Netta Barzilai of Israel wins Eurovision song contest

Netta Barzilai performing with the trophy after winning the Eurovision Song Contest on May 12, 2018.
Netta Barzilai performing with the trophy after winning the Eurovision Song Contest on May 12, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

LISBON (NYTimes) - Denmark featured singing Vikings, Ukraine's contestant rose from a coffin to play on an enormous flame-wreathed piano, and an Estonian opera singer performed in an enormous gown.

But it was Israeli singer Netta Barzilai who won the Eurovision song contest in Lisbon over the weekend with Toy, a pop anthem about female independence, accompanied by her signature chicken dance.

The song was "influenced by the #MeToo movement", she said after a semi-final last week. "Look, it's an amazing time when women are searching for and finding their voices."

The contest's close runner-up was Eleni Foureira, who represented Cyprus, while Cesár Sampson of Austria finished in a surprising third place.

The evening's most unexpected moment came when a man rushed onstage and grabbed the microphone from British singer SuRie, shouting into it briefly before security dragged him off.

Eurovision draws some 200 million viewers each year.

 

Most winners do not go on to global fame - notable exceptions are Celine Dion, who represented Switzerland in 1988, and Abba, who sang for Sweden in 1974 - but they can still command a passionate cult following.