Israel Qualifies for Eurovision Final for First Time in Five Years

Itay Stern
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Israel's Nadav Guedj performs during a dress rehearsal for the second semifinal of the 60th Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna, Austria, May 20, 2015.Credit: Reuters
Itay Stern

Israel is through to the finals of the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time in five years after 16-year-old Nadav Guedj delivered an impressive semi-final rendition of his song, "Golden Boy," on Thursday night.

The Israeli singer’s semi-final performance was met with loud applause in Vienna, Austria, and betting sites rate "Golden Boy," written by Doron Medali, as having a high chance of gaining a place in the top ten in Saturday’s final.

Medali, speaking to Haaretz, expressed even greater optimism, saying he thinks Israel will win the contest. “We got what we deserved," he said of Guedj's progression to the final, adding, "to hear the audience chant ‘Israel, Israel’ proves that [the perception that the world] hates Israel is nonsense. If you send out love to the world, the world’s returns the love."

Israel will compete in the final alongside Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden, Norway, Montenegro, Cyprus, Azerbaijan, Latvia, England, Germany, Italy, Spain, Armenia, Albania, Russia, Romania, Hungary, Greece, Estonia, Georgia, Serbia, Belgium and Australia (who are competing on a one-off basis).

Guedj was chosen to represent Israel after winning the "Rising Star” song competition, broadcast on Israel’s Channel 2.

Watch the performance below:

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