The Netherlands wins 2019 Eurovision Song Contest

The Netherlands wins 2019 Eurovision Song Contest”

The Netherlands' Duncan Laurence has won the Eurovision Song Contest with his love ballad Arcade, which he performed at the Tel Aviv grand final.

Around 200 million people around the world were believed to have watched the annual contest, which debuted in the wake of World War II.

His work with Eurovision is also long-standing: he has dressed previous winners Dana International and Conchita Wurst.

Along with this year's competitors, other performers at Eurovision 2019 included previous winners Netta from Israel, who won in 2018, and 2014's victor, Conchita Wurst from Austria - as well as Madonna, who performed "Like a Prayer", as well as her new, reggae-flavored song "Future" with Migos' Quavo. On Tuesday, hackers interrupted the Israeli live webcast of the first semi-final to warn, falsely, that the city of Tel Aviv was under attack.

The 41-country global singing competition has been a focus of pro-Palestinian calls to stay away from this year's event, in protest against Israeli policies in the West Bank and Gaza.

During the vote counting, Iceland's entry Hatari held up Palestinian flags - to boos from the crowd.

The pop icon began her set with a paired down performance of her classic hit, Like a Prayer, before moving into her new song, Future, performed with rapper Quavo. Ahead of the grand final, the performance was touted as a favourite to win. Calls for performers to boycott the show over Israeli policies toward Palestinians failed to generate much momentum.

Marimi, with his song "Home", is considered a long shot to win.

This year's Eurovision was mired in controversy from the moment Israel won last year.

Other former Eurovision champions Conchita Wurst and Måns Zelmerlöw also sung during the final.

Armed police stood at elevated positions around the Expo Tel Aviv complex, with patrol cars and police motorcyclists at junctions as fans passed through metal detectors and multiple security checks. Over the years, the earnest show of European unity has ballooned into a campy, over-the-top, gay-friendly spectacle that brings together acts from 41 countries, including those with little or no connection to Europe, such as Australia.

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

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