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Madonna to perform at the Tel Aviv 2019 final

Madonna to perform at the Tel Aviv 2019 final

Photorgraphy by Pascal Mannaerts, retrieved from Wikimedia Commons


American pop star and cultural icon Madonna has been confirmed to be appearing at Tel Aviv 2019 as an interval act for the final. She will perform two songs, one unreleased from her upcoming album, and will likely appear during the voting period after all competing entries have performed and before the results are revealed.

Her performance is funded by Sylvan Adams, a Israeli-Canadian billionaire. Adams’s support, which is estimated to cost around $1 million USD, says he wants to help promote the image of both the contest and Israel amidst calls for boycotts due to Eurovision being held in Israel. By bringing someone as prominent as Madonna, who is renowned and a major icon, Adams hopes her appearance will help bolster the size of the audience and help improve tensions.

Rumors swirled about Madonna’s potential appearance for months, with the reactions being a mix of excitement and disapproval. Some Eurovision fans have expressed that Madonna’s appearance may overshadow the competing artists, the majority of whom are mostly unknown outside their own countries, and may negatively affect their careers. Other have expressed the potential gains and international interest that Madonna may bring to the contest, drawing attention from countries otherwise disinterested in the event.

Madonna’s forthcoming album, Madame X, is scheduled for release later this year, though no exact date is known. The album will succeed Rebel Heart, which was released in 2015. Her appearance in Israel will be her first time returning to the country since she last toured there in 2012.

Introducing: Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl for Slovenia

Introducing: Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl for Slovenia

Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl are a lo-fi indie pop duo and couple from Maribor, Slovenia, who won the superfinal of Evrovizijska Melodija with 73 percent of the vote and thus the right to be Slovenia’s entry to Tel Aviv 2019 with their winning song, “Sebi”.

Introducing: Hatari for Iceland

Introducing: Hatari for Iceland

Hatari, a techno-industrial band consisting of Matthías Tryggvi HaraldssonEinar Hrafn Stefánsson, and Klemens Nikulásson Hannigan, will represent Iceland at Tel Aviv 2019 after winning the superfinal of Söngvakeppnin 2019 with their song “Hatrið mun Sigra”.

Introducing: Tamta for Cyprus

Introducing: Tamta for Cyprus

Tamta Goduadze, who simply goes by Tamta, is a Georgian-Greek singer who was chosen internally by Cyprus to represent the country with the song “Replay” at Tel Aviv 2019.

Introducing: Mahmood for Italy

Introducing: Mahmood for Italy

Alessandro Mahmood, known professionally just as Mahmood, will represent Italy at Tel Aviv 2019 after winning the newcomer-only Sanremo Giovani which then led him to compete in and win the prestigious Sanremo Music Festival, which also serves as Italy’s national selection process, with the song “Soldi”.

Introducing: Darude ft. Sebastian Rejman for Finland

Introducing: Darude ft. Sebastian Rejman for Finland

Ville Virtanen, known better as Darude, is a Finnish DJ, was internally selected by Finland‘s national broadcaster Yle to represent the country at Tel Aviv 2019. With Sebastian Rejman, a Finnish-Swedish singer, Darude presented three different songs at Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu, Finland’s national selection final, where “Look Away” ultimately won.

Introducing: Eliot for Belgium

Introducing: Eliot for Belgium

Photograph by Wouter Struyf

Eliot Vassamillet, who will appear under Eliot, was chosen internally by Belgium‘s public broadcaster to represent the country with the song “Wake Up” at Tel Aviv 2019. He’s a relatively fresh voice, only having acquired national attention after appearing Belgian edition of The Voice, where he reached the live shows before being eliminated. Though he is still a high school student, he’s toured the country for several concerts.

“Wake Up” is particularly poignant for Eliot’s generation, as the song is a call for the youth of today to open their eyes to what the world has become and to come together and work to make it a better place. The song is written by Peter Dumoulin, who was behind Belgium 2017’s entry, “City Lights” by Blanche.

Eliot grew up in Mons, he was given his first guitar when he was seven and has studied music theory while in school. After appearing on The Voice in late 2018, Eliot was approached by Dumoulin and the two began to collaborate, with the first demos of “Wake Up” coming to light soon after. Between being in his senior, his girlfriend, and publicity work for Eurovision, Eliot’s last few months leading up to Tel Aviv 2019 have been rough with all his permitted absences being consumed by the contest.

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