Israeli Singer Harel Skaat Places 14th in European Song Contest Final

German singer Lena sweeps first place followed by Turkey and Romania; the 28-year-old Skaat sings 'Words' by Noam Horev.

Israeli singer Harel Skaat suffered a disappointment Saturday night, placing 14th in the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest final in Oslo, collecting only 71 points.


The German singer Lena was voted by the European audience into first place, winning 246 points. MaNga from Turkey came in second with 170 points, closely followed by the Romanian Paula Selling who collected 162 points.

Skaat, 28, took the stage in front of 18,000 screaming fans in the Oslo stadium, and sang the powerful ballad "Words" (lyrics by Noam Horev, music by Tomer Hadadi ). 25 contestants representing their countries participated in the final competition.

Earlier this week, Skaat told Haaretz by telephone that he and the other members of the Israeli delegation were being "smothered by the European media's embrace".

"I hope it's an indication of our success in the contest," said Skaat, who was the runner-up of the second season of "A Star is Born" (Israel's version of "American Idol") in 2004.

Anne-Marie David, the French singer who won the Eurovision contest in 1973 and placed third in 1979 (which was held in Jerusalem ), was enthusiastic about Skaat even before he was chosen to represent Israel in this year's competition. She wrote a song for him and the two have appeared together several times.

Skaat said he was having difficulty containing his excitement and was "extremely superstitious. I have an amulet that protects me and I think it will be seen in tonight's performance."

"Words" has already been recorded in English and French as well as Hebrew. "We're working on a fourth version in Spanish written by Marta Gomez, who worked with Idan Raichel," he said.

Singer Yardena Arazi, who represented Israel three times at Eurovision and emceed the contest in Jerusalem in 1979 along with Daniel Peer, said "Skaat has a great presence on television, he is convincing and captivating. He puts his entire vocal arsenal into his songs."