She is not a toy, but we already love to play her song. Netta Barzilai, the one-woman show who won the Israeli national selection The Next Star for Eurovision 2018, has not officially released her Eurovision 2018 entry “Toy“. But on Saturday evening, as Europe followed the results in Melodifestivalen and Melodi Grand Prix, her song leaked — giving the fandom yet another track to dive into.

In a year where there’s a dearth of pop tracks, Israel is delivering us something fun and catchy from the Promised Land! From the first beat you can hear that this song is different — and you can barely compare it to anything you’ve heard at Eurovision before.

The Oriental / Mizrachi sound takes centre stage here, providing a fantastic core around which Netta can improvise. The song is mainly in English, although you can hear plenty of words in Hebrew, such as: “Ani Lo Buba” (I’m not a puppet). This diva isn’t attached to strings — she’s pulling ’em!

As the #MeToo movement helps women find their voice, Netta is using hers to sing of empowerment with some in-your-face lyrics: “Wonder woman don’t you ever forget, you’re divine and he’s about to regret….I’m not your toy, you stupid boy”.

“Toy” was written by Doron Medalie and Stav BegerIn a recent interview on Israeli radio, Doron said that the song has a strong connection to the #MeToo movement. As he said: “Women are not toys”.

This is freestyle, Mediterranean women’s anthem that works well with Netta’s powerful image and voice. She’s in control of herself and her song — and we know this is going to be magical.

Netta’s “Toy”

Following Netta’s victory on “The Next Star for Eurovision 2018”, a special committee with members of IPBC (KAN) and Keshet (the broadcaster of The Next Star for Eurovision 2018) listened to 140 song submissions. The chosen song was “Toy” — by Doron Medalie and Stav Beger.

If you’re a hardcore Eurovision fan, you should know Doron, as he also wrote “Golden Boy” and “Made of Stars”, the Israeli songs at Eurovision 2015 and 2016.

Doron also wrote many other Israeli hits such as: “Tel Aviv” and “Tikitas”. He also took some Eurovision hits — Opa (Greece 2010) and “Dime” (Spain 2003) — and reworked them in Hebrew.

Stav Beger wrote a song for the Israeli national final in 2016 (together with Tom Gefen), “Follow The Sun”, by Gil Hadash, as well as some other hits for Israeli artists, such as “Shnei Meshuga’im ” (Two Crazy People) by Omer Adam.

Netta Barzilai will be allowed to use her vocal looper

From the moment Netta had her first audition in Israel the big question surrounding her performances was whether the Eurovision rules would allow this kind of performance.

According to the latest reports the EBU will allow her to use her own special toy on stage, as long as the voices will be recorded to the looper during her live performance.

Who is Netta Barzilai?

Netta is 25 years old, and she performs in clubs and weddings in Tel Aviv. She has a unique look, which reflects her unique musical style: She’s a one-woman show that you have to watch in order to understand.

In her first audition, and during most of her performances on the show, she had a special vocal looper on stage. But even with just a one-string guitar during her second audition, she still oozed charisma, style and uniqueness in her special version of the Eurovision 1978 winning song, “A-Ba-Ni-Bi”.

Links to Netta Barzilai’s perfomances:  “Rude Boy” | “A-Ba-Ni-Bi” | “Hey Mama” | Mashup | “What Is Love” | “Barbie Girl” |  “Wannabe” | “Kzat Meshugaat”

During the last months there’s been quite the interest in Israel surrounding Netta and her unique style. In fact, she was even imitated recently on “Eretz Nehederet” (A Great Country) — a very popular Israeli TV show. Looks like a star has been born.

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A post shared by ??? ????? (@eretznehederet) on

What do you think about “Toy”? Do you think Netta can make it to the final or maybe even win Eurovision? Let us know all your thoughts in the comments section below!

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297 Comments on "Israel: Netta Barzilai’s “Toy” is an anthem of empowerment inspired by the #MeToo movement"

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[…] Toy is indeed a somewhat unique song; singer Netta makes chicken noises and the lyrics contain a powerful message inspired by the #MeToo movement. […]

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[…] there are so many incongruous elements that the whole thing is a muddle. Take the lyrics, which songwriter Doron Medalie says are inspired by the #MeToo […]

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[…] there are so many incongruous elements that the whole thing is a muddle. Take the lyrics, which songwriter Doron Medalie says are inspired by the #MeToo […]

Yoav Shina
Guest

Its beutiful song

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[…] women feel under pressure to be what society demands,” Barzilai told Tagesspiegel. According to Eurovision blog Wiwibloggs, the song’s (male) writer Doron Medalie said in a recent interview on Israeli radio that the […]

Rachel
Guest

Toy by neta is the best song!!!! Something different let’s see if the world is ready and open for it let’s go Israel

sima sahnduri
Guest

Well done to Neta.
Powerful girl, with strong energies.
I hope you’ll get to first place.
12 points from me (sima)

Meghan Trainor
Guest

This is just USA music. No big deal. Nice beat but not original. It is inspired by Me Too, but not the one you think. It is actually Meghan Trainor song.

Jake
Guest

The two songs sound nothing alike.

Ami
Guest
You’re so right! There are many ladies and gentlemen singing their heart out and giving us a message to think about or dazzling us with their talent. This is just pure rubbish. This is 430 on the top 43. I do hope people will be sane enough to recognise the wonderful entries from Belgium, Italy, France, Bulgaria and Greece and I sure hope the juries will destroy this trash “song”. This has nothing to do with empowerment. If you want empowerment, I’d suggest one to listen to Diva, Skeletons, Euphoria or Statements. Let’s just say that I think there are… Read more »
Luz
Guest
Bravo, bravo, bravo!!!! Thank you for clearly articulating my issues with this song. I think it’s a disgusting and cynical move from the Israel team to peg this on the #MeToo movement. The movement does not inspire to man hate and this song does not provide female empowerment. I can talk about this as I am a Latina female living in the US and have friends actively involved in the movement. It’s infuriating to see that the Israeli delegation thinks they can insult female Eurovision fans’ intelligence by trying to take advantage of the movement. I’m all for fun and… Read more »
aaron
Guest

worst song ever. this is my 40th place.

Osana Najimi
Guest

You say something bad, something worse i’s going to happen to you.

Joel
Guest

This reminds me of TOY SOLDIER by Britney Spears

Adam
Guest
After a couple of listens, I’m still on the fence with this one. Although the song has a strong (intended) message of female empowerment that I can appreciate, and the artist is certainly a talented performer, I’m not sure if I like the lyrical content and the ambitious, dance-anthem composition; I feel like this is ‘taking advantage’ of the situation, in my opinion, without delivering the message well. Nevertheless, this is an interesting and memorable entry. This will most likely sit well with the televoters, but I’m not as certain with the jury. Although it’s not in my Top 10… Read more »
Guy
Guest

LMAO! the impression they did to her is genius!!! (Eretz Nehederet)

Canada Calling
Guest

It’s catchy, it’s got attitude, and I like it. For now. Those chicken noises will take some getting used to. They just sound really weird, but in that sense I guess it could be said it’s something unique. By the time the live shows begin, how much those chicken noises will bother me (or won’t) will most likely determine how much I like this overall. Respectable effort

Y tho?
Guest

OMFG amen to all what you said.
Someone finally is sane enough in this comment section.

Erica
Guest

Could do great with televoting. But will be killed by juryvoting

Lourdes
Guest

I don’t usually listen to this kind of upbeat songs, and the song must be really good, if it catches my attention. This one did! I’ve been singining it on my mind since yesterday, and I’ve only heard it once or twice. Her talent is incredible and after watching some of her live performances, I think her live will be as amazing as the studio version. I won’t be surprised and sorry at all if she wins! ( And knowing myself and my ‘snob’ music taste, I can’t believe I’m saying this 😛 )

Héctor
Guest
Very different song. Somehow reminds me of “Beauty Never Lies” adn Megan Trainor combined. Tbh, I don’t really know how to review or rate this song. I find it annoying, especially in the verses, but the pre-chorus and the chorus are good and catchy. The chicken sounds add some flavour, though I’m not a big fan of it. This year Israel is different and risky, and while different doesn’t mean good, this one will stand out. I don’t especially like it, but I get why it is #1 in the betting odds. I’ll give it a 6.75/10, but it will… Read more »
SQ
Guest

This song wins. The case of Italy last year happens once every twenty years.

Penguin
Guest

What?

CharlieChan
Guest

Dude, after seeing those performances, I fell in love with the song. She’s amazing.

Boy
Guest

Now its nr 1 in the odds. THIS IS A BIG JOKE. Its this years Italy

Pasadena
Guest

I would put this in the same category as Party for everybody. It’s a generic pop tune in the bottom, but with an added twist that we haven’t heard before. It’s borderline cringe but will come through as original. I think this could place very high in the final.

Michèle
Guest

Meant to put a bet on Israel last week but of course didn’t! This song is on a different level to anything else in the competition and should win it. My personal preference though is still Portugal.

Anita
Guest

Im am interested to understand what you mean by different level and why it should win?

Michèle
Guest

I just think that most of the other songs are bland, dated and overhyped. Apart from Portugal, I have no interest in playing back any of the songs and think this song from Israel is different in a good way.

desfolhada
Guest

Thank you from Portugal!
Are you from France? Your name sounds french.
I feel that France will be a surprise winner.

Michèle
Guest

You are welcome! I’m actually Irish but spell my name the French way. Not too sure if Ireland will qualify again this year, even though I quite like the song.

Martin
Guest

SAVIOR!

TheDrMistery
Guest

After CRTL+F I typed “chicken”. I was not disappointed.

AngieP
Guest

What happened just now?
This is totally a different sound. We have nothing like this this year. In my mind it’s a combination of “Golden boy” and “Beauty never lies”. There are times when it feels strange with all this sounds and effects. My favourite part is the pre chorus and the chorus. Her voice is amazing, we know that. It’s not my favourite but I enjoy it. It’s a live performance entry for sure. I can see it being bigger on a big stage.

Melania Trump
Guest

erm nope not for me

Ari
Guest

Totally agree, Melania. Hvala, hvala, ne. Donny would not like this.

Fr636473
Guest

There’s no need to make fun of Slovenia’s entry, why are people so mean *sigh*

Anita
Guest

Isn’t there any humour anymore. PLEASE!
“Hey, I think you forgot how to play”
Don’t be so “serious” – The Importance of being Earnest 😉

Joe
Guest

Remember when I said Israel has a habit of winning every twenty years? I’m not saying it’ll necessarily happen, but now I’m not totally ruling it out.

azaad
Guest

Dana wouldn’t have won if there were juries in 1998. Toy will be a turn off for enough jurors that others liking it won’t be able to save it.

This could place top 10, but in the vein of Israel’s recent female entries, could crash out in the semis. Both Moran and Mei deserved the final more than Netta does.

Ari
Guest

This ain’t winning IF 2018 still cares a little bit about the “song” in “Eurovision Song Contest”. Yet Israel actually jumped to number one in the betting odds as of now.
But comparing to the MeToo – movement is an insult to said movement. Female machismo was so not the point of MeToo.

gili
Guest

this IS a song and a great one…much more complicated than all the songs until now(:

Ari
Guest

It certainly is a song. No argument there. 😉

Jonas
Guest

Of course it is in tune with the MeToo movement and of course Time’sUp – “I’m not your toy, you stupid boy”. Couldn’t really be any clearer.

Ari, I’m sure you are the authority on what the point of the MeToo campaign was, you tell ’em.

Eve
Guest

Can’t wait to see this live, sounds amazing, great potential here!

Denis
Guest

Don¨t think it is a winning candidate, especially with juries downvoting this, but could be top 10. I just keep thinking this is 2018’s Occidentals Karma. being so overhyped to win by bookies, OGAE, Wiwibloggs, rabid fanboys only to flop miserably.

LoveWave
Guest

This is Kamil Show 2.0
Eurovision is not about “buy me coz I don’t have any money”, this is the SONG Contest not a joke acts. Anyway, it will qualify , coz it’s Israel.

Colin
Guest

1. Joke acts ARE songs too. Ukraine got to be second in 2007 contest with a joke act.
2. Not so sure this is a joke act in the first place. It’s very strange, but not sure if intended to be funny.
3. Israel doesn’t qualify all the time. Check their qualification history. They are a mixed bag, unlike Sweden, Armenia and Azerbaijan, countries that I think would have to bring X-Factor worst auditions applicants with songs written by Google translate not to qualify. And even then, the chances are they would.

Eve
Guest

In the first place, this is not joke act.

Zolex
Guest

Another overrated song.. Itt will be a very bad year..

FR
Guest

I really really love it! So original, energetic and fun. And musically I think it is strong too. Wouldn’t it be great if there were more original songs like that in the Eurovision final?

The other thing is, I think Eurovision should stay away from politics, as it’s supposed to be music contest, and you should be voting for songs, not political manifestos

azaad
Guest

On your second point: politics is going to be inherently present in a contest where nation states compete against each other, and especially when we use subjective rather than objective indicators to determine a victory (unlike sports which is objective with goals scored etc).

If you don’t agree with a political message expressed in the song – don’t vote for it. I would never vote or support a song I perceived to be racist, sexist, homophobic, classist etc even if I liked it musically.

FR
Guest

I don’ t mean just this song, I mean all the Eurovision songs that did this throughout the years.

Also about 99% of Erovision songs are not political, so your point abot politics being inherently present in ESC is just not true – at least not on song level

And your post just proves why this is a bad idea to mix polics and ESC – it’s like an emotional blackmail “if you don’t vote for this song, surely you’re against women’s rights”. It’s agreat song on its own, it doesn’t need that

Y tho?
Guest

My ears are bleeding.
Soooo cringy.

Kris
Guest

Bleeding ears….. That’d be a good visual
Maybe they can incorporate it into the performance

Adriana
Guest

The Jury will gonna kill this song,the televote will be huge.

gili
Guest

I dont agree at all, this song is very complicated musically, the juries are musician and will appreciate it very much…its fun but far from being simple and cheap music…

Purple Mask
Guest

The message is clear. The music is divisive. This looks, feels and sounds like it belongs at the stereotypical idea of “Eurovision” to me. I have to admit, I do like the song and admire Netta as an artist. She’s gutsy and stand-out and she knows how to bring out her best. I think she will do very well at the contest, and could be another surprise contender for the win. Now… your turn to agree or disagree. (But please be nice.)

Milla
Guest

This will probobly be this years Occidental’s Karma? I kind of enjoy this more than Italy last year but something is kinda cheap about it as well. It feels like “only in Eurovision” type of song.

Shelly
Guest

I agree so much hype about Italy last year and they didn’t win I think this will have the same result or similar

Colin
Guest

Oh, she is definitely qualifying! This isn’t the type of song everyone will agree it’s ‘nice’ (like Ireland). This is something that some will adore and others will hate with passion. In ESC, there are only positive points, so I am sure Netta will sail into the finals with flying colors, unless her performance is a disaster. For me, personally, the judgement is still out there, as I heard the song only once. I am leaning on the positive side, though. I am thrilled we have a strange, offbeat song.

Eve
Guest

I think it will be sure qualification, and could be wining material, it depends on performance.

LEO ESC AUT
Guest

Israel betting market leader at oddschecker. ???
Can’t quite believe that – Wow!

Rd
Guest

Who find this “song” annoying? #metoo

Martyman
Guest

Most people have acknowledged that this year has been really underwhelming. If THIS wins … Eurovision 2018 will have got the winner it deserves – complete dross!

Igal
Guest

Not to worry! You won’t have to listen to this ugliness in the final. Europe is still sane:)

Ffs
Guest

I like her but I’m so fed up with the stupid hashtags , the feminist/political messages and the bandwagons . They’re turning Eurovision into an angry liberal platform for their issues.

Paul
Guest

You’re right – imagine standing up for something you believe in.

Women should still be in kitchen and just do whatever a man tells them

Marios
Guest

Exposing a overweight woman in that humiliating way has nothing to do with the respect to the women dignity. Exactly the oposite.

Paul
Guest

What’s her weight got to do with anything?!

Anita
Guest

Oh Boy Marios – this was a disqualifying comment.
But some need to pump up their ego, they just can’t help it.

Make Eurovision Sanremo Again
Guest
Make Eurovision Sanremo Again

So I’m guessing you’d rather it be a platform for your issues?
They’re gonna need a bigger stage.

Paul
Guest

People like you are the reason Brexit happened

Make Eurovision Sanremo Again
Guest
Make Eurovision Sanremo Again

People like me? You’re going to have to be more specific.

Make Eurovision Sanremo Again
Guest
Make Eurovision Sanremo Again

P.S. This is not David Cameron, just in case you were making that mistake.

Rebecca Shounety
Guest

Dear people that say that this song’s lyrics are “stupid”.

Do you even understand what’s behind those “stupid” lyrics???
Women empowerment honety!!!

Bring this girl to the front raw. Now bow before her!!!

Well done Israel, regardless the final score at the eurovision.

12 points from me (Ireland).

azaad
Guest

I agree with you that the message is strong – in part because it’s specific. Rather than being a general empowerment anthem it addresses a particular issue women have to endure.

But some of the lyrics do not convey the value of such a message.

Marios
Guest

No matter the intention, the lyrics are stupid in artistic terms and, on the cntrary, the whole concept insulting for women.

Make Eurovision Sanremo Again
Guest
Make Eurovision Sanremo Again

Insulting in what way? Specifics, please.

Mony
Guest

The song can be listened in full:

http://infegreece.gr/israel-akouste-to-toy-the-nette-barzilai-gia-th-lisavona/

I’m afraid Israel won’t pass the semifinal this year…

Music is art+vibs
Guest

If this entry has a good result, are you ready for a lot of ridiculous joke entries in 2019 as already happened some years ago? Think about that. Guys, please think twice about the entries you support.

Currikitaum
Guest

Why? This is not a joke entry, it’s just quality music. You should get used to it, it doesn’t hurt to listen to different music from time to time.

Music is art+vibs
Guest

In my case, I love listening to different types of music, but this is a song contest and in my opinion we should value other features. I cant of course question anybody else’s concept of quality. But this is definitively not my concept of quality music.

Anita
Guest

Do you think Eurovision producers, fans and artist are just stupid and do copy and paste?

Music is art+vibs
Guest

Anita, I have never said so. But anyway, there are good composers and bad composers, as in all professions. For me a good producer creates something with a personal essence. The range of bad composers may vary due to several reasons. One of these, creating the wrong song for a specific purpose. But this is just my opinion. I accept other people can find the concept of quality in this entry and find it appropriate for a music contest.

azaad
Guest

It’s not a joke act. The message is quite a serious and empowering one. I will concede parts of it rub me the wrong way musically and I can see how people will find this obnoxious.

It’s not a joke- but a song designed to get a strong reaction.

Clarky Kellson
Guest

This is not a joke act. It’s just a fun song with a very serious message. A similar thing to what Lady Gaga did with her song Swine, which was also about sexual assault.

Boy
Guest

Israel in the 2nd place, in odslist, whats happend.

Pavel
Guest

it takes 10 people to place a bet and the entry is suddenly rising. proves nothing

Sivan
Guest

For the first time in many years Israel is number 1 at bettings odds..Love that and love this song..Go Israel 🙂