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Eurovision icon Netta on allyship and who she’s backing for 2023: ‘I’d love a date with them!’

Exclusive: Attitude chats to previous Eurovision winner Netta in Liverpool ahead of her Grand Final performance

By Charlotte Manning

There are plenty of memorable Eurovision acts from over the years, but one of the most well-loved has to be Netta. 

The Israeli artist stormed the event with her quirky bop ‘Toy’ relating to the MeToo movement and won the hearts of Eurovision fans far and wide in 2018. 

Now she’s back to perform at the interval during the Grand Final in Liverpool, and speaks to Attitude about queer allyship, her love of Hannah Waddingham and what’s next for her. 

Netta, 30, regularly attends Pride events, and stood in a LGBTQ+ protest in Israel a few weeks ago. She’s has picked up a huge base of LGBTQ+ fans, who she regards as “so important”. 

Speaking of her own sexuality, she explained: “Listen, I don’t think I take any letter of the LGBTQ+ alphabet, I said that once in a show and then somebody screamed, ‘girl, you are all the letters!’

“People want us to miss the party because it’s scaring them to change” – Netta

“I was like, ‘f**k yeah!’ I don’t know why this celebration slash fight is so important to me, but I really feel that something about being so odd socially. So I just feel a part, it’s something about this bigger than life energy.”

Back in 2022, Netta stated that she feels like a “straight girl with a very gay story”. She says this is due to experiences being bullied as a young girl. 

Netta will be going on tour in the UK later this year (Image: WMA)

Netta further detailed why the community resonates with her so much: “It’s something about the energy of, ‘I don’t want anyone messing with anybody’s party’. People want us to miss the party because it’s scaring them to change. 

“It’s a bummer, but we can’t let that happen.”

Five years on, Netta can’t believe she managed to win the contest. Her journey to Eurovision was a pretty wild one too. 

“The concept of winning is still very strange to me,” she told us. It came just months after she discovered during a talent show audition in Israel. 

“My story of my becoming is very, very peculiar. I was competing in a talent show, and came with my looper, which is a recording device. It allowed me to control the narrative because these reality shows tend to label you and make you into something. 

“I just went and was hoping to get gigs to make a living,” she explains, but that’s where everything changed, as she was soon propelled towards the Eurovision bubble. 

She continued: “One very special man saw me in the talent show. He rose up in his chair and said, ‘This girl is gonna win the Eurovision and we’ve got to write the song now!’ 

“Something about my presence and the way I was around and my story of being bullied as a young girl was very inspiring to him.”

The singer is attending her fourth Eurovision (Image: WMA)

Worldwide hit ‘Toy’ was penned by the “special man” himself, Doron Medalie. He has also written this year’s entry ‘Unicorn’ for Noa Kirel. 

“I think Finland, this Hulk, little dude is… doing this for me” – Netta

Netta describes 22-year-old Noa as a “great, great performer”. She added: “Every time I see her dance, I want to smash my head up against the wall and say, ‘Why can’t I dance like that?’ She’s incredible, she’s so young.”

The singer is also a surprise fan of one of this year’s hosts, Hannah Waddingham, which we love. 

“I’ve been watching Ted Lasso, Hannah hosting is massive!” she smiled. “I’m so excited that she’s doing this. 

Netta is back at Eurovision 5 years on from her epic win (Image: Levi Eran)

“I can’t believe that I’m in the place where where The Beatles wrote their songs.”

But who’s she backing to take the crown this year? Well, apart from Noa: “I think Finland, this Hulk, little dude is… doing this for me. It’s working. It’s working. I would love a date.”

She describes Loreen as “obviously one of the greatest things in the world”. She’s also loves France’s La Zarra, and her bold hats.

Fans of the previous Eurovision winner can catch her on tour later this year across Europe, making several pitstops in the UK. 

We can’t wait to see what’s next.