Israel’s Netta Barzilai wins Eurovision Song Contest 2018

Israel’s Netta Barzilai wins Eurovision Song Contest 2018

#MeToo themed song wowed voters across Europe as she pips Austria and Cyprus to the prestigious title

Netta Barzilai won this year's Eurovision for Israel
Netta Barzilai won this year's Eurovision for Israel

Israel’s Eurovision entry Netta Barzilai stormed to victory, pipping Austria and Cyprus to the title.

Netta covered her mouth and screamed after learning of her win.

Collecting the trophy, she said: “I’m so happy. Thank you so much for choosing different, thank you for accepting difference between us.

“Thank you for celebrating diversity. I love my country. Next time in Jerusalem!”

Shortly after winning, Netta Barzilai tweeted saying simply: “Thank you Europe.”

The track by Barzilai, whose stage name is Netta, is about female empowerment and was inspired by the #MeToo movement, she has said.

“The song has an important message,” she is quoted as telling the Daily Express before winning the contest, which features artists from dozens of countries in and around Europe, including Australia.

“The awakening of female power and social justice, wrapped in a colourful, happy vibe,” she said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated Netta and indicated that the festival next year will be hosted in Jerusalem.

“You have brought the State of Israel a lot pride. Next year in Jerusalem!” wrote Netanyahu on Twitter to Netta.

The score was determined by points given by the contest’s official juries and by callers. “Toy” won the match with a combined score of 529 points, giving is a huge lead of 93 points over Cypress, which came second and a 187-point lead on Austria in third place. The score for Toy was the fourth-highest in the contest’s history.

Watch her performance here: 

Speaking about the chicken noises she makes during the song, she told Wiwibloggs: “The noises are supposed to imitate the voices of a coward – a chicken. Someone who doesn’t act the way he/she feels and treats you like a toy.”

The three Israeli songs that had won the contest before “Toy” — “A-Ba-Ni-Bi” in 1978, “Hallelujah” in 1979 and Dana International’s “Diva” in 1998 — were sung in Hebrew.

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