From Poland to Spain: Israel's Eurovision Entry Is a Smash Hit in Europe

Itay Stern
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Singer Netta Barzilai, 2018
Singer Netta Barzilai, 2018Credit: Daniel Kaminsky
Itay Stern

The song “Toy,” which will be performed by Israeli singer Netta Barzilai at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon in May, was released only 10 days ago but has already become a hit in Europe.

In Spain it came in 17th place on the list of the most listened-to songs on iTunes; in Poland it landed in 36th place, in Holland it’s 46 and it reached 54 in Norway.

In Israel the song, written by Doron Medley and Stav Berger, tops the iTunes chart. The song’s video has also gone viral and has 12.5 million views on YouTube.

This is an impressive achievement when compared to this year’s entries from other countries. For example, the song “Fuego,” by singer Eleni Foureira, representing Cyprus, has reached third place in her country, sixth place in Greece and 140 in Spain. The Swedish song, “Dance You Off,” is considered a hit in that country, ranking number one on iTunes in Sweden but only 31 in neighboring Norway.

Netta Barzilai's 'Toy'

Barzilai’s song also has the bettors’ vote, with oddsmakers last week giving it the best chance to win the Eurovision contest. As of now Barzilai is still their top pick, followed by Estonia, the Czech Republic, Belgium and Bulgaria.

When it was released the European media gave it favorable reviews and noted that it integrates messages of female empowerment in the spirit of the #MeToo movement. It also has fans in the Arab world. After the video was posted on the Foreign Ministry’s Arabic Facebook page, it got good responses from viewers in several Arab countries.

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