UK Eurovision singer left with bruises after stage protest

Next year’s contest will take place in Jerusalem in line with Eurovision protocol

A man stormed the stage while the UK's entry, SuRie, was performing at the Eurovision Song Contest. She was singing her song Storm when the man ran on to the stage, grabbed her microphone and shouted: "Nazis of the UK media we demand freedom".

 

The UK’s Eurovision entrant SuRie has said she has some bruises on her hands after a man interrupted her and snatched the microphone while on stage performing at the song contest in Lisbon.

However, she has said she did not feel scared during the incident on Saturday evening, because it happened so quickly.

SuRie told ITV’s This Morning, when asked if she was hurt: “There’s a couple of bruises from where I was holding the mic. But I’m OK.”

She said she was also hurt on her shoulder from where the man barged her as she sang her song Storm.

“There wasn’t any time to feel fear,” she said. “He was suddenly there, security were on him as quick as he was on me, he got the mic for a few seconds, that was out of my hands, but the song was still going.

“The backing vocalists were still singing, the crowd was still chanting, so I just turned upstage for a moment but I was still clapping and cheering with the crowd, I just didn’t have the mic.

“I turned back and saw the mic on the floor, and I thought, ‘well that’s mine’, I’ll finish this song’.”

Following the incident, Eurovision’s operator said it was investigating how the protester managed to rush to the stage and that he was being questioned by police in Lisbon.

SuRie (29) said that she was spurred on to complete her performance after the stage was invaded.

“The lyrics took on a new meaning, ‘Hold your head up, don’t give up!’. The crowd, the surge from them, that’s my lasting memory of this.”

She said she was “really proud of that performance”, and so chose not to take to the stage again.

SuRie also said she did not want “sympathy votes” from the public.

‘Next year in Jerusalem’

The singer came 24th out of 26 entries during the annual contest, which was won by Israel.

The win by Netta Barzilai for her #MeToo-themed hit “Toy” prompted wild celebrations in her country.

Israel’s Netta Barzilai poses for a photograph as she arrives at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv on Monday after winning the Eurovision Song Contest. Photograph: Gideon Markowicz/AFP/Getty Images
Israel’s Netta Barzilai poses for a photograph as she arrives at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv on Monday after winning the Eurovision Song Contest. Photograph: Gideon Markowicz/AFP/Getty Images

Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was among the first to congratulate her, echoing Barzilai’s words as he exulted on his Facebook page: “Next year in Jerusalem! ”

In line with Eurovision protocol, next year’s contest will be held in the holy city that Israel is battling to have recognised internationally as its capital.

The words “Next year in Jerusalem,” traditionally sung by Jews at the end of the Yom Kippur fast and after the Passover feast, have almost religious significance, with connotations of redemption.

Mr Netanyahu called Barzilai as she stood beaming onstage, telling her that his family had been rooting for her and that she was “the best ambassador of Israel”.

Israel had won the Eurovision three times before - in 1978, 1979 and 1998 - and has hosted the contest twice at the International Convention Center at the western entrance of Jerusalem.

It passed in 1980 and did not participate in that year’s Eurovision event in The Hague because it fell on Israel’s national Remembrance Day for its fallen soldiers. - PA, New York Times