Israel's Netta took the victory tonight after receiving 529 points from the jury and public televote. She got a standing ovation as she entered the press conference to meet the international media after her final performance. Netta told the press it was all a little overwhelming to take in.
"I celebrate myself no matter what"
In keeping with her commitment to talking openly and frequently about body politics, Netta didn't hestitate to first affirm: "I celebrate myself no matter what my size is, how my hair is, how my voice is. I just have to be me, listen to myself."
She went on to speak to the way she has been portrayed an icon for many marginalized communities, particularly the LGBTI community. "The people who have held me up and took care of me this whole time, they are part of the community. I am nothing without them: the energy, the vibe, the happiness. I will be performing for them for the rest of my life. See you next Pride in Tel Aviv!"
Netta took the press through the moments before she realized she had won. "Everything is a black blur. I remember six anxious men sitting next to me. We were just sitting there screaming, and I was wondering what was happening. They know more about Eurovision than I do because they did it like four times before me."
Now, looking forward, Netta made sure to emphasize that this was just the beginning. "I just have to be me, and listen to myself. I want to create music; edgy stuff to break the box every time. We have an amazing journey to go, and we’re goin to celebrate it."
The first thing she will do when she returns to Israel? "Hummus."
"There is nothing like an Israeli party"
In keeping with tradition, Jon Ola Sand, the Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of the EBU first turned to Netta to congratulate her on her victory. "First I would like to congratulate you and your team with the victory, it was a fantastic performance." He added that it was likely the strongest heat he had ever witnessed. Sand then gave the invitation to the Israeli broadcaster, KAN, to host the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest: "You know we will come to Israel in a very short time to discuss plans. This is your evening, you should have fun, and then very shortly it becomes lot of hard work."
Netta, too, was looking forward to next year: "There is nothing like an Israeli party; you'll find out next year. I am proud and honoured to bring this magical event to Israel!"