Drake wearing an oversized leather, shearling-lined coat on a balcony overlooking a busy city street
Drake in a photobook that accompanied his 2016 album "Views" (Photo/Caitlin Cronenberg)

No Eurovision win for Israel; Drake upstaged by toddler; Dylan turns 80; Judge Judy retires; etc.

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Eurovision voters say no to Israeli 

There was no trophy for Eden Alene, the 21-year-old representing Israel at the Eurovision Song Contest this year. She placed 17th out of the 26 finalists that performed in the Netherlands. (Italian band Måneskin took first place.) Alene did OK with the jury, placing 12th, but failed to receive points from call-in voters. Israel’s Netta Barzilai won the 2018 contest with her song “Toy,” which landed her both the jury and the popular vote. Singers from Israel have won the contest four times: in 1978, 1979, 1998 and 2018.


Another Jewish Willy Wonka

Does Timothée Chalamet look like a young Gene Wilder? Whether he does or not, Chalamet has been tapped to play the young Willy Wonka in a new film. Wilder played Wonka in the iconic 1971 film, but generations of children grew up with the book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” by Roald Dahl, whose family apologized in 2020 for his antisemitism.


Maya inspired by Madeline

Maya Rudolph’s own inspiration? Actors such as the late Madeline Kahn, whom Rudolph called the iconic “beautiful woman doing something hilarious” in a recent Variety interview. “Whether I realized it or not, I was watching these women that I wanted to be, who were gorgeous and funny — which to me is the ultimate combination of perfection,” she said. “They could just do anything.”


Bob Dylan’s age, it is a-changin’

Happy birthday, Bob Dylan, the Jewish boy who changed his name before changing folk and pop music in the United States. He turned 80 on May 24. When asked what his songs were about, in a 1966 interview with Playboy magazine, Dylan quipped: “Some are about four minutes, some are about five, and some, believe it or not, are about 11 or 12.”


Goodbye from ‘Judge Judy’

Judith Sheindlin has ended her eponymous show, “Judge Judy,” after 25 years. But Sheindlin, 78, isn’t retiring — no way. “I don’t play golf or tennis,” she said. “I have no desire to learn how to play mahjong, chess or checkers.” Instead, she’s continuing to “judge” (technically arbitrate) on Amazon-owned streaming channel IMDb TV. One thing she has changed, though, is her hairstyle, which is losing the gel and hairspray. “[A]s each hour in every day we have becomes more precious, the less you want to spend time patshke-ing over the way you look,” she told the Hollywood Reporter.


3-year-old upstages daddy (Drake)

At the recent Billboard Music Awards, Pink was presented with the Icon Award and Doja Cat performed, while Drake received the accolade Artist of the Decade. But commentators agree that Drake was upstaged by his 3-year-old son, Adonis, who accompanied his dad when the singer-rapper went up to the stage to accept the prize. Eventually, Adonis started crying, apparently signifying that it was time for Dad to end his speech.


Gadot, others weigh in on Israel-Gaza

Celebrities usually stay away from politics, but the violence in Israel and Gaza has had social media in turmoil. Among Jewish celebs, Natalie Portman, Gal Gadot, Mayim Bialik and Debra Messing each spoke out in a different way. “Israel deserves to live as a free and safe nation,” Gadot tweeted. “Our neighbors deserve the same … I pray for better days.” And Portman, who chose not to travel to Israel in 2018 to receive the Genesis Prize, reposted a series of images titled “What to Know About Sheikh Jarrah,” the contested neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem where Israeli courts have threatened to evict Palestinian families.

Maya Mirsky
Maya Mirsky

Maya Mirsky is a J. Staff Writer based in Oakland.