Israel’s ‘beautiful creature’ Netta Barzilai qualifies for Eurovision 2018 final

With pumping hit ‘Toy,’ Israel joins nine other countries making it through the first semi-finals, paving the way for the grand finale on May 12

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

Netta Barzilai, Israel’s pick for Eurovision 2018, currently taking place in Lisbon, Portugal, made it through Tuesday night’s first semi-final portion of the contest and is now qualified to contend in the Saturday night, May 12 final.

Tuesday night’s semi-final contest winnowed down the first set of 19 contestants to a total of ten. Israel, along with Austria, Estonia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Albania, Finland and Ireland, all progressed to the music competition’s grand finale.

Netta Barzilai, who performed “Toy,” Israel’s pumping Eurovision song, was seventh out of the 19 contestants to perform at the first semi-final, and was clearly nervous.

Backed up by three dancers, her trademark side buns featuring stripes of pink dyed hair to match her pink-and-black outfit, she clucked and bucked her way through “Toy,” the song that has seemed slated to win big according to Eurovision betting.

Once she was assured of her place at the final, she took her place onstage with the other finalists, grinning at having achieved this next part of the European song contest.

When the performance ended, Israeli fans held up flags, and Barzilai yelled the ultimate Israeli endearment, “Kapara aleichem!”

The second semi-final takes place Thursday, when another 18 contestants will perform and a further ten will be chosen for the final performances on Saturday night, May 12.

Voters can vote by downloading the Eurovision app, calling or sending a text message, but are not allow to place a vote for their own country.

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