Israeli pop star Noa Kirel finished in third place at Saturday night’s Eurovision Song Contest final in Liverpool behind Sweden and Finland.
The 22-year-old IDF veteran from the central Israeli city of Ra’anana was aiming to become the fifth Israeli to win the song contest since the Jewish state first entered the annual event in 1973 and the first since Netta Barzilai and her song “Toy” emerged the victor in 2018.
Kirel finished with 362 points for her performance of the song “Unicorn,” which she co-wrote alongside Doron Medalie, Yinon Yahel and May Sfadia. Kirel came in second place in the jury vote but fifth in the televoting.
Sweden’s Loreen took the top prize with 583 points for her performance of “Tattoo,” becaming the second performer to win the contest twice after Ireland’s Johnny Logan did it in 1980 and 1987. The 39-year-old daughter of Moroccan immigrants also won in 2012 for her song “Euphoria.”
Finland finished in second place with 526 points for Käärijä’s song “Cha Cha Cha.”
Kirel took the stage shortly after a tenuous ceasefire took effect on Saturday night between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, with the Gaza-based terrorist group continuing to fire intermittent rockets at southern Israeli communities and Israeli responding with aerial strikes.
Kirel thanked her legion of fans in Israel and around the world for their support in an Instagram post that received nearly 300,000 likes and featured an image of her on stage proudly displaying an Israeli flag.
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