Eurovision 2023: Noa Kirel to represent Israel
It’s official - we have the first Eurovision artist of 2023!
Israeli broadcaster KAN reported that they have chosen their Eurovision artist. 21-year-old singer Noa Kirel was selected to represent Israel in the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in an internal selection, after it was earlier reported that KAN would not use the TV show ‘The Next Star’ to select their representative for next year’s contest.
The internal selection was headed by a nine-member professional committee in a method used by Israel for the first time since 2014. Previous Israeli Eurovision winner Dana International was selected using this method.
The committee’s selection criteria aimed to select singers “with rich and proven experience performing in front of a large audience”. The process consisted of multiple rounds, with an initial list of 78 singers narrowed down to a shortlist of 20.
Here are five interesting facts you may not know about Israel’s next Eurovision artist!
1. A powerful prediction at an early age
When she was just three months old, Noa Kirel, who was born Noya Kirel, had a serious kidney condition. A rabbi suggested that her parents should change her name from Noya to Noa (“Noa” means “movement” in Hebrew), so that she would be able to move as she grew. The rabbi also predicted that she would eventually become a dancer, which ended up coming true! Talk about a spookily accurate prediction!
2. An impressive resume
Noa Kirel is not only a singer and dancer, but she is also a TV presenter and model. She has appeared on ‘Israel’s Got Talent’ as a guest judge, took the stage at the ‘Festigal’ festival, lent her voice to the Israeli version of the movie ‘Trolls’, and performed at the Miss Universe 2021 ceremony.
She has also won ‘Best Israeli Act’ at the MTV Europe Music Awards on four consecutive occasions (2017-2021), joining such illustrious company as Israel’s 2005 Eurovision artist Shiri Maimon (who earned the honour in 2008), and beating out other famous names in the Israeli music scene including Eurovision “Golden Boy” Nadav Guedj (Israel 2015).
Since signing with Atlantic Records, Noa Kirel has released three international singles, ‘Please Don’t Suck’, ‘Bad Little Thing’, and ‘Thought About That’, the latter of which, despite being released in February 2022, has already garnered 34 million views on YouTube.
3. Noa boasts three Israeli number 1 singles to her name
Noa Kirel has topped the Israeli charts with three hit singles - ‘Million Dollar’ featuring Shahar Saul, ‘Reashim’ (‘Noises’) with Osher Cohen, and ‘Trilili Tralala’ with actor and comedian Ilan Peled. Since its release in 2021 in honour of Pride Month, ‘Trilili Tralala’ has since gone on to being crowned as a “gay anthem” in Israel, and debuted at #2 upon its release, with Noa taking to Instagram to encourage her fans to “be who u are”.
Noa is the second-most streamed female artist on Spotify in Israel, after Eden Ben Zaken.
4. The Israeli “Hannah Montana”?
Noa Kirel starred in the 2018 Israeli TV series ‘Kfula’, in which she plays herself, and a character called Libi Omer, who blogs about everything her famous self does. It sounds like she’s getting the best of both worlds!
5. More Eurovision connections
2023 won’t be the first time that Noa Kirel has dipped her toes in the Eurovision waters. In 2017, Noa covered the song ‘Tikitas’ in Hebrew in a collaboration with fellow Israeli singer Stéphane Legar. The tune was originally made famous as 'Τι Κοιτάς' ('Ti Koitas') by none other than 2018 Eurovision runner-up and hairography icon Eleni Foureira. Noa was also a guest judge on Season 7 of ‘The Next Star’, the TV show which was the platform for selecting Israel’s 2020 and 2021 Eurovision artist Eden Alene.
Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest
Israel has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 44 times since their debut in 1973. The country has gone on to win the Contest four times, with ‘Toy’ by Netta giving them their most recent victory in 2018.
After a six-contest-long qualification streak, Israel’s Eurovision entry ‘I.M.’ by Michael Ben David failed to qualify to the Eurovision final in 2022, being the first Israeli entry to miss the final since 2014’s ‘Same Heart’. Can Noa Kirel turn Israel’s Eurovision fortunes around and help them return to the final?
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