Eurovision 2023: Israel's Noa Kirel finishes third in Liverpool

Israeli contender Noa Kirel defied expectations with her performance of 'Unicorn'


Singer Noa Kirel performs on behalf of Israel during the final of the Eurovision Song contest 2023 on May 13, 2023 at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, northern England. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Israeli singer Noa Kirel has come third in this year's Eurovision song contest with 362 points, losing narrowly to Sweden.

21-year-old Kirel, who told the JC last month that she couldn't wait to visit Liverpool to perform, wowed the Eurovision juries, placing second after the first round of voting.

Kirel also won the title of "Fan Favourite" in a poll on the official Eurovision TikTok account.

Receiving 12 points from countries including France, Azerbaijan and Italy, Kirel finished in the highest position of any Israeli act since Netta Barzilai, who won the contest in 2018 with her hit single 'Toy'.

Kirel, a former IDF soldier, has been a household name in Israel since the release of her first single in 2015 when she was just 15 years old.

She told the JC that her song Unicorn is about self-empowerment, adding that it signified "the freedom to be who you are, to dance how you want, to say what you feel."

Social media footage posted from Israel showed clubbers in Tel Aviv supporting Kirel's performance by watching on large public screens.

Kirel wasn't the only Jewish competitor at this year's event in Liverpool. UK entrant Mae Muller, who has spoken proudly of her family's Jewish roots, came second to last with just 24 points for her performance of her track "I Wrote a Song."

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