Eden Golan, Israel's contestant for Eurovision 2024 (Photo: X) (Photo: X)
Eden Golan

Eden Golan’s ‘Hurricane’ received the second highest audience televote score, 323, slightly less than Croatia’s 337. 

By Shula Rosen

Switzerland took the top prize in the 68th Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday night, with Israel finishing 5th despite earning the second-highest number of audience votes.

The Eurovision season was marked with controversy, including threats to boycott, frequent booing, and protests over Israel’s participation amid the ongoing war in Gaza.

Eden Golan’s “Hurricane” received the second highest audience televote score, 323, slightly less than Croatia’s 337.

However, the strong showing with audience votes starkly contrasted with the meager number of votes from Eurovision judges, who put Israel in 12th place.

Edan Golan’s fifth-place ranking resulted from a combination of audience scores and jury votes.

Israel didn’t receive the maximum of 12 votes from any country but scored eight each from Norway, Cyprus, and Germany; five from Belgium and Estonia; four from Lithuania; three from France, Malta, Moldova, and Georgia; and two from Latvia.

Maya Alkulumbre presented Israel’s jury votes, which included 12 for Luxembourg, 10 for Germany, and 8 for Ukraine. She was told to remove her yellow hostage pin before stepping onstage.

Maya Alkulumbre was booed when she walked onto the stage, and there were also boos heard whenever juries awarded points to Israel.

The booing during Eden Golan’s performance was muted by anti-booing technology.

Although participants are forbidden from showing political symbols, Portugal’s Iolanda wore a dress created by a Palestinian designer and had her long nails painted with a keffiyeh and the Palestinian flag. However, she removed her polish for the final performance.

Ireland’s Bambie Thug, who expressed vocal anti-Israel views, was told to remove anti-Israel messages written on their face in the Celtic language.

Bambie Thug also said Israel should have been disqualified over their alleged treatment by an Israeli Kan news reporter.

When Dutch artist Joost Klein was disqualified from Eurovision for alleged harassment of a female production crew member, several artists blamed the Israeli delegation for the incident. However, they had nothing to do with it.

Sweden’s winner last year, Loreen, reportedly said she would refuse to hand a trophy to Eden Golan if she should win but would instead place it on a podium.

Golan was forced to stay in her hotel room under tight security while thousands took to the streets of Malmo, Sweden, to protest against Israel’s participation.

Despite the opposition, Eden Golan expressed her appreciation for placing fifth and being given the opportunity to represent Israel in Eurovision.

She said she was “so proud” of Israel’s finishing fifth, “From the very first moment, we had one goal, which was to make Israel’s strong voice heard in the world, and I know that we accomplished that goal in a big way.”

She added, “I don’t forget for one moment our hostages, and I dedicate my participation in the contest to them!”

Eden Golan initially entered the song “October Rain” in honor of the Israelis killed and taken hostage on October 7th but was told to revise the title and the lyrics because they were deemed “too political.”

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