Madonna’s Horrible Singing and Bland Performance at Eurovision 2019
Much farther below are links to articles and videos (and a few embedded videos) discussing Madonna’s stint at the 2019 Eurovision contest.
If I have the time and inclination to keep blogging about Madonna’s upcoming “Madame X” album, one adjective that I will definitely be using a lot now and later is “bland.”
So far, the first songs Madonna has pre-leased from “Madame X” (set to be released in June 2019, and those songs have been so far, “Medellin,” “I Rise,” “Crave,” and “Future”) have been pretty bland.
Madonna appeared the Eurovision 2019 singing competition – or whatever the hell it is, it’s some kind of European phenomenon – and she performed horribly.
I can only assume Madonna appeared at this Eurovision ordeal to promote her forthcoming album entitled “Madame X.”
At this event, Madonna, while wearing that dopey Pirate eye patch once again – that she’s been wearing while promoting her ‘Madame X’ album – badly sang her 1989 song “Like A Prayer,” and a newer number called “Future.”
For years, Madonna has been legendary for being a perfectionist regarding performances.
She will spend hours rehearsing dance steps for her tours, or for public appearances, and so on, so we’ve all been told in Madonna biographies and in articles.
If Madonna practiced for this Eurovision thing, it didn’t show.
Her vocals were horrid, particularly for her rendition of “Like A Prayer,” which was followed with her new song “Future,” which is a duet of sorts between Madonna and some guy named Quavo.
At least I think his name was Quavo. Or is this the song she did with Swae Lee?
(I’m Gen X, so I am proud to say I don’t know who these new singers are, and most importantly, I don’t care that I don’t know. And I am too lazy at the moment to Google for this information. It will probably be in the excerpts below anyway.)
Madonna or her people later uploaded her version of her Eurovision appearance to her official You Tube channel – but she or her people had the abysmal vocals cleaned up and repaired.
Of course, the internet being what it is (and is Madonna this internet unaware not to know this would happen?), there were several other copies of her performance – the original one, with the warbling singing – still available online.
I will be embedding, or linking to, some of those videos below, so you can hear the awful singing if you choose.
I think if there is one thing worse than blundering the singing on your own pop songs on television or live streaming online, it’s trying to “cover it up” by uploading a video version where your sound guys have edited and repaired your vocals. (See also, on Wikipedia: The Streisand Effect.)
I’m surprised by the number of Madonna fans who are excusing her poor vocals at this event. Her profession is that of singer. That is what she does for a living.
I believe that whatever your area of employment is, you do it to the best of your ability, you do not coast. And it sounded to me as though Madonna had not practiced for this appearance, which is inexcusable.
I took a singing class while in college. Our instructor made us all go through vocal exercises before we ever began singing – every single class. We were also encouraged to do vocal warm-ups and stretches before singing when we were practicing on our own at home.
I don’t think any one expects Madonna to sing at the level of a Celine Dion or a Luciano Pavarotti, but she should at least be able to carry a tune – there should be no obvious clinkers (or is that clunkers?), but she did hit some very bad notes during “Like A Prayer.”
At any rate, still yet, many other viewers, some Madonna fans, and some Madonna critics, felt that her performance lacked energy and interest – it was dull, they said, which in their view, is a far bigger short-coming than singing off-key notes.
Another segment of the population was angry at Madonna for participating at an event that was sponsored this year by the nation of Israel.
Here are links and videos about Madonna’s disastrous 2019 Eurovision performance:
Articles and Op-Eds About Madonna’s Awful Performance at Eurovision
… Some in the audience, and watching at home, noted that “Like a Prayer” sounded “off-key.” It’s unclear whether there were any issues with Madonna’s in-ear monitors; the singer’s rep declined to comment.
4. Madonna should have stayed at home
It wasn’t just that her vocals on Like A Prayer were pitchy.
It wasn’t just that new song Future is lacklustre.
But watching a pop icon of her stature having to endure Eurovision host chit-chat and stilted comedy based around an openly gay married man wanting to propose to her was excruciating.
Given the political flak – and being called a ‘total prostitute’ by Bobby Gillespie – that came with her decision to perform in Tel Aviv, Madonna must be questioning whether it was worth it.
Bless her guest star Quavo though, who in a brief interview with the hosts managed to insult Madonna’s age by pointing out his mum grew up listening to her, and made it quite clear he had absolutely no clue what he had landed himself in when he agreed to do Eurovision.
Madonna has been slammed for her off-key Eurovision Song Contest.
The iconic pop star was making a hugely anticipated performance at the annual event but as soon as she began a paired-back rendition of Like A Prayer, it was clear that the singer was trouble.
Flat as a pancake and a car crash were just two of the comments made by Eurovision viewers who had been eagerly awaiting the performance.
They said she was ‘out of tune’
Fans have criticised Madonna for her Eurovision performance, with some calling it “out of tune”.
The Queen of Pop, 60, sang during the interval of the European singing contest joined by rapper Quavo but fans were less than impressed.
Her highly-anticipated appearance, which had been rehearsed in private, was met with negative responses as she failed to hit the right note.
She performed her 1989 hit Like A Prayer and her new single Future with US rapper Quavo.
Her first performance of Like A Prayer saw her walk down the stairs in a church robe.
This comes after Graham Norton’s snarky dig at Madonna as she got set to perform.
Speaking the hosts tonight, she appeared to hit back at criticism as she said: “The one thing that brings me here is the power of music, never underestimate the power of music.”
She added: “I’m bringing the heat tonight!”
But Graham quipped: “Madonna, what a trooper, still showing up despite a nasty case of conjunctivitis.
“What a showbiz professional.”
On Twitter, disappointed fans said:
…. (snip tweets)
May 18, 2019
Madonna left Eurovision fans disappointed on Saturday night as she performed 1989 hit Like a Prayer at the 64th Song Contest.
The Queen of Pop, 60, also performed her new song, Future, from her upcoming 14th album Madame X.
However, the highly-anticipated performance, which saw Madonna appear at the top of a flight of steps, dressed in a cape and hood while wearing a metal breastplate, left fans and celebrity watchers ‘disappointed’.
Piers Morgan led the unimpressed show watchers as he tweeted: ‘RIP Madonna’s career.’
Even Eurovision presenter, Graham Norton, appeared to make a cheeky dig after she performed, as he said: ‘A slightly muted response to Madonna in the hall I would say…’
While earlier on in the evening, talking about her decorative eye-patch, he quipped: ‘Madonna, what a trooper, still showing up despite a nasty case of conjunctivitis. What a showbiz professional.’
Plenty of other viewers also shared in Piers and Graham’s opinion, as one fan tweeted: ‘I’ve never been more disappointed #Madonna #Eurovision’.
A different account tweeted: ‘Was actually kind of disappointed by Madonna #Eurovision.’
Another show watchers commented: ‘That wasn’t great by Madonna.’
A different fan put: ‘Wow in a disappointed way! I love Madonna but well just hmmm #Eurovision.’
While another person added: ‘Oh Madonna – I’m not angry – just disappointed #Eurovision.’
While Madonna’s controversial performance trended on Twitter, and divided plenty opinions, there were still plenty of fans who stood by the pop icon’s performance.
The leaked news that the “Queen of Pop” would perform at the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv was followed by rumors of her backing down. But then she gave an out-of-tune performance of her anthem, “Like a Prayer.”
After all 26 competing countries had performed and votes from the television audience were coming in, Madonna graced the stage sporting long blonde braids, a silver eyepatch and a silver outfit.
Interviewed by the host of the event, Madonna was then asked whether she was enjoying Tel Aviv. “Sure,” she replied drily, “I go to my hotel, to rehearsal. I look at the beach.” And what would she like to say to the participants?
“To get here was not easy. You have a dream and make many sacrifices to earn your way to this place. That makes you a winner, no matter what happens.”
Then she continued, “Never underestimate the power of music to bring everything together.”
Performance less than stellar
The Queen of Pop then sang two numbers: “Like a Prayer,” her huge hit from 1989, and “Future.”
In “Like a Prayer,” she was backed up by a 35-member chorus, and in “Future,” Madonna joined rapper Quavo in a duet. It was a world premiere ahead of the release of Madonna’s album Madame X on June 14.
Her performance of “Like a Prayer” began with a chorus of cowled monks chanting on a scarlet red stage. The singer appeared in a black robe with a silver crown, then descended the stage as she sang the 30-year-old song, sometimes off-key, proving that the performance was authentic and not playback.
An interlude accompanied by a melody from Peter Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker followed before the new rap tune unfolded. “Everyone is coming to the future,” she rapped to a piercing electronic beat, later joined by her partner Quavo. At the conclusion, the two tumbled over backward from the top of the staircase.
Israel a regular stop
This was Madonna’s fourth performance in Israel, having already done so in 1993, 2009 and 2012.
The unconventional Eurovision engagement came about after the Canadian-Israeli billionaire and Tel Aviv resident Sylvan Adams agreed to pay the fee of approximately $1 million (€895,000), knowing the event would help to promote his home country.
A follower of the Kabbala Jewish mystical tradition, Madonna has made no secret of her fondness for the Middle East country.
May 19, 2019
…Pop superstar Madonna sprang a surprise during her guest performance of two songs – her iconic 1989 hit “Like A Prayer” and a new number, “Future,” sung alongside the American rapper Quavo. At the close of the second number, two backing dancers briefly appeared on stage wearing the Israeli and Palestinian flags on the back of their costumes.
…Even before the show had ended criticism of Madonna’s performance was broadcast live on-air when the representative for the Netherlands satirically thanked “Madonna’s autotune” before awarding the country’s twelve points.
Twitter users ripped Madonna’s performance, one joked:
“UK: According to votes we had the worst performance and song at #Eurovision
Madonna: Hold my Champagne.”
Another user gave Madonna a score in Eurovision fashion, writing, “United States zero points.”
Other’s riffed off other competitors to lapoon the reigning queen of pop. “Maybe North Madonna would have been better than Madonna #Eurovision,” joked one user making light of North Macedonia’s strong performance in the competition, while another tweeted, “The moment when a middle-aged Turkish dentist singing for San Marino hits more correct notes than Madonna.”
20 May 2019
We asked Classic FM presenter and soprano, Catherine Bott, if Madonna’s Eurovision half-time performance was good or bad from a professional singer’s point of view. Her take on the vocals is pretty controversial…
By Rosie Pentreath
Reviews of Madonna’s Eurovision performance last night are mixed at best.
After the Queen Of Pop’s performance of ‘Like A Prayer’ and her new single ‘Future’, the majority opinion seems to come down on the side of Madonna’s performance having been poor, with people believing she sang flat and missed the mark on everything from costume and pitching to political message.
Indeed, on first listen we can’t help noticing that Madge opted for some unusual pitches to hang her well known hit ‘Like A Prayer’ on. The notes she uses in lines like “I hear you call my name” and “you know I’ll take you there” are much lower than the ear expects.
But, was Madonna’s Eurovision performance actually bad?
We’ve recruited Classic FM presenter and pro soprano, Catherine Bott, to help us unpack the controversial half-time set.
“I was interested to see the Madonna show because I’d seen reports that she sang flat/out of tune throughout her big number,” Catherine says.
“Not so – those constant tell-tale upward flicks in pitch before important notes told me that creative and deliberate use was being made of pitch modification software which in itself was perfectly fine, and her actual voice had more depth and texture than I was expecting”.
So, it’s a tick for the quality of Madonna’s voice itself. And the pitching may well have been deliberate, but perhaps a little heavily reliant on auto-tune correction later on. Indeed, the version of the performanceavailable on Madonna’s own YouTube channel has hilariously relied on just that: it’s been amended from the live version with convenient post-production editing.
In the interest of full disclosure, Catherine admits to not really “getting” Madonna because of “all those visuals not backed up by a voice of substance or interest”.
“For me the ‘horror’ of her performance was its banality. She clearly still thinks she’s being transgressive – with all those robed, chanting figures, the gas-masks, our heroine prostrating herself like a Bride of Christ before revealing the traditional corset – but the production only achieved maximum tastelessness”.
Ouch, our Catherine doesn’t mince words.
Why was Madonna’s Eurovision performance so controversial?
In spite of Eurovision having a strict “non-political” stance, Madonna highlighted ongoing Israeli-Palestinian tensions in her performance by dressing backing performers up in Israeli and Palestinian flags and flashing the words ‘WAKE UP’ over the stage at the end of her performance.
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and local public broadcaster, KAN, were by all accounts caught by surprise by the political message and claimed it “was not part of the rehearsal”. EBU released a statement confirming “The Eurovision Song Contest is a non-political event and Madonna has been made aware of this.”
This all comes after activists had called for Madonna to boycott this year’s Eurovision due to its being held in Israel at a time of ongoing conflict with Palestine.
(Luke Baker Tweet.
As well as being off-key and a poor performer, Madonna managed to violate the EBU’s principle of non-political engagement by adding the Israeli and Palestinian flags to the back of two dancers backs. What a waste of money she was #Eurovision2019)
Madonna’s outfit, featuring a cloak, leather armour, fishnet tights and eye-patch, added to the attention-grabbing spectacle.
“Sorry”, our experienced soprano says, “but [Madonna’s performance] came across like the Lower Sixth Drama Soc’s ‘controversial’ end of term show. She really should have grown out of trying to shock people by now.”
“Kudos to her for doing all those stairs with trip-hazard flowing robes and an eye-patch, though.” Amen to that.
Watch the original, unedited version of Madonna’s Eurovision 2019 performance above.
The performance by Madonna, criticised by some, has popped up on her YouTube – and it sounds a bit different.
by Amy Spiro
May 20, 2019
After being critically panned for her Eurovision Performance in Tel Aviv on Saturday night, Madonna posted an edited version of the show online that erases her vocal imperfections.
And fans did not let it go unnoticed.
An online version of Madonna’s Eurovision show was nowhere to be found for close to 24 hours after the competition finished. Even KAN, the Israeli public broadcaster and host of this year’s show, poked fun, posting a video of a Hebrew version of “Like a Prayer” by Elinor Aharon recorded 30 years ago: “We’re not allowed to upload Madonna, but we can upload ‘Like A Prayer,’” KAN wrote alongside the clip.
But finally, late on Sunday, Madonna posted a video of the 10-minute performance to her official YouTube channel. In the clip, the vocals are noticeably different from her live performance, and commenters did not hold back.
“It’s edited,” wrote one commenter. “Comparing the original performance at Eurovision in Tel Aviv. It’s completely not the same.” Another added: “What happened to the original vocals!??? I watched the livestream and her voice was REALLY different.”
One of the most upvoted comments on Monday afternoon read: “Sorry, but this is not what we heard on TV! It seemed to be processed. However they have done it. I love Madonna and respect her for all she had done. But her voice performance at the show was frightening. So this video is that, what we expected, not what we got in Tel Aviv.“
Even the UK tabloid Metro poked fun at the singer, writing on Twitter: “Madonna editing her #Eurovision vocals before uploading to Instagram is low-key iconic.”
One thing is clear: Madonna left a lasting impression on the Eurovision grand final.
Published Tuesday, May 21, 2019 10:41PM EDT
JERUSALEM — The Queen of Pop has cleaned up her act.
After her much-panned performance in the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv on Saturday, Madonna’s official YouTube channel released a noticeably touched-up version.
Music critics and others weighed in online, saying she auto-tuned her vocals to fix flaws in her live show. Fan-produced videos splicing her pitch-perfect version with the original have circulated widely.
Many had complained she sang off-key while performing her classic hit, “Like a Prayer,” and new single, “Future,” from her forthcoming album “Madame X.”
Madonna’s representatives did not respond to requests for comment.
During the discussion, singer Coleen Nolan said she doesn’t “think it’s right to say she should give up,” but acknowledged that Madonna’s abilities aren’t quite what they used to be.
The 54-year-old said the pop legend “can’t compete” with up-and-coming performances and noted that, during the performance in question, the pop star “needed to find a note.”
….Viewers were quick to share their thoughts on the recent performance, with many taking to social media.
Many said the performance was “shockingly bad,” with one viewer adding it “sounded rough.”
“I was actually cringing as sounded painfully shockingly awful,” commented another.
May 19, 2019
Gotta hand it to that girl. No way was Madonna going to perform in Israel without attempting to patch up centuries of bloodshed and religious hostility by making some sort of major gesture.
It came right at the end of her two-song guest performance on the Eurovision Song Contest (BBC1), when her dancers turned their backs to reveal Israeli and Palestinian flags on their costumes. Then they embraced, geddit?
Who needs diplomacy, treaties, initiatives and summits when you’ve got Madge on the case? Why, this whole conflict could have been patched up way back at Camp David if only she had been involved sooner. ‘Wake Up,’ read the words beamed onto the stage after the flag blag. ‘Wake up,’ whispered Madonna, before doing a peace sign and hurling herself backwards off a set of stairs.
Wake up, wake up! Yes, please. Anything to stop this nightmare of a performance.
In a career spanning four decades, has Madonna ever been as howlingly awful as she was on Eurovision? Never, m’lord, and I’m including her 2012 Hyde Park concert where she did a striptease, held a gun to her head and told the London audience: ‘I love you, Poland.’
In Tel Aviv on Saturday night, she looked terrible and sounded even worse; off beam, off key, off form. Her showcase performance lasted only ten minutes but such was the depth of humourless grandiosity on display that it felt like being lectured at for an hour.
Designer John Paul Gaultier had wrangled Madonna into a Joan of Arc meets Robocop outfit, complete with a silver truss with dangling suspenders, thigh boots and a tragic revival of the conical bra; not so much a wardrobe malfunction as a complete nervous breakdown in the Her Satanic Majesties section of Zara. The whole outfit was accessorised with a jewelled eye patch. Was that wise? No.
‘What a trouper, showing up despite what looks like a nasty case of conjunctivitis,’ BBC host Graham Norton archly noted.
Launching into a lacklustre version of Like A Prayer, she sounded breathless and even screeched, like a winded crow. There was an odd but distinct lack of energy as she puffed down the stairs one by one, like a gran with a bad knee.
After this, a short Armageddon-themed interlude found her pretending to beat up her dancers to the music of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite for no good reason.
‘The storm isn’t in the air, it is inside of us,’ she darkly intoned because yes, that’s what happens when you eat too many falafels. ‘Can’t you hear the wind that is beginning to howl,’ she cried. Whoops, sorry about that.
Then it was straight into the reggae drear of Future (one of the songs from new album Madame X) in which she predicts we are not all going to make it to tomorrow, thanks for the reminder.
Madonna seems hell-bent on presenting herself as some kind of death cult leader who knows when the world is going to end and when it does, boy is she going to make us suffer. If she had been a real Eurovision contestant, representing a country called Past Glories, she would have scored nul points.
On the night she was upstaged by Australia’s snow queen on stilts; a Viking singer who slaughtered a bubble and a handsome Russian who seemed to be singing about face cream.
There was a retired Turkish dentist representing San Marino (don’t ask) who not only managed to hit more notes than Madonna, but also appeared to pay touching tribute to the queen of pop in his song. ‘You’re not alone, so stand up for nana,’ he crooned.
The British entry, from former X Factor contestant Michael Rice, came last. ‘It’s all political,’ said his disappointed grandad, who believed it to be a Brexit punishment vote – overlooking the fact that it was a terrible song, too.
Politics and music have always been uneasy bedfellows. Madonna’s timid flag stunt may have had its heart in the right place, but it was a reminder that while art can be a potent way to raise political consciousness, it can be a medium for facile gestures, too.
Videos About Madonna’s Awful Performance at Eurovision
Many of the original videos are being pulled by something called the EBU, over copyright concerns.
(Text under the video):
“MADONNA PERFORMS “LIKE A PRAYER” AT EUROVISION FINAL 2019 TEL AVIV
After 4 singles that flopped”
Partial transcript from that video:
“… oh dear… okay… this is really disappointing. She wasn’t even close to those notes…
It even seems there is some kind of auto tune on there, but she is still so out of tune, she must have been so much out of tune that her auto tune could not correct it, oh goodness
“This is the sound of someone who doesn’t look after their voice anymore… oh dear…”
“…this is not very good at all..”
…she’s missing so many of the notes, her breath control is appalling…
it was really not a very good performance at all..
… I can’t find anything good about that performance at all.
Summary: “The vocals were just dreadful”
Embedded Videos / Tweets: