Israel wins Eurovision contest with #MeToo-inspired song
2018-05-14 10:20:00

Netta Barzilai of Israel won the Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon early on Sunday beating 25 other contestants with her uptempo song "Toy" whose lyrics have been embraced by the #MeToo movement.

The winning track, which contained refrains such as "I am not your toy, you stupid boy," summed up the concerns of many women who have adopted the growing global movement against sexual harassment.

A strong field of contestants in the Portuguese capital was watched through live broadcast by an estimated audience of 200 million people. The votes coming in live from participating countries delivered a tense finale, with Israel gripped in a tight five-way race with Cyprus, Austria, Sweden and Germany.

Israel's Netta Barzilai performing after winning the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest at the Altice Arena hall in Lisbon, May 13, 2018. /Reuters Photo

Barzilai eventually racked up 529 points, compared with 436 for runner-up Cyprus with “Fuego” by Eleni Foureira, and 342 for third-placed Austria with Cesar Sampson’s “Nobody But You.”

The contest largely shed its traditional hallmarks of glitz and glitter in favor of a more restrained and tasteful tone in Lisbon, which was hosting the event because it won last year with Salvador Sobral’s sober and subdued ballad “Amar Pelos Dois.”

Sobral last week criticized “Toy” as “horrible music,” insisting the focus should be on the music and not the spectacle.

But Barzilai, with her Asian-themed show in red and yellow and her dancers doing funky chicken moves, was unrepentant.

“I’m happy people chose something different. It’s refreshing,” she said. “I believe authenticity (shows) through.”

Her win – Israel’s fourth and first since 1998 – means her country hosts next year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

“Next time in Jerusalem!” Barzilai shouted to the audience as she picked up her award.

The international contest began as a competition between European countries, but its huge popularity has led to the inclusion of Israel and Australia among the performers.

Barzilai, known more usually as Netta, has a witty and endearing personality. Before the Grand Final, her song had already racked up more than 20 million views on Eurovision’s YouTube channel.

In “Toy,” Netta makes funny noises, including a clucking sound like a chicken and barely decipherable words, and uses a looping machine and synthesizer.

Portugal came last, with 39 points.

A stage invader seized the microphone from Britain's SuRie during her performance.

Fans caught their breath when a protester ran onto the stage and snatched away the microphone of United Kingdom contestant SuRie.

She calmly turned to one side and clapped while the man was escorted away before quickly resuming singing after being handed another microphone.

The man is in police custody, the European Broadcast Union, which stages Eurovision, said in a statement.

SuRie and her team were offered the chance to sing again but opted not to because they were "extremely proud" of her performance, it added.

 

Source:CGTN Editor:Dylan
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