Eurovision contestants walk the orange carpet in Tel Aviv

Carla Harmon
May 15, 2019

Israel has launched a PR campaign to counter calls for a boycott of the Eurovision contest by the worldwide boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

She says she prays for "a new path toward peace".

"If we do not have a signed contract, she can not perform on that stage", Eurovision executive supervisor Jon Ola Sand said.

Australian singer Kate Miller-Heidke has dazzled crowds at the Eurovision semi-finals, making it all the way through to the song contest's grand final.

Hantman also said that Madonna was already "on her way" to Israel to take part in Saturday's show.

Oddie said that the band's boycott of Eurovision was in response to "a call from Palestinian civil society".

"We are in a situation now that is a bit odd".

"We are negotiating now, in the final stage of that, but if there is no signed contract this week, she will not be on the stage", Sand said.

Australia joined the Eurovision Song Contest in 2015 and have scored consistently well each year but never won. The venue has prompted calls for a boycott by pro-Palestinian activists who want companies, performers and governments to disengage from Israel.

KAN, hosting the European Broadcast Union's song contest, revealed that its site had been hacked for several minutes but the attack did not apparently impact many people.

Wolf Alice, a four-member rock band formed in 2013, won the prestigious Mercury Music Prize for their 2018 album Visions of A Life, which reached #2 in the United Kingdom album charts.

Other artists have responded to the call for boycott.

This Eurovision recap is absolutely chock-full of spoilers, so only continue reading if you've watched the first semi-final - or alternatively, keep reading if spoilers are your jam.

Public figures including Stephen Fry, Sharon Osbourne, Marina Abramovic and pop mogul Scooter Braun signed a counter-statement, claiming "the cultural boycott movement [was] an affront to both Palestinians and Israelis who are working to advance peace through compromise, exchange, and mutual recognition".

"Tell me what I should do, Mr. Peres, because I am in love with Israel", she said.

United Kingdom residents can not vote in this round and should save their votes for the 18-act second semi-final on Thursday and the grand final on Saturday, where Rice will perform during the second half.

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