Wednesday, 24 July, 2019

Iceland’s techno-punks Hatari shock during first Eurovision live semi-final

Workers prepare the stage ahead of the opening of the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv Workers prepare the stage ahead of the opening of the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv
Adrian Cunningham | 15 May, 2019, 16:27

Instead of the traditional red carpet, an orange carpet, matching the logo of a company sponsoring the worldwide song fest, was rolled out at the Tel Aviv square that houses Israel's Habima national theater and the Israel Philharmonic.

Contestants Sarah McTernan of Ireland pose on the "Orange Carpet" during the opening ceremony of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv.

Madonna's performance at the Eurovision Song Contest has been thrown into doubt by organisers, who say she has yet to sign a contract for the show.

News that Madonna had been booked as a guest performer had provoked opponents of Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories to demand she re-think her commitment. "We don't have a signed contract with her team, and if we do not have a signed contract, she can not perform on our stage".

"At a time when fewer and fewer major artists are performing in apartheid Tel Aviv, Eurovision is exactly what Israel's far-right government needs to distract from its crimes", PACBI's statement continued. "Any official news and updates will come directly from the Eurovision channels in due course", said the organisation's senior communications officer, Dave Goodman.

Madonna has recently released a series of singles in the lead up to Madame X, her 14th album, out June 14.

On the eve of her arrival in Tel Aviv on Adams' private jet, Eurovision's executive supervisor Jon Ola Sand told media they had not officially confirmed her appearance at the event.

'I was thinking too much,' says Naomi Osaka after Madrid exit
And the Romanian began to serve like a woman closer to 6ft than her 5ft6in stature, finding three serve winners to hold for 3-0. Bencic could not handle a vicious return to her feet, netted a volley-her first net error in 13-and Halep broke.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Madonna will arrive in Tel Aviv to start rehearsals on Wednesday.

Her latest rendition, which has been updated since Australia's first televised decider, saw Miller-Heidke and two dancers sway metres above the stage. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

The popular Eurovision competition features musicians from more than 40 nations and was watched past year by some 189 million viewers in around 50 European countries. Mercury Prize-winning band Wolf Alice backed the Eurovision boycott.

Other artists have responded to the call for boycott.

"I hope and pray that we will soon break free from this bad cycle of destruction and create a new path towards peace", she added.

In 2008, the format was extended to include two semifinal shows, held on the Tuesday and Thursday prior to the final - which traditionally takes place on a Saturday - as the number of participating countries had swelled to preclude featuring every entrant in a single show.