Eddie Butler and his backing team turned in an excellent performance of Together we are one this morning, maximising on a feel-good gospel vibe that had the spectators cheering enthusiastically after each of his four runs.
Eddie begins the song sitting on top of the piano that will be familiar from his performance on the K'dam Eurovision contest. The four girls on backing vocals are later joined by his former teacher Elisabeth Young, who leaves the piano to perform some impressive vocal acrobatics as the song builds into the key change. She continues to provide a real kick to the overall sound of the song until the last bars, with all six performers together in the middle of the stage.
The presentation of Together we are one takes place before a stage in molten golds, blues and reds, interspersed with pale emerald greens.
The language question
Once again, as in several press conferences this year, the question of native language versus English was raised. Eddie defended the increase in English lyrics, stressing that most people are not Hebrew speakers, and he would like his message to reach as many as possible.
Countering the cynics
Following Eddie's victory at the K'dam Eurovision Song Contest selection for Israel earlier this year, reports circulated of disappointment and cynicism about the song amongst some home fans. Challenged on those criticisms, Eddie explained that the song has been improved since its first live performance in Israel; circumstances dictated that it was only after winning that the means became available to turn the song into something really special. In the final contest version, "what you hear is what I wanted the song to be".
As for expectations, the singer, who is going through the process of converting to the Judaism of his girlfriend in order to be a Jewish father to his two children, simply does not want to let his country, and indeed the whole of Europe down. The self-penned song and its performance will be "from the heart", with "no gimmicks"on the night, and Eddie and the team hope its message will reach the hearts of viewers at home.