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Eden Golan represented the hostages, ‘felt love from the nation’ at Eurovision

The Israeli singer, who finished in fifth place in Sweden, "was our voice for everyone who needs to brought home now."

Eden Golan, winner of the reality show “The Next Star to Eurovision,” during the final competition on the show, Feb. 6, 2024. Photo by Koko/Flash90.
Eden Golan, winner of the reality show “The Next Star to Eurovision,” during the final competition on the show, Feb. 6, 2024. Photo by Koko/Flash90.

Israel’s Eden Golan said on Sunday that she was the voice of the hostages held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip after returning from Malmö, Sweden, where she finished fifth in Saturday night’s Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest for her performance of the song “Hurricane.”

“It is a huge privilege that I am here, and that I had the opportunity to represent our country, especially in moments like this,” the 20-year-old singer from Kfar Saba told reporters. She added that she was a “voice for everyone who needs to be brought home now,” referring to the more than 100 captives from the Oct. 7 massacre remaining in the clutches of the terrorist group.

Golan said that she was strengthened by “the love from the nation” during the event as she faced constant hatred of Israel, with tens of thousands of Hamas supporters outside the arena and a chorus of boos inside the venue as she performed on Saturday night.

“I felt the love from the nation, and you cannot understand how much it helped me,” she said.

Unprecedented measures were put into place to protect the Israeli representative and her team, and Golan thanked the “security services who kept us safe.”

Israeli President Isaac Herzog congratulated Golan on her performance in Sweden, in a video call the singer received in the cockpit of the plane during her return flight.

“Dear Eden, I want to say thank you on behalf of the entire nation of Israel. Your performance was so moving. We were very moved when we watched you in the semifinals and also yesterday. You brought us a lot of respect, a lot of bravery, and you stood proudly in the face of all the haters of Israel and all of the antisemitic attackers. It was a difficult national task, and I’m very thankful,” Herzog said.

Golan responded, “Thanks for the privilege to represent our country during such a crazy time. Thanks for all of the work you’ve done and for all your help so this can happen. I really appreciate it, and it is not taken for granted. This is something I’ll never forget.”

Switzerland won the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest, with Golan receiving the second-highest tally in the public vote with 323 points in the televote behind only Croatia with 337. The Balkan nation finished second overall when the votes of the 37 national juries, which also account for half of the total, were added.

Golan finished 12th in the jury vote—not getting the maximum 12 points from any of the countries and receiving just 52 points from the judges, preventing her from finishing higher. The betting odds had predicted second place for Israel.

Eden did get 12 points in the popular vote from more than a dozen countries, including Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

The Israeli jury gave all 12 points to the Israeli-born representative from Luxembourg, Tali Golergant.

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