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.
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Photo: Thomas Hanses (EBU)