Israel’s Netta kicks off Eurovision Song Contest’s first live semi-final

The Eurovision Song Contest 2019 has begun in Israel with the first of two live semi-finals.

Netta Barzilai – last year’s winner – kicked off the event in her home nation with a rousing rendition of Toy, her Me Too anthem featuring bizarre chicken noises.

Seventeen international acts will take to the stage but only 10 will make it to the 26-strong grand final on Saturday May 18.

Wearing leather and chains, Tamta, representing Cyrus, was the first entry to take to the stage with the club-ready track Replay.

After Montenegro’s D Mol, dance music veteran Darude appeared with vocalist Sebastian Rejman.

The pair, representing Finland, performed Look Away to the loudest applause of the evening thus far as a dancer threw high kicks atop a podium on stage.

Two other favourites will perform on Tuesday night.

Australia’s operatic pop star Kate Miller-Heidke and Iceland’s fetish-punk group Hatari will also sing 12th and 13th respectively.

Last year’s winners Israel also do not have to qualify via the semi-finals.

- Press Association

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