Abigail Klein Leichman
August 11

Seven months before the deadline for entries, Israel is the first country to officially announce its contestant for the Eurovision Song Contest next May in the United Kingdom.

Public broadcaster KAN confirmed on August 10 that pop queen Noa Kirel accepted her nomination by KAN’s Eurovision Selection Committee.

The 21-year-old singing star from Ra’anana is a darling of the Israeli public, winning two MTV EMA awards and performing last year at the 70th Miss Universe pageant held in Eilat. She’s also gained international fans with English-language singles such as “Thought About That.”

She posted a message to followers on Instagram that she felt a tremendous amount of pride and a weight on her shoulders. “Thank you for all the love you are spreading, for the huge support you gave me from the moment I was chosen and for the privilege to represent my country.”

 

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A post shared by Noa Kirel (@noakirel)

A total of 78 artists were considered by KAN for the 2023 Eurovision gig, all with “rich and proven experience in standing in front of a large audience.”

Israel last won Eurovision in 2018 with Netta Barzilai’s “Toy,” which went on to become one of the most popular Eurovision songs of all time.

Michael Ben-David, the 2022 song contest rep, finished in 13th place, marking the first time since 2014 that Israel’s contestant failed to qualify for the finals. That could be why the decision was made not to continue choosing relatively unknown contestants in a reality TV competition, as was done for the past seven years.

We’re counting on you in ’23, Noa!

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