Following performances from Israeli singer-songwriter Idan Raichel and 2018 Eurovision winner Netta Barzilai, who sang her latest single 'Nana Banana,' Madonna opened her set with 'Like a Prayer.' The stage was appropriately propped to resemble an ancient church, the sort you would find in any number of cities in Israel. Accompanying Madonna on the controversial and provocative 1989 smash, was a back-up choir-cum-dancers dressed in traditional monk attire.
It followed with a highly choreographed version of 'Future,' a track by Quavo of Migos, who was also in attendance (earlier, he spoke of his trip to Jerusalem as 'really special'). The two held hands as the song came to a close, and behind them were projected the words 'Wake Up.'
Earlier in the show, Madonna was interviewed briefly. Wearing her new signature eyepatch and with her hair in braids, Madonna joked that she only sees the beach from her hotel perch. She then addressed the contestants participating in the international music contest. 'You’re all winners,' she said. 'To get where you are right now is not easy. … You’ve earned your way to the place where you are right now. That makes you a winner no matter what happens.'
Asked by the show’s host if she wanted to use the global platform to send a message, Madonna did just that. 'Look at all the delegates everybody is here from all over the world. And the thing that brings all of these people together is music. So let’s never underestimate the power or music to bring people together.'
She then led the 5,000 in attendance in a chant of the chorus to her 2000 hit 'Music,' joshing the crowd and its ability to 'follow directions. 'Music makes the people come together,' she sang.
Madonna’s participation in the beloved international competition was not without controversy. On May 14, her much-publicized performance came into question after the show’s organizers revealed that no contract had yet been signed. The paperwork was sorted out just in the nick of time and on May 16, Madonna was given the all-clear.