Israeli Eurovision champion Netta Barzilai has said the UK’s hosting of Ukraine is an “example for amazing humanity”.
The singer, who triumphed at the contest in 2019 with her song Toy, suggested she herself comes from “not an easy place” and called for the international community to “always be with your hand out”.
Twenty-six acts will perform at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool to an expected global audience of 160 million viewers on Saturday night, according to the BBC.
The city is hosting on behalf of war-torn Ukraine, who won last year’s contest but are unable to host due to the Russian invasion.
Speaking ahead of debuting her new single during the grand final, Barzilai, 30, said of the UK’s hosting effort: “It is just an example of great solidarity. An example for amazing humanity.
“I have no solution. Nobody has a solution to the atrocities happening in our world. I obviously come from a, not an easy place myself.
“I made a pledge to be apolitical but I don’t know how long I can keep (it).
“I just wish we would really spread the narrative of life around, just eliminate darkness, exactly like England is doing for Ukraine.
“Just lend a hand, just help. Don’t just hear one side ever. Always be with your hand out, exactly like this.
— Netta Barzilai (@nettabarzi) April 19, 2023
“This is moving and it is just what humans should be like. I wish it could be better, not worse in the world.”
Barzilai joked that her performance would be “nothing big” before going on to describe the flamboyant performance.
“I am just coming off a bird 30 metres in the air and when I come down I will inflate,” she said.
“I have 15 kilograms of jets on my back that are supposed to inflate wings out of my back in like three seconds.
“I am supposed to perform and sing while I do that. And this whole thing drops on Spotify at 8. Just really small.”
— Netta Barzilai (@nettabarzi) May 9, 2023
Barzilai added that she still found performing to small groups harder than to the expected millions of Eurovision viewers.
“I know it is a cliche saying that but a room with four people and a room with 180 million – the four people seems more intimidating,” she said.
“There is something about masses that doesn’t make sense. It makes me feel a little bit more OK because, I don’t know, some people like it, some people don’t.
“When people ask me what has changed in my life, I say volume. The same stuff is still happening. I still experience failure, I still experience success exactly as I was when I was anonymous.
“Sadness is still sadness, anger is still anger and love is still love. It is just the volume is so much higher and accepting the love of so many people at once is a drug.
“It is a high that I cannot explain. But if taken responsibly it can make an impact that is very big on a lot of people’s lives – and that is the part that I really like about what I do.”