Michela takes Malta into Eurovision final after two year absence

Madonna performs onstage during the 2019 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena

Madonna performs onstage during the 2019 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena

A performance by music legend Madonna at this weekend's Eurovision Song Contest final has been talked about for weeks - but in the final days, a question mark arose over whether it would actually happen.

Thursday's choices join the 10 winners from the first semifinal to vie for the top prize and the exposure it provides. The country with the most points is declared the victor. Israel automatically qualified because it won a year ago. The live show is watched by about 200 million viewers worldwide.

The public vote made up 50% of the total vote, with the other half determined by a professional jury in each participating country.

Israel earned the right to host after Israeli singer Netta Barzilai carried off last year's prize with her spunky pop anthem "Toy".

An aerial view of the Eurovision Village in Tel Aviv during the second semifinals of the Eurovision song contest on May 16, 2019.

Have the press assembled here picked the top ten for tomorrow night or even this year's Eurovision victor?

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

Norwegian Eurovision performers in a promo clip filmed in the West Bank.

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.

But at least Madonna is coming.

Responding to the calls to boycott, Madonna said: "I'll never stop playing music to suit someone's political agenda nor will I stop speaking out against violations of human rights wherever in the world they may be", the statement said, quoted by Reuters.

The news comes as Madonna continues to face sustained pressure from Palestinian and LGBT+ groups to cancel her performance as a part of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.

"Now it's official", KAN, which is producing the event with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), wrote on its website.

"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".