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May 10, 2023 8:35 am
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Israel’s Noa Kirel Advances to Grand Final of Eurovision Song Contest After ‘Unicorn’ Performance

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avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Noa Kirel performing “Unicorn” for Israel at the first semifinal at the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest. Photo: EBU/Sarah Louise Bennett

Pop singer Noa Kirel, Israel’s representative in the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest, advanced to the grand final of the competition in Liverpool, the United Kingdom, after performing her new song Unicorn in the first semifinals on Tuesday night.

Kirel qualified for the grand final taking place on Saturday night along with representatives from Croatia, Moldova, Switzerland, Finland, Czech Republic, Portugal, Sweden, Serbia and Norway.

After it was announced that she will be moving on to the next round of the competition, Kirel said to Israel’s broadcaster Kan that during the performance, “I felt each and every one of you with me, the nation of Israel and Jews all around the world.” She additionally said, “I promise to do everything to continue to make the people of Israel happy in the grand final as well.”

Before her performance on Tuesday, Kirel shared a message with her fellow Israelis as the country launched “Operation Shield and Arrow” in response to rocket fire from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. She said, “I hope that my performance at Eurovision will strengthen the citizens of Israel, give them support and a little encouragement at this time. With God’s help we will get through this safely.”

In the second semifinal, which will take place on Thursday, Denmark, Armenia, Romania, Estonia, Belgium, Cyprus, Iceland, Greece, Poland, Slovenia, Georgia, San Marino, Austria, Albania, Lithuania and Australia will perform. The countries that will advance to the grand final will be joined on Saturday night by France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Ukraine and Great Britain.

The grand final will open with a performance by the Ukrainian band Kalosh Orchestra, who won last year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Past contestants and winners of the competition will also perform, including Eurovision’s 2018 winner, Israeli singer Netta Barzilai. 

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