Entertainment TV Dutch treat: The Netherlands claims Eurovision’s crown
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Dutch treat: The Netherlands claims Eurovision’s crown

Duncan Laurence tickles the ivories to claim the Eurovision crown. Photo: AP
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Australia’s Kate Miller-Heidke gave it her best shot with the visually stunning track Zero Gravity but could only manage a ninth-place finish in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Top honours went to The Netherlands’ Duncan Laurence with his love ballad Arcade, which he performed at the Tel Aviv grand final.

“This is to dreaming big, this is to music first always,” the 25-year-old said as he received the iconic glass microphone trophy from last year’s winner Netta.

Italy’s Mahmood was runner up with Russian Sergey Lazarev third. Australia’s Kate Miller-Heidke finished ninth with her entry Zero Gravity.

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 Netherlands has won the contest four times before, most recently in 1975.

“This can’t be described in words. I can’t write a song about this. My dream came true,” Laurence said.

Asked a question related to his sexuality Laurence, who is bisexual said, “I think the most important thing is that you stick to who you are. Just as a human being … stick to what you love, even if you have a different sexuality.

“Accept people and love each other for who you are, and dream big.”
Italian entry Mahmood’s Soldi is an Italian-language song with one line in Arabic, which won the Sanremo Music Festival earlier this year.

Australia’s Kate Miller-Heidke soared high with ‘Gravity’, but voters dragged her back to earth. Photo: ABC

Two hundred million people watched the show, according to a spokeswoman for the contest, which was hosted by supermodel Bar Refaeli, broadcaster Erez Tal and television hosts Assi Azar and Lucy Ayoub.

Malta’s Michela Pace was the first of the contestants to take the stage with her dance pop song Chameleon and Spain’s Miki was last with his Spanish-language upbeat La Venda.

Israel’s Kobi Marimi, who is known for getting emotional, shed tears of joy after his performance but he finished in 23rd place with only 47 points.

Iceland’s Hatari, who have spoken out about the conflicting feelings they have about being at the contest in Israel, waited until the end of the show to wave Palestinian flags. The Eurovision contest is strictly apolitical.

Iceland’s Hatari provoke controversy by brandishing the Palestinian flag at the Eurovision show in Tel Aviv.

US icon Madonna, who performed toward the end of the show, also included Palestinian and Israeli flags on the backs of two of her dancers as they held hands, in an apparent call for peace.

Her much-anticipated performance came before representatives of the 41 countries which participated in the contest began announcing the allocation of their points.

Madonna told Eurovision Song Contest performers: “You’re all winners, no matter what happens. To get here, where you are, was not easy.”

“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 winner,” she said.

The German act S!sters got a disappointing 0 points from the public and 32 from the jury of music professionals, finishing 24th out of the 26 finalists.

The United Kingdom’s Michael Rice came last after scoring a combined 16 points.

-AAP