Madonna has gotten the green light to perform at the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv on Saturday night (May 18).
At 9 p.m. local Tel Aviv time, confirmation came from Noel Curren, Director General of the European Broadcasting Union.
Eurovision’s executive supervisor Jon Ola Sand announced on Thursday night that he had “reached an agreement” with the star over the terms of her performance. “We are very pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement with Madonna and that she will be in the grand final performing two songs,” he said. “I think it will be a real treat for the fans and viewers to have Madonna visiting the biggest entertainment show on earth.”
On May 14, her much-publicized performance came into question after the show’s organizers revealed that no contract had yet been signed. The news came despite the music legend’s scheduled arrival in Tel Aviv aboard the private jet of Israeli-Canadian billionaire Sylvan Adams.
Some pro-Palestinian activists have called for performers and international broadcasters to boycott the show due to Israel being the host nation. On Tuesday, Madonna addressed the controversy, telling Reuters she would “never stop playing music to suit someone’s political agenda, nor will I stop speaking out against violations of human rights wherever in the world they may be.”
“My heart breaks every time I hear about the innocent lives that are lost in this region and the violence that is so often perpetuated to suit the political goals of people who benefit from this ancient conflict,” the singer said. “I hope and pray that we will soon break free from this terrible cycle of destruction and create a new path towards peace.”
Eurovision is a beloved annual global event in which countries compete against each other for the best original song. Each country submits a song that is performed live on the show. Afterwards, viewers in each country can then vote for their favorites, excluding the song from their own nation, with points awarded by ranking. The country with the most points is declared the winner. The live show is watched by about 200 million viewers worldwide.
The news of Madonna’s confirmed participation comes on the heels of Eurovision’s second semifinal, in which a set of additional 10 qualifiers were selected — half to televoting, half to jury voting.
The 10 qualifying countries and musical acts are: Tamara Todevska with “Proud” (North Macedonia); Duncan Laurence with “Arcade” (The Netherlands); Jonida Maliqi with “Ktheju tokës” (Albania); John Lundvik with “Too Late For Love” (Sweden); Sergey Lazarev with “Scream” (Russia); Chingiz with “Truth” (Azerbaijan); Leonora with “Love Is Forever” (Denmark); KEiiNO with “Spirit In The Sky” (Norway); Luca Hänni with “She Got Me” (Switzerland); and Michela with “Chameleon” (Malta).
The 2019 Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final will take place this Saturday, May 18 at Expo Tel Aviv. They join the six pre-qualified finalists and the 10 countries that made it through the first semifinal this Tuesday