Israeli singer representing Luxembourg through to Eurovision final

Jewish performer is first Luxembourgish act in final for 31 years


Israeli singer Tali Golergant is through to the Eurovision final, representing Luxembourg.

Jerusalem-born Golergant will represent the small European country in the 68th Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday night with the song, “Fighter.”

She is the first Luxembourgish act to place in the Eurovision final for 31 years. The country first participated in the competition in 1956 and has won five times but last appeared in 1993.

During the first semi-final on Tuesday evening in Malmö, Sweden, 23-year-old Golergant beat seven other performers via a public and jury vote.

Golergant’s family moved from Israel to South America before settling in Luxembourg, where the singer lived for 10 years. She has been a professional singer for seven years and recently studied and worked in New York as a singer and vocal coach.

Eurovision’s big five - France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK - automatically placed in the final together with host country Sweden. As well as Luxembourg, Serbia, Portugal, Slovenia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Finland, Cyprus, Croatia and Ireland also moved on to the next round after Tuesday’s semi-finals. Poland, Australia, Iceland, Moldova and Azerbaijan are out of the competition.

Sixteen countries will feature in the second semi-final on Thursday, including Israel, Austria, Denmark and Greece.

Since 2015, Israel has qualified for every Eurovision final. It came third last year and won in 2018 with Netta Barzilai’s song ‘Toy’. Israel’s choice this year is Eden Golan, who has spoken about facing death threats and needing extra security.

Tuesday’s semi-final sparked controversy when Swedish singer Eric Saade donned a Keffiyeh on his wrist as he opened the show. The Palestinian scarf has become a popular symbol of support for the Palestinian cause and is frequently worn by anti-Israel protesters.

Eurovision’s organisers said they “regret” that Saade wore the black and white scarf.

A spokesperson for the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), said: “The Eurovision Song Contest is a live TV show. All performers are made aware of the rules of the Contest, and we regret that Eric Saade chose to compromise the non-political nature of the event.”

Saade has condemned the EBU’s handling of this year’s competition and has said he opposes Israel’s involvement in the contest. He was among more than 1,000 musicians from the host country who wrote an open letter calling for Israel to be banned from the competition.

Amid the fuss around Israel's participation in the contest, last week organisers announced a ban on the Palestinian flag and pro-Palestinian symbols at the televised show, reinforcing that Eurovision is a non-political event.

Attendees are only allowed to bring and display flags representing countries who take part in the event and the rainbow-coloured LGBTQ+ flag.

During Tuesday’s final, an American Eurovision fan broke the ban, donning a Keffiyeh over her outfit and wearing large watermelon earrings, also a symbol used to represent Palestine.

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