A now viral video showing singer/performer Marina Satti, Greece’s representative at the 2024 Eurovision competition, prominently yawning, looking disinterested and apparently falling asleep at a press conference late Friday during statements by Israel’s representative generated a firestorm of reactions a day later.

The video was widely circulated and commented on by Greek-language users and those responding to the previous evening’s Eurovision second semi-final of the week, which took place in Malmo, Sweden. The hashtag #eurovisiongr, #σαττι and #marinasatti were trending for Greek users on X throughout the day.

Satti, a Greek-Sudanese performer, along with a troupe of dancers comprising her act and featuring the single “Zari”, qualified for the grand final on Saturday, May 11.

The video centers on Marina Satti as Israel’s representative, singer Eden Golan, was fielding questions at the press conference. Several other contestants that qualified for the final were also present.

Earlier, scattered booing failed to affect Golan as she was performing on stage, as she delivered an almost flawless appearance. Meanwhile, a pro-Palestinian protest took place outside the Malmo Stadium hosting the Eurovision competition.

Greek broadcaster: Satti was exhausted; no intent to offend Israeli delegation

Meanwhile, back in Athens sources affiliated with the state broadcaster ERT were widely reported as saying that Satti was exhausted from the week-long rehearsals and appearances in Sweden and could not hide her fatigue throughout the press interview. The same sources said Satti did not mean to insult or offend Golan or the Israeli delegation and actually “wished Eden success in the final”.

According to the site Eurovisionfun.com, “according to what we’ve been told, if you watched the full video instead of merely the part of Eden Golan’s statements, you would see that Marina Satti engaged with the panel of artists and the journalists in the same manner from start to finish of the press conference. Throughout the press conference, Marina Satti yawned, not to disrespect the Israeli representative, whom she wished luck for in the final on Saturday, but rather as a result of the demanding schedule and lengthy rehearsals of the previous few days.”

European Broadcasting Union (EBU), of which ERT is a member, is the organizing body of the Eurovision Song Contest.