As Noa Kirel, Israel’s Eurovision contestant for 2023, heads to Liverpool to prepare for the song contest, where she will compete in the first semi-final on May 9, she is recording her progress for her millions of fans every step of the way and hoping the juries and fans will love her as much as Israelis do.
Kirel’s first rehearsal for her song, “Unicorn,” was scheduled for Monday. The rehearsals are closely watched by the Eurovision press and fans, who vote on their favorite performances from the rehearsals.
“I have to admit, I never expected to feel this level of excitement. It’s a huge honor to be chosen to represent our country.”Noa Kirel
As Kirel flew to Liverpool on Sunday, she told reporters at the airport in Israel that, “I have to admit, I never expected to feel this level of excitement. It’s a huge honor to be chosen to represent our country.” She posted a video on Instagram of herself and her entourage, including Doron Medalie, one of the composers of “Unicorn,” along with members of the flight crew, lip-syncing and dancing wildly to the Pointer Sisters’ classic “I’m So Excited.”
Visiting President Isaac Herzog and his wife, Michal, before she left, she wrote on Instagram, “Now, I know what I want to be when I grow up,” as she sat in a chair in the president’s office. She also posted a photo of Herzog and his wife with her, all three making the unicorn gesture with their thumbs touching their foreheads. She promised the president that she would bring chutzpah to her performance in Liverpool, “but in a good way.”
Noa Kirel brings Israeli chutzpah to Eurovision
Last week, she performed part of “Unicorn” a cappella live at a concert in Israel and the enthusiastic audience sang along with her. She wore a blue-and-white midriff-revealing pantsuit for the performance, which will reportedly not be her outfit for her Eurovision performances.
As the day of the semi-finals draws closer, the Eurovision blogosphere is busy ranking and predicting the outcome of the contest. As of Monday, the Eurovision betting tables in this extremely competitive contest ranked Kirel seventh, with Sweden predicted to win. She has consistently ranked in the top 10 so far, a good sign for Israelis who were disappointed last year when Israel’s Michael Ben David failed to make the finals. But “Unicorn” drew mixed reviews from a panel at Wiwibloggs, a popular Eurovision blog, who gave it a score of only 6.58 out of 10, faulting the mixture of styles in the song while praising Kirel’s singing and, especially, her dancing.
If Kirel nails her performance on May 9, she will be the final on May 13 and fans hope the power of the “Unicorn” will carry her to the top.