UK's Michael Rice finishes in 26th place in the Eurovision Song Contest

Eurovision 2018 winner Netta said her entry for Israel was 'about empowerment'

Eurovision 2018 winner Netta said her entry for Israel was 'about empowerment'

This year's Eurovision was mired in controversy from the moment Israel won last year.

The Netherlands' Duncan Laurence has taken home the crown in the 64th Eurovision Song Contest with 492 points, as Australia's Kate Miller-Heidke finished in ninth place. It was enough to win the Eurovision Song Contest by 27 points.

Before the results were announced, the Netherlands were the favourite to win with entry Duncan Laurence and his song Arcade with Skybet and Labrokes placing him at 4/6.

He had been the odds-on favourite to win the contest, and came in at the top of the leader board with a public vote score of 492 points, beating out Italy with 465 and Russian Federation with 369.

The lyrics of Arcade are based on a friend who lost the love of her life, as well as on Laurence's own experiences. The victor was announced after the jury scores and public votes from all 41 participating nations were counted with each getting a 50 percent share of the final score.

Iceland's entry, the leather-clad BDSM group Hatari, had slammed Eurovision in Israel as being "built on a lie", but nonetheless took to the stage - choosing to instead focus on Eurovision as a champion of diversity and inclusiveness. He has a tough act to follow after Netta Barzilai won it all for Israel a year ago with her spunky pop anthem "Toy". "Thank you, thank you".

Palestinians and foreign activists who support their struggle for independence had drummed up a musical performance as an alternative to the Israel-hosted Eurovision contest, with organisers of the event, dubbed Globalvision, conducting live shows in several venues worldwide and broadcasting them on the Internet simultaneously with Saturday's Eurovision final.

Israel has won the Eurovision four previous times and it has provided the country with some cultural touchstones. "Hallelujah" became the country's unofficial national song after Milk and Honey won the contest Israel hosted in the late 1970s, and Dana International became a national hero and global transgender icon when she won with "Diva" in 1998.

Israeli Netta Barzilai, the victor of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest performs "Nana Banana".

The UK has not won Eurovision in 22 years or finished in the top 10 in the past decade.

Most countries went through preliminary competition to qualify for the final, while five core European countries - Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain - as well as host nation Israel received automatic berths.

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