Israel places 5th at Eurovision propelled by audience voting from around the world

Despite steep backlash including protests from other competitors, Israel’s Eden Golan placed fifth in the Eurovision Song Contest after delivering a rousing final performance of her song “Hurricane.”

The competition’s winner is determined by a complex system in which juries for each participating country allocate half of all votes, while the public contributes the other half.

Golan’s success — which exceeded expectations set in betting markets before the competition — was fueled by the popular vote, which Israel won in 14 countries plus a new category for voters not located in any of the participating countries. Israel did not win any country’s jury vote.

Golan’s strength in the popular vote came in contrast to the intense protests against her and Israel’s participation in the song contest amid the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. Tens of thousands of people protested in the streets of Malmo, Sweden, during the competition held there, and Golan was reportedly advised to remain in her hotel room under the protection of security.

Golan returned to Israel ahead of the country’s somber Memorial Day. “I felt the love from the people, and you cannot understand how much it helped me,” she said during a press conference. Alluding to the Israeli hostages who remain in Gaza, she added, “I represented the country and was our voice for everyone who needs to be brought home now.”


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