If you’re anywhere in the vicinity of Europe (or social media) it will have been difficult to miss the fact that the final of the Eurovision Song Contest happened in Israel last night (May 18). In the end, Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands took home the prize and, yes, the UK came straight up last, with a score so low it’s almost impressive.
Before the results came in, though, Madonna also performed a couple of songs, including her track with Quavo – “Future” – from the new Madame X album. Unfortunately, not everyone was complimentary about the singer’s performance (even despite her glittery space pirate look she had going on).
After a few flat notes and some autotune that just... wasn’t good, she definitely didn’t get the rapturous reception (in person or on social media) that she might have hoped for. Quavo, meanwhile, just looked like he didn’t know what he’d let himself in for.
But there was some praise for the “political point” she made at the end of her show, when two dancers wearing a Palestine and an Israel flag, respectively, embraced as they walked offstage.
Of course, this call for political unity is unlikely to have been endorsed by the contest’s organisers (apparently rehearsals went on behind closed doors). It was to be expected that there would be some form of protest, though; LGBTQ activists have been among those calling for boycotts of this year’s Eurovision and there’s a long tradition of musical artists calling off shows in Israel.
Exactly what two embracing dancers is supposed to achieve when compared with these boycotts and cancellations is pretty hard to fathom, to be honest. Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie certainly doesn’t think it will amount to much, criticising, on Newsnight, her decision to even perform, saying: “Madonna would do anything for money, you know, she's a total prostitute.”
Watch Madonna’s Madame X “spread the message” below.