Madonna’s heavily-publicized appearance at Eurovision Song Contest this weekend’s has hit a Euro-size obstacle. The Queen of Pop was never actually confirmed as a performer, organizers say, and her appearance on-stage at the 64th annual song competition is in doubt.
According to the BBC, Eurovision’s executive supervisor Jon Ola Sand told reporters on Monday, “The European Broadcasting Union has never confirmed Madonna as an act for Eurovision Song Contest.” He added: “For the simple reason that we do not have a signed contract with her team. And if we do not have a signed contract she cannot perform on that stage. It’s very simple.”
In a video of Sand’s press conference, he said that his team is in the “final stages” of negotiations with Madonna’s team to get a contract signed, adding that if a contract is not signed soon Madonna will not be allowed to appear. “We are in a situation now that is a big strange,” Sand said. “We have an artist who would like to participate in Eurovision Song Contest, we would love to welcome her on that stage, but for that we need to have the framework secured.
Indeed, a quick search of the Eurovision website reveals no mention of Madonna, and the pop veteran doesn’t appear anywhere on the site of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which operates the contest.
Madonna’s Eurovision slot was announced April 9, initially by Live Nation Israel which posted a statement to its Facebook page that the performance would be “both historical and hysterical … we couldn’t think of a better opening shot for the summer on the way.”
Reps from the concert promoter said the pop superstar would perform two songs, including a number from her upcoming album, Madame X, due out June 14. BBC News reported at the time that Madonna’s press team also confirmed her participation at this year’s event, but the EBU told Billboard, “No final decisions have been made, or agreements signed. Official news and updates will come directly from the Eurovision channels in due course.”
With less than a week to go until the annual kitsch-fest lights up Tel Aviv, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame star’s performance appears to be up in the air.
Madonna is set to land in Israel on Wednesday morning, accompanied by an entourage of 135 people, the Times of Israel reports. Pieces of her stage set are said to have arrived in Israel on Monday. The Grand Final of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest will take place on May 18. Reps for Madonna couldn’t be reached for comment.
Watch Sand’s press conference below.