Israel has won the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest, with singer Netta Barzilai besting 25 other nations in the final of the international singing competition.
Barzilai’s song “Toy” garnered 529 points between national judging panels and viewer votes in the 63rd year of the contest, giving Israel it’s fourth win.
The winning song, written and produced by gay composer Doron Medalie with his partner Stav Beger, was heralded for being a funky electronic dance track that included chicken dancing and clucking on a loop track.
Shortly after her win, the Eurovision Twitter account posted a video with Barzilai thanking the viewers.
“Thank you for choosing me. Thank you for choosing different. Thank you for choosing daring. I love you, keep that going. Do good to others, be good to yourselves,” she said with a smile. “That’s about it, let’s party!”
This year’s song contest featured singers from 43 countries competing in Lisbon, after Portugal won Eurovision in 2017 (the winning country hosts the following year’s contest).
— Eurovision (@Eurovision) May 12, 2018
One of the most talked about moments of the live broadcast occurred when British singer SuRie was interrupted in the middle of her performance by a protester. A man stormed the stage, grabbed the microphone, and allegedly shouted “Nazis of the UK media…we demand freedom” during SuRie’s performance of “Storm.” He was removed by a security agent and the performance continued.
Eurovision offered SuRie a second chance to perform the song, but she declined, saying that the original performance left her team proud. She ultimately placed 24th out of 26.
I’ve been told the security agent who intervened last night is ok and thank goodness for that. Thank you everybody for your messages of love and support and huge congrats to @NettaBarzilai, I’m so, so proud of you x
— SuRie (@surieofficial) May 13, 2018
There was also controversy before the final, when China was banned from airing Eurovision after broadcaster Mango TV censored Ireland’s performance during a semi-final event, due to the depiction of a same-sex romance.
For Ryan O’Shaughnessy’s “Together,” two male dancers acted out a romantic storyline, which Mango censored in their broadcast.
A spokesperson from the European Broadcasting Union said that Mango TV’s censorship is “not in line with the EBU’s values of universality and inclusivity and our proud tradition of celebrating diversity through music.”
Eurovision is staged and funded by members of the European Broadcasting Union, which includes public broadcasters from Europe and nations within the European Broadcasting Area, which includes parts of the Middle East.
View the winning song below:
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