Armando Franca / AP
Israel won this year's Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon.
The winning song "Toy" by Netta was a return to the exaggerated, cheesy style that many people win with the singing contest
When the Portuguese singer Salvador Sobral won last year, he told the crowd he hoped his victory "Music that means something" would bring back. He said, "Music is not fireworks, music is feeling."
He could not have felt good when he handed Netta the Eurovision trophy.
Her song was pure pop-craziness, and the fans in the arena were thrilled. Sobral, however, criticized the song in an interview with the Portuguese newspaper Público earlier this week.
After the victory, Netta told the crowd, "Thank you for choosing something different."
And she was different.
During her performance, Netta was flanked by two walls with shelves and shelves of the Maneki Neko cat, each figure angled with its paw.
Their replacement dancers, dressed in black-and-black overalls, danced in jerky movements, forming expressive faces. Often, both she and Netta went into a chicken dance, reflecting a line in the song in which she seems to make a chicken impression.
Some fans of the song in the audience wore chicken hats to show their support. 19659008] While "Toy" was too soon a favorite, it sometimes seemed like everyone's game to win. Strong performances from Austria, Cyprus and Sweden – paired with the arcane and lengthy vote by Eurovision – meant that the fans left their forecasts behind, while the ranking changed constantly.
Apart from glitz and pyrotechnics, it would not be a Euro Vision without a political controversy or other art.
In the past years, these were mainly Russia. Last year, for example, the Russian act was banned by the Ukrainian authorities for visiting the Crimea after Russia annexed the peninsula. This year, Russia has submitted the same singer, Julia Samoylowa, but she could not qualify for the final on Saturday night.
This year, as in the competitions, a part of the audience booed, as the Russian poll results were read -LGBT policy in Russia. Eurovision has a large gay following and rainbow flags are often seen in the crowd alongside the national flags of competing countries.
Chinese spectators at the semi-finals on Tuesday would have struggled to recognize these flags, even though Mango TV was hiding rainbow flags.
China, which does not participate in the contest, has also edited two of the acts from the show.
Albanian singer Eugent Buspepa had visible arm tattoos, and a Chinese ruling introduced earlier this year banned tattoos from appearing on television.
Mango TV also cut the Irish entry, Ryan O & # 39; Shaughnessy's "Together." The song traces the decline of a relationship, and the performance is accompanied by two male dancers clearly destined to be the couple in song.
In response, the European Broadcasting Union, or EBU, pointed out the contest It ended its relationship with Mango TV immediately and did not allow the broadcaster to broadcast the semi-finals on Thursday or the grand finale on Saturday.
"This is not in line with the values of the EBU for universality and inclusiveness and our proud tradition of celebrating diversity music," the EBU said in a statement.
During the grand finale on Saturday, a man stormed the stage during the aptly named "Storm" by SuRie, the British show. He briefly took the microphone from her before she was quickly taken off the stage. What was impressive was that SuRie barely missed a beat where it stopped and completed the song as if nothing had happened.
The competition next year will take place in Siegerland Israel.