Eurovision 2018 previews countdown: #2 ISRAEL – Netta – “Toy”

Israel last won in 1998; they also won in 1978, and there is a good chance that Netta could maintain that twenty year cycle of victories. This stormed to the top of the betting odds when it was released and the music video went viral, with millions of views. But could Israel suffer the fate of Italy last year and France the year before that when the pre-contest favourite ended up coming 6th on the night?

This is really quite outstanding and something that you would never have seen at Eurovision before (or anywhere else possibly). It’s inspired by the #MeToo movement, something that comes across very clearly in the killer chorus “I’m not your toy, you stupid boy” (that latter term having extra cultural resonance for UK viewers familiar with Dad’s Army!). What I also love is that this is also distinctly Israeli – you can hear the Israeli/Middle Eastern instrumentation in the hook/chorus. It’s going to be heard on the dancefloors of Lisbon all week and beyond I am sure?

There is no doubt either that Netta can perform live and that this song can work live – as shown at Israel Calling. However, a note of caution – the same was said about Francesco Gabbani last year but a little something was lost when it got to the Eurovision stage in Kyiv. Some of those fears have raised their heads in the rehearsals so far – but it could be that expectations of this were so (perhaps unrealistically) high, or that those that follow Eurovision are so familiar with this, that there was bound to be a little sense of disappointment.

I’m not sure that is necessarily justified, but it’s true the betting odds have drifted somewhat. It still remains as the favourite for now, and I’m sure this will do very well – hard to call if it will actually bring Israel’s fourth victory and maintain their 20 year cycle of winning. I’d be very happy if it did and would LOVE to go to Tel Aviv (will Nadav Guedj show us around?). Let’s wait and see…

Official music video:

Live at Israel Calling:

Israel at the Eurovision Song Contest:

Flag of Israel First entered: 1973

Appearances (excluding this year): 40

Best result: Winner 1978, 1979, 1998

Last year’s result: 23rd

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