ESC 2018 WINNER: 'Eurovision proved once more that it embraces the outsider'

Author(s): dubrovackidnevnik.hr Photographer(s): Screenshot YouTube
So it was the relatable Netta from Israel who won this year's Eurovision rather than Cyprus' glamorous Eleni.

Eurovision proved once more that it embraces the outsider, the person who doesn't fit in.

It follows Conchita Wurst's victory and, before her, that of Dana International in 1998.

Netta told BBC News that she came to realise that she was "different" because of her size and found out that "different is often not accepted".

This is why, as she lifted her winner's trophy, she said: "Thank you for choosing different."

Netta stood out in this year's competition right from the beginning.

In the weeks leading up to the contest all the buzz was about the Israeli entry, says BBC. But in the past few days, her star seemed to have waned in favour of Cyprus' hair-flicking Eleni Foureira.

Certainly among the press, Netta had been almost written off - with Cyprus, France, Ireland and Italy thought to be the more credible acts.

By the half-way point in the scoring, though, the national juries had confounded this and she was in a strong third position.

And then for the public vote - where the 25-year old gained enough points from viewers at home to move into first and take the Eurovision crown.

They had seen someone who was fun and quirky but who also carried a meaningful and substantial message of accepting who you are.

Not even close

In 2018, Netta's victory feels particularly deserved following the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. Eleni - all credit to her - was perhaps just too beautiful, too slick and too mainstream.

In the end, the vote wasn't even that close: Eleni's 436 points to Netta's 529.

Netta said the competition wasn't against Eleni, but was about challenging herself.

"I'll keep competing with myself till I die," she said in an interview following her win.

The article was originally published by BBC