Netherlands is the winner of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest.

Duncan Laurence’s doleful piano ballad “Arcade” was tapped as an early front-runner before Saturday’s Grand Final. But it had to rely on the fan vote to secure the country’s fifth win in the competition. Italy finished second, followed by Russia, Switzerland and Norway.

Some 200 million people around the world were expected to watch the annual campy contest with 26 nations battling to be crowned Europe’s best pop act.

Trending:
Texas Rangers Investigating After Angry Man Kills 2 Sheriff's Deputies in His Yard

___

12:55 a.m.

Europe’s ultimate pop extravaganza is hosting the Queen of Pop.

Madonna was the special guest Saturday at the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv where 26 nations were battling to be crowned Europe’s best pop act. Some 200 million people around the world are expected to be watching the annual campy contest.

Israel earned the right to host the show after Netta Barzilai carried off last year’s prize with her spunky pop anthem “Toy.”

Madonna had faced calls to boycott the event by a Palestinian-led campaign. But she rejected them, saying she will “never stop playing music to suit someone’s political agenda.”

Madonna performed her hit song, “Like a Prayer,” marking 30 years to its release, and a new song “Future” from her forthcoming album “Madame X.”

___

12:05 a.m.

Related:
Texas Passes Fetal Heartbeat Bill with 1st-of-Its-Kind Provision to 'Hold Abortionists Accountable'

The 26 contestants in the Grand Final of the 64th Eurovision Song Contest have finished their acts.

Now the voting gets underway. To maximize onscreen tension, performers are picked Saturday by a mix of fan votes and professional juries from the participating countries. Spectators cannot vote for their own country, but like-minded countries tend to fall into blocs that back their regional favorites.

Israel earned the right to host the show after Netta Barzilai won last year with her spunky pop anthem “Toy.”

The Netherlands has been tapped as an early front-runner for Duncan Laurence’s doleful piano ballad “Arcade.” Other favorites include Switzerland’s energetic “She Got Me,” sung by Luca Hänni, Sweden’s soulful “Too Late for Love,” sung by John Lundvik, and Australia’s breathy act, “Zero Gravity,” by Kate Miller-Heidke.

___

23:30 p.m.

Iceland’s controversial steampunk band Hatari has concluded their live performance without incident.

The band had drawn attention in Israel by initially vowing to stay out, saying it would be “absurd” to participate in Israel because of its policies toward the Palestinians. Later, they vowed to use the Eurovision spotlight to expose the “face of the occupation.” But at a press conference after the semifinal, Hatari offered a purely positive message. “We need to unite and remember to love,” it said, in the wake of “hate that’s on the rise in Europe.”

In Saturday’s final they belted out their grinding metal rock to cheers from the audience. They are not a favorite to win.

Calls for performers to boycott the show have failed to generate much momentum.

___

23:20

Israel’s prime minister has called the country’s Eurovision representative to wish him luck in the contest.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s office says he spoke to Kobi Marimi Saturday night to tell him the “the entire nation is supporting you.”

Marimi, with his song “Home,” is considered a long shot to win. He has a tough act to follow after Netta Barzilai won it all for Israel last year with her spunky pop anthem “Toy.”

Israel has won the Eurovision four previous times and it has provided the country with some cultural touchstones. “Hallelujah” became the country’s unofficial national song after Milk and Honey won the contest Israel hosted in the late 1970s, and Dana International became a national hero and global transgender icon when she won with “Diva” in 1998.

___

22:00

The Grand Final of the 64th Eurovision Song Contest is under way.

Europe’s annual music extravaganza will crown one of 26 entries with dreams of following in the footsteps of past winners such as Swedish pop icons ABBA and Celine Dion, who represented Switzerland.

The show is taking place at Tel Aviv’s Expo Center, starting at 10 p.m. Saturday (1900 GMT.) Some 200 million people around the world are expected to be watching.

Israel earned the right to host the show after Netta Barzilai carried off last year’s prize with her spunky pop anthem “Toy.”

The show of European unity brings together acts from 41 countries, including those with little connection to Europe, such as Australia.

The final round’s winner will be influenced by TV viewers casting votes via text message.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →






We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
Combined Shape
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




Conversation