Cyprus’ Eleni Foureira whipped her hair back like Beyoncé with a side of Shakira sizzle. Austria’s César Sampson dropped gospel sounds while riding a spaceship. And the UK’s SuRie overcame a stage invader who failed to derail her song of perseverance. But in the end Israel’s Netta Barzilai won Eurovision 2018 with her message of empowerment, which she set to a funky Mizrahi beat.
“Everything is a black blur,” she said at the winner’s press conference shortly after the show. “I remember six anxious men sitting next to me shouting. ‘No, no, Sweden!’ I was just sitting there thinking, ‘What is happening?’ Everyone else knows more about Eurovision than me….I wear glasses but I didn’t have them with me. So he [composer Doron Medalie] was narrating for me.”
What does she have to say to her gay fans? “I cherish them — most of my team, well, some, a great some, hold me up. I am nothing without them. Without the vibe, without the happiness. I will be performing for them for the rest of my life.”
She’s not a fan of competitions, but held her nerve over the past few months by believing in herself. “I always said comparing between musical genres is funny, and comparing between artists is peculiar.”
“I believe that authenticity passes through. I was competing with myself. I was nervous about my performance. How am I reaching through to as many people as I can. Sorry for my English, I just won Eurovision.”
“I think everyone gave an amazing performance tonight, including Eleni. Somebody had to win.”
“I don’t think I have to say much after tonight — the majority chose me. This is the greatest thing happening to people, choosing something different. Choosing something that’s evolved. Choosing 2018. I am proud and honoured to do this. I am proud and honoured to bring this magical event to Israel next year.”
Ahead of Eurovision, Israel came first with the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals.
At the time we wrote:
“My teddy bear’s running away, the Barbie got something to say” — it’s a lyric that sums up Netta’s mission of serving play with a purpose. Her Barbie has sass, attitude and a keen sense of empowerment. She’s busting balls in the name of her sisters while bringing swells, dips, wordplay and a very big note that drives it home. Doused in a gorgeous Mizrahi mix that draws on Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, it balances authenticity with disposable pop perfectly. Take me to the club, take me to the picket line. If Netta is there I’m sold.
Eurovision 2018: Final results
Eurovision 2018: Jury results
Austria: 12 points from United Kingdom, Romania, Iceland, Belgium, Estonia, Bulgaria, Israel, Poland, Lithuania Sweden: 12 points from Georgia, Latvia, Australia, Serbia, Cyprus, Armenia, Germany, Slovenia Cyprus: 12 points from Belarus, Cyprus, Spain, Sweden, Ireland, Greece Israel: 12 points from San Marino, Austria, Czech Republic, France, Finland Germany: 12 points from The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland Estonia: 12 points from FYR Macedonia, Moldova, Portugal Albania: 12 points Azerbaijan Denmark: 12 points from Hungary France: 12 points from Cyprus, Italy: 12 points from Albania Lithuania: 12 points from Croatia Norway: 12 points from Italy Serbia: 12 points from Montenegro Moldova: 12 points from Russia
Eurovision 2018: Televoting results
Czech Republic 215
The Netherlands 32