Israel pipped bookies’ favourite Cyprus to take this year’s Eurovision crown after a protester grabbed the microphone of the UK’s SuRie mid-performance during an action-packed night in Lisbon.
Netta Barzilai, singing the popular song ‘Toy’ which has already racked up more than 25 million views on YouTube, was second favourite prior to this evening’s show, but beat Cyprus’ Eleni Foureira in a closely-fought contest.
The song, which the artist said was about women’s empowerment and represented the #MeToo movement, proved a hit with both the public and jury and saw her narrowly secure victory over Eleni Foureira’s performance of ‘Fuego’.
She managed to secure the win with 529 points, compared to runner-up Cyprus on 436 points. Austria’s Cesar Sampson, who was winning the jury vote, finished third with 342 points for his performance of ‘Nobody But You’.
Speaking after her win, Barzilai said: ‘I am so happy. Thank you so much. Thank you for supporting diversity.’
The next Eurovision is expected to be held in Israel following the country’s fourth win in the competition’s 63 year history.
Barzilai’s win was just one of a number of dramatic moments during the course of the evening.
Earlier, the UK’s SuRie was dramatically interrupted in the middle of her performance of Storm when a stage invader snatched her microphone – to the disbelief of BBC One commentator Graham Norton.
Britain came 24th out of 26 nations, with a total score of just 48 – much lower than the 111 points Lucie Jones won last year.
BBC One commentator Graham Norton, who appeared stunned after the stage invasion, said: ‘That is a terrific result for Israel. I’m afraid SuRie, for all her braveness and professionalism came 24th.
‘She really is a national heroine after tonight – it was extraordinary. I don’t know how she coped in those horrible circumstances.