The 2018 Eurovision Song Contest was an amazing spectacle with a few surprises. This year’s final event took place in Lisbon, Portugal. After a tightly contested event, the judges picked Netta Barzilai as the winner. The Israeli singer scored a total of 529 points for her song “Toy”.
Eleni Foureira from Cyprus came in second place with 436 points for “Fuego”. Before the final announcement, it seemed like Austria might win the trophy. Cesar Sampson's “Nobody But You” was in the lead. But everything changed when the viewers' votes started coming in.
Netta was particularly surprised when the announcement was made, as she was not expecting a win. She couldn’t even see the results on the scoreboard, as she didn’t have her glasses on.
When asked about how she felt about winning, Netta said: "I always said that comparing between musical genres is funny - and comparing between musicians is a little bit peculiar... I was competing with myself."
She also told BBC News that people had advised her to take on a more conventional look, "diet a little bit", and even "sing like Adele". But she chose to be herself.
We're only here for a minute, why are we busy being unhappy?
Netta breaks a 20-year win hiatus for Israel. The last Israeli to win was Dana International with the song “Diva”. Netta’s song “Toy” is a very catchy one that synthesized chicken sounds and a signature chicken dance over a techno tune.
It was far from the regular song types at the contest, but it seems the judges and viewers decided to keep an open mind this year.
Israel is celebrating the win
Early Sunday morning, thousands of people poured into Tel Aviv to celebrate Netta’s Eurovision win. It was a street party of sorts with several people jumping into the public fountain at Rabin Square, waving Israeli flags and dancing.
Entire streets were blocked off, and Israeli security forces were on site to maintain peace and some order. Netta has always been a favorite, as she recently performed alongside the Israeli Navy Band.
Netta’s win means that Israel will host the next edition of the contest. Some notable public figures have expressed their joy due to that, including Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot who said Netta was an example of “the real wonder in women”.
Netta’s song was inspired by the #MeToo movement and its most popular line is “I’m not your toy, you stupid boy”. In her own little way, Netta is lending her voice to the fight against sexual harassment.
Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, also called to congratulate Barzilai, saying she was the country’s “greatest ambassador”.
These days Jerusalem is being blessed with many gifts. We received another one last night with Netta’s thrilling and suspenseful victory. The gift is that Eurovision will come to Jerusalem next year; we will be very proud to host it.