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The 20-year-old Israeli singer sits down for her first in-depth interview since performing amid death threats and jeers: “I turned it into my power.”

Amid the Israel-Hamas War, a campaign was mounted to boycott Eurovision for allowing Israel to participate. Over 1,000 Swedish musicians, including the pop star Robyn, signed a petition calling for Israel’s exclusion. In Finland, 1,300 artists signed a similar petition. Bars here in New York announced they wouldn’t screen the competition in protest. Israel was forced to revise their song after its original entry, “October Rain,” was deemed too political by the EBU. This was all before anyone took to the stage.

Despite calls for boycott, 163 million people tuned in to Eurovision this year to watch Golan and the other performers. She placed fifth, and snagged the number two spot when it came to the public vote.

I sat down with Golan in New York, in her first in-depth interview since the competition, to talk about how she handled the pressure of being the most-hated performer in Eurovision history before ever singing a note, how it feels to represent Israel since October 7, and what comes next.