The Eurovision Song Contest is all done and dusted for another year, with Duncan Laurence of the Netherlands taking home the top honours for his song ‘Arcade‘.
He had been the odds-on favourite to win the contest, and came in at the top of the leader board with a public vote score of 492 points, beating out Italy with 465 and Russia with 369.
Australia‘s Kate Miller-Heidke came in ninth place with 285 points, while last place went to the UK contender Michael Rice, who racked up just 16 votes.
His win is a big one for the Netherlands, who haven’t won Eurovision since 1975. “Here’s to dreaming big, this is to music first, always,” he said before an encore performance.
This year’s ceremony was held in Tel Aviv, and though organisers attempted to stop performers from bringing overtly political elements into their acts, a number of artists snuck them in anyway, including Madonna, who performed before the voting results were announced.
Organisers released a statement on this, saying:
“In the live broadcast of the Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final, two of Madonna’s dancers briefly displayed the Israeli and Palestinian flags on the back of their outfits. This element of the performance was not part of the rehearsals which had been cleared with the EBU and the host broadcaster, KAN. The Eurovision Song Contest is a non-political event and Madonna had been made aware of this.”
Members of Icelandic metal band Hatari were also seen holding up Palestinian flags during the live broadcast, while the vote was being announced. Eurovision organisers say that the “consequences of this action” will be discussed.