Israeli singer Hovi Star lived up to the second part of his stage name at the Eurovision semi-finals Thursday, as his performance garnered enough points to qualify for Saturday’s finals.
After a stellar performance during a rehearsal last week, Star became a favorite as odds of him winning were changed from 1/150 to 1/25, Metro UK reported, calling the song “one of the most enchanting Eurovision ballads of the year.” Later the odds were further reduced to 1/8, Haaretz reported.
Israel! Listen here: https://t.co/jtRfHqhSp8 https://t.co/OCaaTmzcxQ— Eurovision (@Eurovision) May 12, 2016
Star, whose real name is Hovav Sekulets, said last month that he had been stopped and laughed at by airport officials in Moscow, when traveling to a Eurovision preview event, suggesting his sexual orientation may have been the reason for the harassment.
“Maybe people in Moscow have a rough time with people like me, maybe because I’m gay, maybe because I dress like this, maybe because I wear make-up, I don’t know. But when I wanted to get into Moscow, I had problems with passport control. They told me I can’t go in, they looked at my passport, they ripped my passport and then they laughed at me,” he told interviewers.
Listen to Hovi Star’s “Made of Stars” here: