Israel’s Eurovision contestant didn’t crack the Top 10 but Hovi Star‘s 14th place finish is being celebrated nonetheless. Another Israeli performer, Israeli-French dentist Amir Haddad, who represented France at the annual European song contest, placed sixth overall.
Ukraine’s Jamala won the event at the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, beating Australia (second place) and betting favorite Russia (third place).
Hovi Star, whose given name is Hovav Sekulets, made it through the semi-finals on Thursday to last night’s finals. He sang the song, Made of Stars.
“Israel’s entry of ‘Made of Stars’ by Hovi Star blew the roof off the arena and was easily the best ballad of the night,” according to a wrap up of the contest in The Mirror.
— Hovi Star (@MrHoviStar) May 14, 2016
“We feel great. Israel got 12 points from Germany, and that’s something that hasn’t happened since 2005,” Star told Ynet News. “Thank you to everyone from the support. We’re happy.”
Israeli media boasted news reports of Star’s 14th place finish, noting that worried fans weren’t sure he’d push through to the finals. Some radio channels also dedicated their music lineups over the weekend to past Eurovision hits.
The last time Israel won the Eurovision Song Contest was in 1998 when Dana International took her song, Diva, all the way to “douze points.”