2018 Eurovision Song Contest Serves Up Surprises
The Grand Finals of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest were held last night in Lisbon, Portugal, and there were definitely the memorable, over-the-top moments we've come to expect from the annual music competition.
The finals of the contest are viewed by over 200 million people in the world and often features high-camp concepts much to the delight of the audience.
Winning doesn't guarantee world fame although there have been a couple of champions who went on to amazing success.
You know, folks you might have heard of like Celine Dion (represented Switzerland in 1988) and Abba (represented Sweden in 1974).
The biggest surprise during last night's performance came while the UK's SuRie was belting out her song, "Storm." From the wings, a man ran onstage, grabbed her microphone and started yelling something along the line of: "Nazis of the UK media, we demand freedom?"
What? Queen - get off the stage!
An absolute pro, SuRie's composure was incredible. Her head definitely in the game, she stepped back allowing security to do it's job.
Within seconds security had the stage invader in custody and handed the microphone back to SuRie just in time for the lyrics, “Don’t give up!”
And the crowd goes wild!
Watch the performance, stage invasion (1:40 mark) and amazing recovery below.
SuRie was given the chance to sing again as the show’s final performance but declined. In a statement, Team SuRie said they were "extremely proud of her performance and have decided that there is absolutely no reason to perform the song again."
Unfortunately, Team UK placed near the bottom of the results.
Also part of the drama this year was a Chinese broadcaster censoring the semi-finals performance of Ireland’s Ryan O’Shaughnessy which featured two men dancing together.
The European Broadcasting Union banned the channel, Mango TV, from broadcasting the finals saying in a statement that the censorship was “not in line” with its “values of universality and inclusivity.”
In the end, the winner of the mega-competition was Netta Barzilai of Israel whose performance of pop anthem "Toy" included beatboxing, chicken noises and arm flaps.
Barzilai, who apparently has a large LGBT fan-base, told the press, “Some of my team that takes care of me and holds me up through some hard times are part of the [LGBT] community ,and I am nothing without them.”
“I will be at the next pride [parade] in Tel Aviv,” she added.
The win caused it's own drama as supporters and opponents decried political frictions between Israel and other countries in the Middle East.
This wasn't Israel's first win at the song competition, however.
In 1998 - long before we had trans actress Laverne Cox nominated for an Emmy, or watched RuPaul's Drag Race become a cultural staple - Israel's openly transgender singer Dana International walked away with the grand prize with her Eurovision entry, “Diva.”
Check out the winning performance (complete with chicken dance) below:
Will this be the winning performance of #Eurovision? Watch #TOY by @NettaBarzilai now!#ISR #VOTEISRAEL pic.twitter.com/PM721nkBe2
— כאן (@kann) May 12, 2018