Eurovision 2023 Israel profile: 'Unicorn' by Noa Kirel
Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest
Israel has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 44 times since making its debut in 1973. They have won the contest four times (1978, 1979, 1998 and 2018) with their most recent win being Netta's 'Toy' in 2018.
Israel last qualified for the Grand Final in 2021. In 2022, Michael Ben David finished in 13th place in semi-final 2 with 'I.M'.
2023 Entry: Noa Kirel - 'Unicorn'
Noa Kirel will compete 9th in semi-final 1
My Eurovision Scoreboard ranking: 10th
Odds to win ranking: 6th
(Rankings as of 8 April 2023)
About the artist
Noa Kirel is a 21-year-old Israeli singer, actress, dancer and television host. She released her first single aged 14 and was signed by Atlantic Records at 18, going on to have four singles reach No. 1 on the Israeli music charts.
At the end of 2016, Noa won the 'Singer of the Year' award at the Israeli Kids' Choice Awards and also won the MTV Europe Music Award for 'Best Israeli Act' between 2017 and 2022.
She is also a judge on television programs 'Music School' and 'Israel's Got Talent' and has appeared in a number of television series and films including voicing the role of DJ Suki in the Hebrew version of the movie 'Trolls'.
About the song
'Unicorn' is written by Noa Kirel together with Doron Medalie, May Sfadia and Yinon Yahel. Medalie was also a co-writer of Netta's winning entry 'Toy' (2018), whereas Yahel co-wrote the 2015 Israeli entry 'Golden Boy', performed by Nadav Guedj.
The upbeat pop song which also features a dance break is mostly in English but also contains a few lines in Hebrew.
Kirel has expained that 'Unicorn' is about a strong, independent character who can handle whatever it faces.
“I feel that in the recent period in Israel and in the world — particularly since the end of COVID — the world is moving at speed and everything is fast and you have to deal with changes really quickly...there’s something so innocent and pure about a unicorn, that in this period, we had to choose something that exists only in fairytales, in fantasies.”
How Noa Kirel was selected for Eurovision
A special committee consisting of members from Kan (the Israeli public broadcaster), music industry and external representatives each suggested two artists. These acts were taken from 78 initially considered based on radio airplay and their nomination for Singer of the Year and Group of the Year awards in the past three years.
On 11 July 2022, Kan announced that Noa Kirel had topped the list however her participation was not confirmed until a press conference was held at the Hotel Carlton in Tel Aviv on 10 August 2022.
On 17 January 2023, Kirel revealed that her song for the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 would be titled 'Unicorn'. The song was premiered on 8 March during a special televised broadcast titled 'HaShir Shelanu L'Eurovizion' ('Our Song for Eurovision') on Kan 11, as well as online via kan.org.il.
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Israel will compete in semi-final 1 on May 9 (European time) in Liverpool.
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