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Eurovision winner rejects Russian award because she’ll be busy marching at Pride

Josh Jackman May 15, 2018
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TOPSHOT - Israel's singer Netta Barzilai aka Netta performs with the trophy after winning the final of the 63rd edition of the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 at the Altice Arena in Lisbon, on May 12, 2018. (Photo by Francisco LEONG / AFP) (Photo credit should read FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty Images)

Israel's Netta Barzilai performs with the trophy after winning the final of the 63rd edition of the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 at the Altice Arena in Lisbon, on May 12, 2018.(FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty)

The Eurovision Song Contest winner has rejected the chance to pick up an award in Russia – because she’s marching in Pride instead.

Israel’s Netta Barzilai gave a show-stopping performance of “Toy” on May 12, complete with feminist lyrics and a catchy beat that gave her country its first win since 1998.

The singer was however accused of appropriating Asian culture during her set, and sparked confusion with her comment of “Next time Jerusalem” – a celebratory remark which some thought was an announcement of next year’s Eurovision venue.

Israel's singer Netta Barzilai aka Netta performs after winning the final of the 63rd edition of the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 at the Altice Arena in Lisbon, on May 12, 2018. (Photo by Francisco LEONG / AFP)        (Photo credit should read FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty Images)
(FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty)

Netta, 25, picked up OUTtv’s OUTmusic Award after winning the vote among LGBT fans before the contest, and was invited to accept another honour following her win.

According to Russian news outlet Super, Muz-TV – a channel which was modelled after MTV – wanted to award Netta its Transformation award.

But the star wasn’t about to receive an honour in Russia, a country which has seen hate crimes against LGBT people double since its government created a law banning gay “propaganda”.

Israel's Netta Barzilai poses for a photograph with her trophy as she arrives at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv on May 14, 2018 after winning the Eurovision Song Contest on May 13 in Lisbon. - Netta Barzilai beat 25 other contestants with her uptempo song "Toy", whose lyrics were inspired by the #MeToo movement. The 25-year-old, who wore a multicoloured kimono, accompanied her winning performance with trills, clucking sounds and chicken-like dance moves in an eye-catching and bizarre performance that is often typical of the Eurovision contest. (Photo by GIDEON MARKOWICZ / AFP) / Israel OUT        (Photo credit should read GIDEON MARKOWICZ/AFP/Getty Images)
(GIDEON MARKOWICZ/AFP/Getty)

Netta responded that she won’t be able to attend the June 8 event because she’ll be marching in Tel Aviv Pride, a rally which she said was “much more important” to her.

She also voiced her concerns that a Pride march like one in the Tel Aviv wouldn’t be allowed in Russia.

SuRie, who came third from the bottom at Eurovision, appeared on ITV’s This Morning on Monday to speak about her Eurovision experience.

Israel's singer Netta Barzilai aka Netta celebrates with the trophy after winning the final of the 63rd edition of the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 at the Altice Arena in Lisbon, on May 12, 2018. (Photo by Francisco LEONG / AFP)        (Photo credit should read FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty Images)
(FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty)

She revealed that she suffered bruises on her hand and her shoulder after political activist Dr ACactivism rushed the stage.

During Saturday’s show, SuRie had her microphone snatched from her for about 15 seconds by the man.

“It was a night of surprises,” SuRie told Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby.

The singer said she didn’t feel frightened when the activist appeared on stage, however.

Israel's singer Netta Barzilai aka Netta performs "Toy" during the final of the 63rd edition of the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 at the Altice Arena in Lisbon, on May 12, 2018. (Photo by Francisco LEONG / AFP)        (Photo credit should read FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty Images)
(FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty)

“There wasn’t any time to feel fear. He was suddenly there, security was on him as quick as he was on me,” she explained.

“The music was still going. I was clapping and cheering with the crowd. I turned back and the microphone was on the floor and I was like, ‘This is mine.'”

(ITV)

SuRie was hurt during the brief altercation and said, she has “bruises on [my] hand where I was holding the mic and on my shoulder.”

But after security detained the activist, SuRie continued her performance and felt that the “the lyrics took on a new meaning: ‘Hold your head up, don’t give up.'”

Related topics: Europe, Europe, eurovision, Israel, Israel, Middle East, Middle East, Music, Russia, Russia, Television

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