Madonna Eurovision appearance is finally confirmed

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Why did The Shalva Band a group of disabled musicians from Israel quit Eurovision

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Why did The Shalva Band a group of disabled musicians from Israel quit Eurovision

Michela Pace said she is "so, so proud to be Maltese" in her first reaction to her dramatic qualification for the Eurovision final.

The Netherlands, Sweden, North Macedonia, Albania, Russia, Azerbaijan, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland and Malta were chosen to advance to Saturday's final, joining 10 previous picks and six countries that automatically qualified.

The eight countries eliminated from the competition were Armenia, Ireland, Moldova, Latvia, Romania, Austria, Croatia and Lithuania.

Thursday's selections were made with equal weight given to the points awarded by juries of music experts and voting in the participating countries.

Last year's winners Israel also do not have to qualify via the semi-finals. The country with the most points is declared the victor.

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Sweden's John Lundvik brought a gospel style to the Eurovision with his song Too Late for Love.

Earlier this week, Madonna appeared to respond to those critical of Israel hosting the contest and her participation in it.

However, others have come out in support of Eurovision in Tel Aviv, and of Madonna performing at it.

Some pro-Palestinian activists have called for performers and worldwide broadcasters to boycott the show due to Israel being the host nation.

Albania's Jonida Maliqi performs the song Ktheju tokës during the second semi-final of the 64th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 at Expo Tel Aviv on May 16, 2019.

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The decision to hold Eurovision in Israel is not popular with critics of the country's policies towards Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza.

The Queen of Pop landed in Israel on Tuesday evening after she confirmed she had rejected calls for her to boycott Eurovision, saying she will "never stop playing music to suit someone's political agenda".

The exciting news comes just days after speculation the Material Girl hit maker's performance, which is believed to have cost organisers $1 million, was "at risk" after she had not yet signed a contract.

"At a time when fewer and fewer major artists are performing in apartheid Tel Aviv, Eurovision is exactly what Israel's far-right government needs to distract from its crimes".

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