The Israeli candidate who will sing her title “Toy” in the Eurovision final on May 12 was dethroned in the bookmakers’ rankings by Eleni Foureira, representative of Cyprus. With her Latin song “Fuego”, the singer who is nicknamed the “queen of Greek pop”, went from 20th place to the top of the standings in the first semifinal. If she wins, she will offer the first victory in Cyprus. Netta Barzilai will she succeed in taking the first place to his competitor?
The Israeli is in the sights of the anti-Semitic Boycott Divestment Sanctions campaign that called on future voters to give it the zero rating. BDS accuses him of being part of the Navy’s musical troupe in 2014 and believes that Israel should not be allowed to participate in the contest. Interviewed by i24News, Netta Barzilai says “proud” of her title “Toy” and her “language, Hebrew”. She declares that she and her team will “honor Israel”.
With her unusual style, Netta Barzilai first won the jury in the grand finale of The Next Star, the last stage in Israel to compete in Eurovision. Near the elimination after losing his duel, the jury allowed him to go all the way.
It will now try to win on May 12 the fifth Eurovision of Israel after the victories in 1973, 1978, 1979 and 1998. The singer will notably face the French duo Madame Monsieur, who will perform his song “Mercy” in front of millions of viewers.
Born in Israel, she left at the age of 2 in Nigeria to stay there for 4 years. She then returns to her native country. According to Wiwibloggs, she studied music at a school in Tel Aviv and, in parallel with her passion, did several jobs.
She was a waitress, babysitter and kindergarten teacher, which was one of her dreams. In her interviews, she says she loves children and thinks they embody the future. She formed her improv improvisation collective in 2016 where she is the lead singer. The other three members play an instrument. For two years, she toured Israel.
Why is she the favorite?
The video clip of Toy, with which she participates in the Eurovision, has exceeded 17 million views on YouTube and becomes the most watched of the competition of 2018.
His imitation of the hen on his music to illustrate someone treating his partner like a toy, made the buzz and had several parodies. Netta Barzilai won Rising Star Season 5 in Israel. At the Jewish feast of “Poutim” in Israel where people dress up, many people imitated his Asian style.
Another of her peculiarities is that she records her voice on a loop station (Is she going to use her loop station?). This audio system allows him to change his voice on stage. She will be the first artist to use this medium on the stage of the Altice Arena at Eurovision, which gave her permission.
What is his title Toy?
Asked by the Wiwibloggs website, she explains that Toy carries an important message and describes it as “the awakening of feminine power and social justice, in a joyful and colorful packaging”. The title is co-written by two successful local songwriters, Stav Berger and Doron Medalie.
The latter has already written the Israeli titles of Eurovision in 2015 and 2016. According to Wiwibloggs, Toy was inspired by the movement #MeToo. Doron Medalie told The Times of Israel that “this song has to make everyone dance, with a happy rhythm reminiscent of Asian pop” of which he and Netta are fans.
Netta Barzilai’s contribution was to add references to the Pokémon Pikachu she loves and to Wonder Woman, played by Israeli actress Gal Gadot in the movies.
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