Madonna was widely panned for her performance Saturday at the Eurovision song contest in Tel Aviv, with many calling it pitchy and out of tune. That prompted the Queen of Pop from uploading the video to YouTube …with some minor edits.
The video digitally fixed some of the worst moments of her performance, which had been rapidly and devastatingly critiqued. Even the Netherlands’ announcer, intimating that the singer was out of tune, made sure to get in a pot-shot, saying she was “thankful for Madonna’s autotune.”
Paddy Power, a betting firm, went so far as to say it would pay out on bets that had predicted a malfunction. “That eye patch, and performance as a whole, was a giant malfunction, so we’re paying it out,” it said.
Viewers of the new version were quick to point out that it had been significantly touched up.
“We all heard how this really sounded sweetheart,” wrote one.
“Technology nowadays will not fix the trauma that was this live performance,” added another.
Others uploaded a video putting the two performances side by side.
Madonna’s vocals were not the only controversy of her performance. She injected some politics into her act with a call for peace in the lyrics of her new song “Future,” featuring two of her dancers wearing Israeli and Palestinian flags on their backs.
The flag-wearing pair were the last two dancers to leave the stage at the end of the song, at which point Madonna and co-performer Quavo dramatically disappeared from the back of the stage with the message “Wake Up,” which also flashed on screen.
Critics of Israel had objected to Tel Aviv hosting the concert; Madonna, by contrast, made plain she was delighted to be performing, and the political dimension was evidently a call for harmony rather than a protest. She tweeted that she was “grateful. For the opportunity to spread the message of peace and unity with the world.”
— Madonna (@Madonna) May 19, 2019
The European Broadcasting Union quickly released a statement saying that the Israeli and Palestinian flags in Madonna’s performance had not been approved.