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Israel’s Netta Barzilai wins 2018 Eurovision Song Contest

Israel's Netta reacts as she wins the Grand Final of Eurovision Song Contest 2018 at the Altice Arena hall in Lisbon, Portugal, May 12, 2018.  .
Israel's Netta reacts as she wins the Grand Final of Eurovision Song Contest 2018 at the Altice Arena hall in Lisbon, Portugal, May 12, 2018. . REUTERS/Pedro Nunes

Netta Barzilai has won the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest for Israel with her song “Toy.”

Barzilai, who was the favourite to win ahead of Saturday’s Grand Final, saw off competition from 42 other countries’ performers to claim the music extravaganza’s annual crown at a show in Lisbon, Portugal.

There was a strong field of contestants at this year’s event, which largely shed its traditional hallmarks of glitz and glitter in favour of a more restrained and tasteful tone.

READ MORE: Portugal wins 2017 Eurovision Song Contest 

The international contest began as a competition between European countries, but its huge popularity has led to the inclusion of Israel and Australia among the performers.

Around 200 million people were expected to tune in to Saturday night’s show.

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Portugal earned the right to host the event because it won last year with Salvador Sobral’s subdued ballad “Amar pelos Dois.”

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