Review: Netta Barzilai- ‘Toy’ (Israel)

Artist: Netta Barzilai

Song: Toy

Country: Israel

Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆

Ranking: 8th

Betting Odds: 11/4

Israel’s future at Eurovision was thrown in to doubt when, while giving out the results in 2017, the public broadcaster announced it would cease to exist and that 2017 would be their last appearance in the Contest. Another channel Keshet came to the rescue when the EBU granted them a temporary reprieve which enabled them to send an Israeli entry for 2018. The channel continued with the Israeli selection show that has been in place for the past five years ‘Israel’s Rising Star’. The competition was won by Netta Barzilai.

A few weeks later Netta revealed her song for the Contest entitled ‘Toy’. It has caught the attention of many Eurovision fans and has become an outright favourite with the bookies.

Netta has a bubbly personality which she injects into her songs and her performances. She uses a synthesiser which allows her to record her voice live on stage, alter the sound of her voice and play it back. Most notably she inserts chicken clucking sounds into her chorus and this wacky and bizarre approach is what has helped her stand out. It has also divided fans- some love it and some see it as a gimmick.

The song is not all gimmick though. ‘Toy’ attempts to tackle the issue of gender conformity and sexual harassment something which has been very prevalent in news stories recently with multiple claims of sexual assault in the entertainment industry. Netta invokes the passion and strength of the #MeToo movement in a bid to empower young girls and women. She uses the examples of toys that all children play with but gives new powerful meaning to them. Lines in the pre-chorus like ‘Wonder Woman don’t you ever forget/You’re divine and he’s about to regret’ and the refrain of ‘This Barbie got something to say’ are particularly effective, inspirational and new.

The song is favourite with the bookies to win, and while I see ‘Toy’ winning over the voting public, I think juries won’t look on it as favourably and while it won’t win, it will be in the Top Five.

For more information on the artist here is 10 Things About…Netta!

The full lyrics to the song are here and check out the video below!

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