Published: Tue, May 21, 2019
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

The Netherlands' Duncan Laurence wins the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest

The Netherlands' Duncan Laurence wins the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest

The 2019 Eurovision Song Contest wrapped up early Sunday morning in Australia, with the Netherlands taking out the top spot with Duncan Laurence's song "Arcade". Italy finished second, followed by Russia, Switzerland and Norway.

"Believe in your music, believe in your artistry", Laurence said after his victory.

When asked by a journalist what qualifying for the final meant to him, Duncan said: 'What it means to me personally is - before this all started, I was a songwriter who wrote songs from his bedroom.

Independent fan website Eurovision World was giving Laurence a 45 percent chance of winning.

He came out as bisexual in 2016 and has called for tolerance and understanding, saying his love of music provided a refuge during a hard upbringing as a "mini-Harry Potter lookalike".

Miller-Heidke wowed the audience with her gravity-defying performance of her aptly titled Eurovision song "Zero Gravity" and impressed both the professional juries and the TV audience.

Her now iconic crown was once again on full display against an out-of-this-world, intergalactic backdrop.

This is the first time the Netherlands has won since 1975.

Michaela of Malta performs performs the song "Chameleon" during the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest grand final in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, May 18, 2019.

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Hatari of Iceland, the controversial act which was heavily critical of the Israeli government, celebrated the announcement of its public votes by unveiling signs reading "Palestine" and featuring the Palestinian flag as they sat in the Green Room.

Madonna also performed just before the voting results were announced.

Draped in a black robe and sporting a diamond-encrusted eye-patch, the 60-year-old occupied the stage alongside backup dancers wearing horse-like masks and leather jumpsuits.

Madonna performed her hit song, "Like a Prayer", marking 30 years to its release, and a new song "Future" from her forthcoming album "Madame X".

Roger Waters, founding member of Pink Floyd, wrote in the Guardian that her decision to perform in Tel Aviv "raised fundamentally important ethical and political questions for each and every one of us to contemplate".

Israel says the calls to boycott the competition because it is being held in Israel are discriminatory and anti-Semitic, which the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement denies.

Many urged Miller-Heidke to boycott the competition; she addressed concerns in an interview with SBS before the semi-final last week.

"First you had to have a dream and believe in that dream. earn your way to the place you are now and in my opinion that makes a victor", she said.

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