UPDATE: Madonna’s Political Performance At Eurovision Song Contest Hit With Backlash, Broadcaster Issues Statement

Surrounded by controversy, Madonna appeared onstage at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, held in Israel’s capital, Tel Aviv.

Taking to the Eurovision stage on Saturday, she opened her brief set with her 1989 hit “Like A Prayer”. Sporting an X-embossed eypatch over one eye (an apparent reference to her upcoming album Madame X), she was accompanied by backup dancers dressed as medieval monks.

However, The Guardian described her vocals as “pitchy” and the performance “excruciating,”  while numerous people commented on Twitter that her voice appeared to be off-key.

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She was then joined onstage by Migos member Quavos for their new collab “Future”, with the two holding hands as the song ended while the words “Wake Up” were projected onto a large screen in the background at the end.

During her performance of “Future”, Madonna was surrounded by dancers wearing gas masks, shocking the crowd when it was revealed that some dancers had Israeli flags on their backs while others sported Palestinian flags, her attempt to get political and suggest the opposing nations set aside their differences.

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It didn’t take long for backlash to build in Israel, with Billboard reporting her dancers’ Palestinian-Israeli moment stirred up controversy.

Shortly after the performance aired, the European Broadcasting Union, which co-produced the contest alongside Israel’s national broadcaster, issued a statement to clarify that they, like viewers, were taken by surprise.

“This element of the performance was not cleared with the EBU and the Host Broadcaster, KAN,” reads the statement. “The Eurovision Song Contest is a non-political event and Madonna had been made aware of this.”

Ahead of Madonna’s performance, the show’s host asked her if she wanted to used her global platform on the show — last year’s broadcast was watched by more than 180 million — to send a message.

“Look at all the delegates — everybody is here from all over the world,” she said. “And the thing that brings all of these people together is music. So let’s never underestimate the power of music to bring people together.”

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She then proceeded to lead the audience of 5,000  the 5,000 to chant the chorus of her 2000 hit “Music,” getting them to recite the words, “Music makes the people come together, yeah!”

On social media, reaction  to Madonna’s performance was decidedly mixed, with some absolutely loving while others thought it was terrible — including British TV personality Piers Morgan, who defined the performance as career-ending.

With reaction to Madonna’s performance all over the map, the following tweet offers an illustration of just how divided the opinions are:

Meanwhile, some viewers were simply confused about the eyepatch:

Check out more comments from the Twitterverse:

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