Israeli singer Nadav Guedj, only 16 years old, performed his song "Golden Boy" at the Eurovision Song Contest finals in Vienna on Saturday night, making him the first Israeli representative in five years to perform in the finals.
The annual kitsch-fest, watched by more than 195 million people in 40 countries - more viewers than the Superbowl - was won last year by Austria's bearded drag queen Conchita Wurst, bringing the show to the Austrian capital better known for its classic elegance.
While viewers are often puzzled by the inclusion of countries outside Europe -- such as Israel, which qualifies thanks to membership of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) - this year the net has been cast even wider.
To mark 60 years since the first Eurovision in 1955, Australia has been given a wild card entry and singer Guy Sebastian and his up-tempo song "Tonight Again" is one of the favorites.
After his semifinal victory on Thursday, Guedj told Ynet that despite setbacks of the last few years, there was a positive atmosphere among the Israeli delegation.
"I really hoped I would get through; I walked off the stage feeling very good. All I wanted was to please the people of Israel," he said.
Guedj was the last on the list of acts to reach Saturday's final. The names on the list were announced in random order, and tensions were running high in the green room inside the Wiener Stadthalle in Vienna, where the contest is being held.
Accompanying Guedj is the Israeli delegation, which includes songwriter Doron Madli, production personnel, representatives of the Israel Broadcasting Authority and family members, who have travelled from Israel especially to be with the 16-year-old.
Other members of the Israeli delegation told Ynet on Thursday night that the outcome of the vote signaled the end of an era of ostracizing Israel from the Eurovision Song Contest finals.
"This is proof that not everyone is an anti-Semite, not everyone hates Israel, and there are a lot of people who voted for us," said one. "It's really exciting and good to know that this is the case. When you work hard, there are results."
The Israeli entry has indeed had positive feedback internationally. One British newspaper even penned a column entitled "Why Eurovision needs Israel’s Nadav Guedj in the final this year".