Noa Kirel's general return for the Eurovision semi-finals, May 8, 2023 (Photo: Yaniv Dornbusch)
This is not what the big day was supposed to look like for Noa Kirel and the large Israeli delegation accompanying her here in Liverpool. Last night, after a successful general rehearsal in which Noa received a standing ovation from the Arena crowd, the Israeli team returned to the hotel where they are staying to spend the last night before the semi-finals. In the morning, everyone woke up to dozens of messages from Israel fearing that the operation in Gaza, already dubbed the "elimination of Unicorn," would hurt their chances of qualifying for the final.
Doron Medley, one of the song's creators and a member of the artistic team of the Israeli Namber in Liverpool, told Walla! Culture: "We are finalizing today to spread a great light in the world from Israel, so that the world will know that Israel has other things besides a mess with Islamic Jihad and Gaza. We are sending all our good energies from Liverpool to Israel, hoping that through the power of unicorn we will finally be able to tell a new story and not just stories of wars."
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The delegation is currently focused on the third general rehearsal. Doron Medley (Photo: Or Danon)
Sources in the delegation told us that preparations for the Eurovision semi-finals are continuing as usual, but everyone's heart is in Israel. Noa and her dancers are concentrating on preparing for the third and final general rehearsal, and the live show that will take place tonight at 22:00 Israel time and will be broadcast on Kan 11. In case there is a need for a rolling news broadcast or a break-in, the Eurovision broadcast will be broadcast here educationally on Channel 80.
Kan Corporation said in response: "The Israeli delegation to Eurovision is monitoring the security situation in Israel. Noa and the entire delegation continue to do everything possible to represent the country with honor in tonight's semi-finals."
In the meantime, there is no impact on the chances of winning or qualifying for the finals at the bookmakers. According to the agencies, Noa Kirel and Israel are still ranked seventh in the odds of winning, with the top two being Sweden and Finland. Looking at the chances of qualifying for the finals, Israel ranks third with 96%, similar to Sweden and Finland, after overtaking Norway.
For all those who are concerned about the chances of qualifying for the Eurovision final in a combat situation in a year in which the finalists are determined by the vote of the audience only, we should recall that Eden Elena competed in the first semi-final in 2021, in the midst of Operation Guardian of the Walls. Eden finished fifth in audience voting with 93 points.
- Noa Kirel
- Eurovision 2023