JERUSALEM – Israel will win this year’s Eurovision song contest with its entry “Toy” sung by Netta Barzilai, bookies are predicting.
The song, written by Doron Medalie and Stav Beger, has passed the previous favorite, Romania’s “Goodbye,” since its official release on Sunday on the website of the Israeli public broadcaster Kan.
Its composer Medalie told Haaretz that the song was recorded and the clip filmed only in the last two weeks. Medalie’s “strategic understanding of the Eurovision contest” also led to his prediction that the song would surge to the top of the betting sites, the report stated.
“Everybody says it’s in the bag,” said Medalie.
He added that support from the Israeli public gives the band its “real motivation to do everything to really win.”
“If every person in Israel thinks it’s possible and that it will happen, then it will happen,” Medalie said. “It’s fun to be part of such a gigantic team that decided it’s time to bring the Eurovision back to Israel.”
According to Eurovision blog Wiwibloggs, the success of “Toy” is because the song fits “this year’s desperate need for something poppy and catchy. Netta gets it.”
The British tabloid Metro also praised the song for being “current, catchy and powerful” and said Netta “can own a stage.”
The contest’s semifinal will be held on May 8 in Lisbon. The final will be held four days later.
Israel has won the contest three times in total, most recently in 1998 with the song “Diva” by Dana International.