Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands has won the 2019 Eurovision song contest with his song Arcade in Tel Aviv, Israel.
- The Netherlands’ win was their first in 44 years
- Australia’s Kate Miller-Heidke came ninth in the Eurovision Song Contest
- 26 countries battled for the Eurovision crown in Tel Aviv
It followed a big night of performances, including Australia’s Kate Miller-Heidke, who finished ninth with her track Zero Gravity.
Italy finished second, followed by Russia, Switzerland, Norway and Sweden.
Laurence had been the Eurovision favourite, with bookies giving him a 47 per cent chance of winning ahead of the grand final.
But in the end he had to rely on the fan vote to secure the country’s fifth win in the competition.
The win was the Netherlands’ first in 44 years, with the country last taking home the gold in 1975 with Teach-in’s Ding-a-Dong.
Italy’s Mahmood came close, finishing on 465 points to the Netherlands’ 492. (Reuters: Ronan Zvulun)
Meanwhile, Iceland’s controversial steampunk band Hatari — Icelandic for “hatred” — 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 the country’s treatment of its Palestinian population.
They later said they would use the Eurovision spotlight to expose the “face of the occupation”.
Sweden’s John Lundvik led at one point in the jury voting with Too Late For Love. (AP: Sebastian Scheiner)
But at a press conference after the first semi-final, Hatari offered a purely positive message.
“We need to unite and remember to love,” the band said, in the wake of “hate that’s on the rise in Europe”.
Eurovision tweet: Here are the final results of Eurovision Song Contest 2019. TOP 3 1-492 @DuncLaurence 2 – 465 @Mahmood_Music 3 – 369 @SergeyLazarev #DareToDream #Eurovision
In Saturday’s final they belted out their grinding metal rock to cheers from the audience.
Calls for performers to boycott the show failed to generate much momentum aside from the opening ceremony of the contest, which was marked by a demonstration from a human rights group.
Madonna’s ‘car crash’ performance
Madonna was the special guest at the grand final event, but came under fire for what some described as a “car crash” performance, with viewers taking to social media to criticise the singer.
She performed Like a Prayer, marking 30 years since its release, and a new song Future from her forthcoming album Madame X.
The singer had faced calls to boycott the event by a Palestinian-led campaign.
But she rejected them, saying she would “never stop playing music to suit someone’s political agenda”.
Israel earned the right to host the show after Netta Barzilai carried off last year’s prize with her spunky pop anthem Toy.
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.