Noa Kirel represents Israel as Eurovision begins

The Eurovision final in Liverpool begins with performances by 26 competing countries - including Israel with the song "Unicorn"

Omer Tessel, Ran Boker, Roy Elman , Liverpool|Updated:
Tonight is going to be phenomenal. After a long and tense wait, Noa Kirel's big night has arrived on the stage of the European singing competition, which is taking place Saturday night at the Arena in Liverpool, Great Britain.
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Kirel, booked as the 23rd act of the evening, is expected to take the stage singing "Unicorn" around midnight. The 23rd position, among the last performances of the evening, is considered a strategic and good position, since the closer the country is to the end of the show - the closer it is to the opening of the votes and has higher chances of winning.
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נועה קירל
נועה קירל
Noa Kirel ready to take stage at Eurovision finals
(Photo: Sarah Louise Bennett/EBU)
However, the betting sites marked the Swedish Loreen - who won Eurovision 2012 with "Euphoria" - as the favorite to win again this year with the song "Tattoo." In second place is Käärijä, the rapper from Finland with the song "Cha Cha Cha," and Kirel is not far behind - when last weekend she recorded an impressive achievement when she unexpectedly climbed from seventh place to fourth place, thanks, among other things, to the energetic performance she gave in the first semi-final, which earned her loud applause from the audience. However, it should be noted that there is a fairly large gap between Sweden and Finland and Israel - as of this writing, Loreen has a 52% chance of winning, Finland has 22%, and Noa has only four%.
The talk of the day in Liverpool is finding a place that broadcasts the final, when all the tickets to the Euro Village (the Eurovision village located on the banks of the river and where the final is broadcast live) have been sold out.
A group of Israelis in line said that they were trying to grab tickets. "Two of us managed to get tickets just five minutes ago," they said. Idit, who came from Israel with her 13-year-old son, is still looking for a place in the city to watch the broadcast: "We arrived even though we couldn't find tickets to the final. Yesterday we were at the filmed rehearsal for the judges and it was stunning, even though Noa seemed to have technical problems. From what we saw yesterday, we think she will finish more toward fifth place."
The contest was supposed to take place in Ukraine – the winning country of Eurovision 2022 –but due to the ongoing war with Russia taking place on its soil, the European Broadcasting Corporation announced that the 2023 contest would be held on behalf in the country of the runner-up, Great Britain. Accordingly, the evening will include a number of tributes to Ukraine: the opening performance includes the Kalush Orchestra, representatives of the winning Ukraine, who will take the stage with their winning song "Stephania."
Also, the traditional flag parade will take place inspired by the slogan of the competition –"United Through Music." While all of this year's delegations will take the stage, the past representatives of Ukraine – the winner Jamala (2016), Verka Serduchka (2007) and Tina Karol (2006) - will perform their songs.
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נועה קירל
נועה קירל
Noa Kirel performs "Unicorn"
(Photo: AP)
The final night is being hosted by actress Hannah Waddingham ("Ted Lasso"), singers Alisha Dixon and Yulia Sanina, and talk show host Graham Norton. Performances will feature Sam Ryder, who represented Great Britain last year, and came second with his song "Space Man." Other past representatives will also appear in this section, including the Israeli Neta Barzilai (2018 winner), the Dutch winner Duncan Lawrence (2019), the British Sonia (1993), the Italian Mahmoud (2019 and 2022) and others.
In her performance, Barzilai will launch her new song - a cover of the '80s hit "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)" by the Liverpool band Dead or Alive - as she descends from the ceiling on a stage resembling a dove of peace with an olive leaf.
First published: 22:18, 05.13.23
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