17 November 2018

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Israel wins the Eurovision song contest 2018

Israel has won the Eurovision song contest with pop star Netta Barzilai’s quirky entry Toy.

The Israeli performer was awarded 529 points, beating favourites Cyprus into second place.

The 25-year-old was singing with the Israeli Navy Band when she entered and won the country’s Eurovision selection show HaKokhav HaBa.

The catchy electronic dance song entry had emerged as an early favourite to win the contest before bookies shortened the odds on her rival Cyprus’s Eleni Foureira.

It is Israel’s fourth Eurovision win after coming first in Paris in 1978, winning in Israel the next year and most recently in 1998, when groundbreaking performer Dana International, who was the first ever trans winner of the contest, took home the trophy.

Accepting her prize in the Altice Arena in Lisbon, Netta told the Eurovision hosts: “I’m so happy, thanks for choosing difference, thank you for celebrating diversity.”

Fans were charmed by the “chicken dance” moves of the choreography, while some commentators have noted the song’s lyrics – “I’m not your toy / You stupid boy” – are apt for the first post #MeToo Eurovision.

Shortly after her win the pop star tweeted: “Thank you Europe.”

Eurovision fan JK Rowling, who tweeted throughout the show, called Netta “a worthy winner”.

After managing to keep her cool in the midst of a stage invasion by serial invader Dr ACactivism, UK singer SuRie came 24th out of 26 entries with 48 points in total after judges and public votes were combined.

The 29-year-old was offered the chance to perform again after the self-proclaimed activist disrupted her performance, but she declined.

 
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