Israel: Netta’s TOY goes global and viral

by Roy Knoops 6,870 views

Israel’s Eurovision 2018 entry Toy by Netta Barzilai is getting international attention.

With more than 6 million views and counting, the official video of Toy by Israel’s Netta Barzilai on Youtube is an indication that the entry is certainly Eurovision 2018’s fan favourite to beat. The quirky yet socially significant song, with its catchy rhythms and contemporary sound, is a “love or hate” entry – drawing reactions either way, yet surely making it the talk of the town. Toy hasn’t gone unnoticed and is making its way across the globe.

Toy reaches Africa

Toy recently made a splash in Uganda, as dance group Spoon Youth performed a choreographed dance to the song. Posted on Youtube, the dance routine immediately caught the public’s attention. The group stated:

For us the song already won!

Toy goes viral in Europe

Meanwhile, Toy is also rising in several music charts beyond Israel. The song reached number 5 of the Spanish iTunes chart and number 24 in Greece, and is entering the Top 1oo in Norway, among other countries.

Mixed reactions

Despite its success, being a “love or hate” entry also includes receiving mixed reactions. Matt Friedrichs of ESCunited vocalizes this polarity:

I think I hate it but I’m pretty sure I love it. I am very confused about this song – like I’m going back and forth, this is garbage, this is the best thing ever.

Opinions about Toy widely differ. Some laud the entry, such as a Youtube music reviewer Ivo:

This must be the most creative Eurovision entry in a couple of years. The song has meaning, it’s a self-empowerment song, she has a voice. It’s just funky and fresh and if she can deliver that to the stage in Lisbon in May then she’s got the top 10 locked.

Others disagree, such as reporter Daniel Sugarman of the Jewish Chronicle who wrote on Twitter:

It’s like someone asked Bjork to do a KFC commercial.

Whatever the personal opinion, it is clear that Netta’s Toy is a song fit to attract attention. Whether Netta will be able to convincingly present Toy‘s message on the big stage in Lisbon and live up to the hype remains to be seen. Until then, “love or hate” is better than no love at all.


Netta Barzilai will perform Toy in the first half of Semi-Final 1 on Tuesday 8 May 2018.