netta barzilai toy eurovision 2018 first rehearsal

She’s riding a high after giving Israel its first Eurovision victory in twenty years. But in her first in-depth interview since returning home from Lisbon, Netta Barzilai has revealed that she never felt like a shoe-in for the crown.

“The victory was not in my pocket at any stage, and I did not have that feeling,” the “Toy” singer tells Israel Hayom, who published a teaser of its forthcoming interview today.

“Even in The Next Star [Israel’s Eurovision selection show], and at every other point in my life, I always had to fight for my place, even with myself.”

“To be honest with myself, not because of what people think of me, because I really do not care what people think of me, but because of what I think of me.”

She and her team were well aware of the Cypriot surge, and the fact Eleni Foureira had become the bookies — and to some extent the press room’s — favourite act heading into the final.

“I was ready for Eleni to win, it would not crush me, because all my life it was like that… I never knew anything else … My whole life I was defeated by the standard thing, always.” When the time came for the solos in the military they [went to those] pleasing to the eye.”

Her weight is nobody’s business

Netta also opens up about an incident she had with popular TV and radio journalist Ilana Dayan, who said she was worried that Netta would “lose weight and then disappoint a lot of people” after Eurovision.

Netta swatted away that suggestion at the time, saying, “I’m just gonna be myself, I don’t care about what other people think or say. If I’m going to have a serious diet and will lose 40kg, then it will happen and I’ll change.”

And in her forthcoming interview with Israel Hayom she stands up for herself yet again.

“No one asks questions like that — I feel very good with that answer. I told you that I love myself in every way…[my weight] is not anybody’s business, just mine.”

Trouble at Eurovision 2018

Netta’s first rehearsal at Eurovision left many concerned about her chances of success. The initial rehearsal set off alarm bells for her team, too.

“We had to make a lot of changes because of what we discovered there — there was not enough lighting, the hall was dark, and we had to think about everything all over again.”

“I reminded myself that everything was fine. And that it was only the first time I thought I really connected with the girls who danced with me.”

“Suddenly we realised that our animation was good. And I felt that I had an impact on the performance. ”

Are you looking forward to reading the interview in full? What questions do you want to ask Netta? Let us know in the comments box below.

Read more Israel Eurovision news

Well said @nettabarzi ?? #eurovision2018 #eurovisionsongcontest #eurovision

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Photo: Thomas Hanses (EBU)

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104 Comments on "Israel’s Netta: “Eurovision victory was not in my pocket…I was ready for Eleni to win”"

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Sella
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I’m happy for her, I really am. Please don’t host in Jerusalem. Regardless of your opinion on Israel, doing that would be using Eurovision as a political power trip and putting all participants in danger.

opus1612
Guest

That’s just ridiculous…then you have to remove all the crosses from Nordic Flags or the swiss one

Andreas Sarantis
Guest

There are crosses on a lot of European flags, but the difference is they don’t take it so seriously. Seperate religion from the state is all I’m saying.

AngieP
Guest

Indeed her victory was not in her pocket but she must have known she was a favourite! Instead, Eleni went without anything, noone had high expectations and suddenly everyone was talking about her.

I understand her point that she was expecting the standard to win over the different. However, it’s a little annoying to me because if a song deserves to win, it should win. You can’t rely on your difference. Nevertheless. at the end of the day she is who she is and noone should blame her for being herself!

Joe
Guest
Now the EBU is apparently getting worried about the possibility of countries withdrawing if Jerusalem hosts. To some degree, I think it might be a necessary risk (like, that’s the best place they’ve got). I don’t think they’ll strip Israel of hosting rights unless they do something really awful (at the moment, the worst they’ve done is jumped the gun on location, inviting countries, etc. – and I’m speaking about the broadcaster, not Israel as a whole). Again, we didn’t have any of this in Moscow or Baku. Why now? Part of the problem may be that the IPBC has… Read more »
J’adore
Guest

Does anyone know if the name Netta has any meaning in Hebrew?

Lost in Translation
Guest

Netta is Hebrew means Seedling 🙂

J’adore
Guest

Thank you! That’s cute… I adore her – May she blossom!

Yoshi
Guest

The name Neta is derived from the Bible, where it is used as a description of a plant that has been planted in the soil, and is also called sapling or root,

Jonas
Guest

I understand your viewpoint to some extent, but read up on history to see why and how Israel came to be. Suggesting they remove the star of David from their flag goes too far.

Liane
Guest

She seems to be a nice person and she definitely is a wonderful role model to show that it is okay to be the way you are and not to be forced to look like all that fotoshopped skinny models in the magazines and stuff. You may like the song or not – but I think she really deserved to win. The song is fresh and different, she is original and she has hell of a voice. And I would love to read the interview in full length.

Boycott Jerusalem 2019
Guest
Boycott Jerusalem 2019

It’s a well-deserved victory and she should be proud of the message she brings in her song and her performance.

LLila
Guest

Ok so you can change your name now..becouse like it or not eurovision 2019 will take place only in jerusalem the one and only capital of Israel 🙂

LeGrand
Guest

As an Israeli, I wouldn’t like Eurovision to take place in J-lem. J-lem symbolises all that is contrary to Eurovision’s spirit and essence. It is ANTI GAY, ANTI SECULARIST and a CONTROVERSIAL city. Besides, it has already hosted 2 contests (79, 99).

I claimed exactly the same when Moscow and Kyiv had hosted Eurovision due to their human’s rights breaches.

LLila
Guest

How can you say jerusalem is anti gay if every year a gay pride is taking place in jerusalem.

LeGrand
Guest

You just forgot to mention that two years ago a young girl was murdered by an extremist because she was there.. very “pro” gay isn’t it?!

LLila
Guest

It can happen every where..you can find crazy pepole in every place.

oscillate
Guest

Some people always find faults. Always bask on the the negative rather than see the positive impact of the interview.

I love Netta. Her authenticity makes her adorable.

John
Guest

And here once again she serves more insults to Eleni by calling her the standard! “My whole life I was defeated by the standard thing, always.” Well.. the standard is a brilliant performer. She danced the whole 3 minutes delivering respectable vocals and stunning choreography. You barely move on the stage and your vocals were just ok. Eleni never said anything bad about you or any other contestant. You on the other hand keep trashing Eleni. You are the winner but you behave like a sore looser.

Apple
Guest

It’s not an insult. She is just stating the obvious.

Queen of Paris
Guest

Actually they are best friends. Netta invited Eleni to sing in Israel, and they will be also singing together in other live shows.
Anyway
People keep creating more polemic and controversy, and Netta is doing nothing, very well sitted watching the show super happy lol 🙂

Thomas
Guest

Yes, it is definitely the worst insult ever, OMG

Hahaha you guys are all Drama Queens 😉 I laugh so much 🙂

Yruj
Guest

It is an insult , same as people calling Netta fat

Curve
Guest

It doesn’t seem to overpower her whole behavior. And where did you hear this “insult”?

Bleh
Guest

Honestly I haven’t listened to any of the Eurovision songs after the show ended. They were interesting only up until the results happened.

Hilariously Brisbane
Guest

And yet… You are here!

Jonathan Akin
Guest

Eleni isn’t just “pleasing to the eye” – she is a brilliant performer, one of the best Eurovision has ever seen. At least give Cyprus some credit…

At the winner’s press conference, Netta insinuated that she won over Eleni because she is more authentic….and now this! Disappointing for someone who apparently stands up for tolerance!

Mimi
Guest

No, she didn’t mean it that way. It was a poor translation to English from Hebrew. She really loves Eleni and her song, and its a well known secret that they’re going to perform together at Tel Aviv pride next month..

Apple
Guest

Netta doesn’t mean that at all! What she is saying is that she is sued to always losing to the person who is more conventionally attractive, and to people who have a musical style that everyone is more used to. Just look at her dancing to Fuego in the green room or talking about Eleni in her press conference after winning. She likes her song

Joe
Guest

Side note: this is the most friendly and open comment section I’ve seen here in a long time. Well done! Glad to see folks getting back into that Eurovision spirit.

LLila
Guest

Well said joe..i hope this spirit will stay on wiwi until may 19 atleast lol 🙂

Joe
Guest

Israelis know a thing or two about miracles, maybe we can get this one…

UKFAN3
Guest

Unlike other years, the haters this time seem political, and are against Israel and not Netta (which is a shame, Israel is an incredible country). Netta is an incredible performer and she deserves her victory!

Joe
Guest
Now that the storm has calmed a bit, I think it’ll go without a hitch. The EBU has sorta brought down the hammer on IPBC after the initial “JERUSALEM 2019!!” hype and says to chill a bit while they figure out if Jerusalem will host or not, how to keep it from getting political (too late), etc. I think ultimately it will be in Jerusalem and it will be Pais Arena and haters will kinda have to deal (even if it WAS in Tel Aviv, the biggest venue doesn’t appear to be large enough for the job, while Pais is… Read more »
Marcelo
Guest

Slovakia is more probably and there we’re also calla for Liechtenstein becoming an EBU member to debut un 2019. Fingers crossed!

RobbieJames4UK
Guest

Turkey is forbidden from participating at Eurovision by the EBU. Media, teachers and press are oppressed and some in jail. Human rights are at their worst situation ever in Turkey. And most of all they discriminate and ban every homosexual or gay promotion.

The petition in Ireland against Eurovision 2019 was a complete Fail. And the petition in Iceland was not signed only by people of Iceland but also from other countries, so it was refused. It would be refused anyway because there were so little signatures

LLila
Guest

Good to know..are you sure?
Boycot a state will never help to bring good things ..the only thing boycot brings is more Hate between pepole.

Joe
Guest

Amen to that.

Joe
Guest

Yeesh. At least they’ve got Turkvision? I personally thought Turkey was coasting in its last few years, with some exceptions (the only two entries after their win I thought were particularly good were For Real and We Could Be the Same, the rest I could take or leave – yes, even Dum Tek Tek), so while it’d be nice to see them (getting 12 points from Azerbaijan) again, their in a bad state and should get that sorted out.

And that’s good news, at least. So now it’s just Charlie McGettigan being bitter and that’s about it?

Kirby
Guest

But Turkvision is on a hiatus, their last edition wasn’t done…

Joe
Guest
Apparently they’re on for 2018. They’ve got 44 participants! That’s more than Eurovision’s ever had in one. If they can pull it together, it might be neat. I’ve never watched a Turkvision so I can’t speak to the average quality. (Side note: isn’t it ironic that they started it partially as a protest against the Big 5 system…and then invited Germany?) Personally, I’m more hoping for a Festival OTI return than Turkvision. Bring some of that Spanish fire back! And any news on Eurovision Asia? I can’t get a real scoop there because someone keeps vandalizing the Wikipedia page to… Read more »
Jonas
Guest

Charlie McGettigan happens to be lovely & fair-minded guy. He may take a position that you disagree with, but he certainly not “bitter”. He participated in a TV debate about next year’s Eurovision this past Monday evening. Judge for yourself. You may be able to watch it here, geoblocks allowing…

https://www.rte.ie/player/ie/show/claire-byrne-live-extras-30003215/10882260/

Joe
Guest

That’s fair. I definitely disagree, but he seems like a cool guy. Also responsible for one of my favorite winners.

Clarinda
Guest

@Robbie

But I’ve heard the same guy in Iceland will create another petition to be signed by Iceland people only this time

Joe
Guest

God, can’t he give it a rest?

LLila
Guest

One of the Israeli gavrament minister invaited Saudi arab to praticipate becouse saudi arab wrote good things about Netta’s victory.it will be awsome if we will have an arabic song from an arabic country.maybe it will help bring peace in the middle east lol.

Joe
Guest

That would be so cool! I don’t think they’re EBU members but hey, there’d be more cause to invite them than other countries (unless they think it’ll be too controversial).

LLila
Guest

Its not realistic that they will accept the invaite..but who knowes? Saudi arab is one of the arabic friendlly country towerd Israel but not open friendlly its more like a seacret realitionship but good for them to published on their media good things about Netta’s victory .

Apple
Guest

But I want more polemic until May 2019 :'(

Vogue_Queen
Guest

@Apple

Hahaha me too lol nothing like a good little polemic at Eurovision ?

Ami
Guest
Exactly Joe. I don’t think Israelis thought saying “JERUSALEM 2019” right away will automatically make everything political, because its simply their capital city and its just (some of) Europe that doesn’t recognize that fact, thus making it “political” for them. For Israelis it was just a statement saying, see you next year in our capital. Another thing to consider – the EBU has no problems with hosting the contest in Jerusalem in 1979, 1980 (was offered to them, but they declined to host again), and 1998. Anyway, I think it will be the Pais arena as well. Petach Tikvah was… Read more »
Joe
Guest

All true. It’s no different than saying “See you in Lisbon!” or “See you in Stockholm!” and the like. If it wasn’t a problem then, it shouldn’t be a problem now.

BelgiumESC
Guest

I cannot really wait for the Eurovision 2019 in Jerusalem, and the 2018 edition was only 2 weeks ago, is it normal?

LLila
Guest

Lol me too
Jerusalem 2019 come fast 🙂
I wonder who will win next year?

Joe
Guest
I’m hoping either a first-time victory or a return for a country with a long gap between wins. Considering which countries have had recent spikes in quality, I’d say keep an eye out for: – Italy (only finished twice outside the top ten since they came back, and even those songs were great) – France (their “joie de vivre” has really come back, I’ve really been impressed by their last three entries) – Bulgaria (big surprise package, very slick and professional since their return) – Malta (longest participation without a win; if they don’t play it safe like they have… Read more »
LLila
Guest

I agree with your words joe..
I think one of the countries you wrote about should or will win ..Its about time..

Joe
Guest

But who even knows? We could be going to Bratislava in 2020 for all I know.
The safe bet, of course, is Sweden, but they haven’t sent anything winner-ly since Mans (and seeing as they’ve hosted twice this decade, I think that suits them just fine. How much money does SVT have to burn anyway?).

LLila
Guest

I think its all about the song and preformence..Israel’s victory reflect it .So, if Sweden will be good like in 2015 they will probeblly win again..and they do won in Jerusalem back in 1999 so who knowes? 🙂

Joe
Guest

That would be good incentive lol.

Kirby
Guest

Maybe Bulgaria.

Joe
Guest

Bulgaria need more oomph. They need to send something with a better hook.

muuaaa
Guest

Eurovision should remove ”song contest” from it’s full name because it’s not about songs. It’s about absolutely eveything else. This years victory was like step back to 10 years ago when ESC was just a circus. It’s like Portugal never won.

Aaron
Guest

I don’t think you understood the message behind the song. I suggest you read the lyrics and then understand how wrong you were. Basically, it’s you who’s probably not bright enough to see behind the “fireworks”

Mor
Guest

.

muuaaa
Guest

As I said it’s not a song contest if message is more important than the song musically. Other songs had messages too.

Hosh
Guest

This year the message won. Just like when Conchita won and many others. People chose something different this year AGAIN. That’s the real meaning of diversity. <3

And that's why Eurovision has so many new fans and records every year. And that's why I love Eurovision. Peace and Love

Yeah
Guest

Are you sure that message won? A lot of countries who voted for Israel are very bad English speakers. So millions even didn’t understand what it was about,

opus1612
Guest

Don’t be naive…most people voted for Isarel because they saw a cute girl singing a catchy song, making strange facial expressions and imitating a chicken

amazinggggg
Guest
Well, you’re not wrong. Eurovision as it progressed added more criteria to picking the winner besides the song, and unfortunately, these criteria can have more power on the votes (and let’s not forget the interfering factors, if you know what i mean). But reminder, most of the community refer to the contest as ‘Eurovision’ only, and those who watch it for the first time usually assume it as a singing contest. Second, Eurovision has always been known for its campy performances, tacky outfits, crazy gimmicks. That’s kinda like ESC’s trademark. But that doesn’t overshadow much of the fact that most… Read more »
LLila
Guest

Netta will preform tomorrow in Amsterdam.

Aris
Guest

And Eleni in Madrid on Sunday

A Netherlandian
Guest

In which venue?

LLila
Guest

I dont know..follow her on Instegram..maybe on a t.v. show?

Francis1992
Guest

Are there any beautiful Israeli people here?

What Israeli media say about the place for Eurovision? Teddy stadium or Pais Arena?

I really hope Teddy, because Pais is much smaller than Altice Arena in Lisbon.

Also will the highway between Tel-Aviv and holy Jerusalem be finally ready?

Any other local news?

LLila
Guest

We dont know yet about location..Nothing is closed yet.
I did not see any new news about eurovision in Israel yet.
I only saw in Netta’s instegram that she arrived in Amsterdam today ..she will have her first internetional cover for a duch newspaper and also will preforme there tomorrow.

Hosh
Guest

If a huge number of fans come to Israel, more than in the previous countries, which will certainly happen, KAN will choose Teddy stadium and will build a roof.

EBU prefers Pais Arena because it is easier to do the show. But Israel wants to do something really big this year so it can be Teddy Stadium.

Gobio
Guest

Unfortunately, Israelis are in the dark just like you.
You can count on us to let yall know if something popps up Though 🙂

Mira
Guest

It looks like it will be Pais Arena. It’s not that small, as it can hold 15K for concerts. Remember Ukraine’s was done in a 7K arena. Even if they “cover” Teddy, it’s a very old arena that doesn’t have the technological means that Pais has, which was built in 2014. So Teddy, even with a roof, is very very unlikely. However, both arena’s are right next to each other (!) So I see them using both, one for the village and one for the concerts.

Gobio
Guest

I think so too, but I’ve read in a newspaper that with rhe requirements of Eurovision of a green room, large stage and press conferences room and can only hold about 8,000 people.
I think that KAN and EBU will find the most appropriate option so we don’t have to worry much.

Jonas
Guest

Why is there always a big obsession with how big the arena is? Pais will be more than adequate. There is no need for massive venues, which may look good on TV (arguably), but can be hard to fill. Selling out a big arena for three times over is no easy feat, no matter what the act. It’s all hype. #DialItDown

Mira
Guest

It’s all about the filming really, a small arena can look incredible (and incredibly big) on screen. Its very simple to make that illusion with the right direction.

Gobio
Guest

Tbh, the arena in Kiev looked huge on camera compared to its size.

Mira
Guest

Pais Arena has a couple big press rooms, and also they can create some outside of the arena, like they did in other cities. Trust the Israelis to make it work 🙂 Anyway, wait for the EBU confirmation, but it looks like Pais Arena 2019.

Arian
Guest

Netta. You are my inspiration. Thank you for represnting girls like me on TV in front of millions of people.

Rohim_Kardashian
Guest

She’s so Humble, so Human, so Beautiful, So Friendly, so Tolerant <3
The best winner we had so far

Roy Moreno
Guest

I’m proud of her for being who she is and not being so arrogant 🙂
Eleni really did make people think we’re going to Nicosia in 2019 (she would have been a great winner as well) and then boom! Netta still took it :0
Even when so many people said she is Gabbani 2.0

Joe
Guest

Always pleased when the fan favorite is everyone’s favorite as well. I thought it was a great year and I would’ve been satisfied with any number of countries winning (or qualifying…poor, poor Belgium…)

LLila
Guest

Netta my love 🙂

Dony
Guest

She literally won Israel Next Star 3 months ago but shes here talking about always coming second….. You really gotta work on that self esteem girl

Gobio
Guest

I think she is just being reasonable and down to earth.

Tomas Davitt
Guest

If she talked about winning that, then people would call her arrogant. She just can’t win with some people.

sevzch
Guest

She is such an insperation to me… i just cant stand those people who refuse to call her the winner… or say she won just because she is “fat”….. I hope she will succeed like nadav guedj did in israel after eurovision maybe even better then him

Roy Moreno
Guest

Nadav actually isn’t quite succesful here
Got like one ad on TV and a new single like 3 years after Golden Boy

sevzch
Guest

well its more then hovi and imri…..

Roy Moreno
Guest

Yea xD

NoGeoblocks
Guest

Much love to Netta. This girl is the very essence of talent.

Thank you for taking your Picaciu home! Israel 2019, here we come!

Sara
Guest

But… Pikachu is Japanese. Is she kidnapping him?

NoGeoblocks
Guest

I think HER Pikachu lives with her in Israel…

Haha… i completely misspelled Pikachu 🙂
Thanks! i’m learning so much here…

Sara
Guest

You are welcome.
Barbie is shook that you prefer Pikachu tho.

Aris
Guest

Eleni – real Winner , Fuegoooo

Ulises
Guest

Aris – real Stupid, get over it

Aris
Guest

U stupid boy hahahaa

Ggmlr
Guest

Nice one

Rony
Guest

Both are incredible. Netta won Eurovision, as in- she is per your words the “real” winner.