Netta Barzilai's Israeli Eurovision entry leaks online
Toy, which will represent Israel at the Lisbon Eurovision song contest, leaked online hours before its official release; song by crooner Netta Barzilai is almost entirely in English, combines Latin, Mediterranean influences and deals with female empowerment; online oddsmakers bet on Israel to reach top 5 in contest finals.
Mere hours before it was set to be officially unveiled, Toy—a new song by Israeli crooner and the country's representative to the Eurovision song contest Netta Barzilai—leaked online Sunday.
Barzilai, who won the privilege of representing Israel at the song contest by winning the "HaKokhav HaBa L'Eurovizion" reality television show, will perform the song at the Lisbon competition in mid-May.
Apart from the Hebrew phrase "I am not a doll," the entire song is in English. It's a rhythmic dance ditty with Latin and Mediterranean influences whose lyrics deal with female empowerment, as evidenced by the sentence leading the chorus: "I'm not your toy."
The Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation (IPBC), which organizes the Israeli delegation to the contest, said, "We're glad to see the interest Netta's Eurovision song has aroused."
Several hours after the leak, IPBC released a teaser from the music video for Toy, which itself is slated to be aired later Sunday.
Meanwhile, if various betting sites are any indication, Israel's Eurovision song has more than a fair chance of making it to the contest's finals.
Betting sites showed that the country with the biggest chances of going away with the first place—as well as the right to host next year's contest—is Bulgaria, closely followed by Estonia and the Czech Republic.
In fourth place on the oddschecker.com betting site is Australia, with Israel rounding out the top five according to oddsmakers.
Eurovisionworld.com, meanwhile, has Netta Barzilai in second place, sandwiched between Bulgaria and Estonia.
In the hours since the song was leaked online, Toy fluctuated among the higher rankings, even making it to fourth on some sites.
Moreover, Israel was ranked first among countries slated to make it to the contest's top ten. This was quite unusual, as in the years since oddsmaking on the contest began Israel has never found itself ranked so high before the competition, or in general.
In Israeli online forums dedicated to the Eurovision, however, opinions were split. Many noted the song was especially accomplished, a piece that's "cheeky, interesting, cool and with a winners' vibe"—meaning especially high odds of winning.
Other commenters disagreed, writing it wasn't a "winning song" or claiming it was "hard to digest."
It remained to be seen how betting sites reacted to Barzilai's full rendition of Toy, to be released later Sunday.