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The Eurovision Song Contest 2019 will be the 64th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. The contest is scheduled to take place in Tel Aviv, Israel, following Israel's victory at the 2018 contest in Lisbon, Portugal with the song "Toy", performed by Netta. The contest will be held at Expo Tel Aviv, the city's convention centre; the show will consist of two semi-finals on 14 and 16 May, and the final on 18 May 2019. Forty-two countries will take part in the contest, with Bulgaria absent for the first time since 2015.
|Eurovision Song Contest 2019|
|Dare to Dream|
|Semi-final 1||14 May 2019|
|Semi-final 2||16 May 2019|
|Final||18 May 2019|
|Venue||Expo Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel|
Assi Azar (green room)
Lucy Ayoub (green room)
|Executive supervisor||Jon Ola Sand|
|Executive producer||Zivit Davidovich|
|Host broadcaster||Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation (IPBC)|
|Number of entries||42|
|Voting system||Each country awards two sets of 12, 10, 8–1 points to their 10 favourite songs: one from their professional jury and the other from televoting.|
The Eurovision Song Contest 2019 will be the 64th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. The contest is scheduled to take place in Tel Aviv, Israel, following Israel's victory at the 2018 contest in Lisbon, Portugal with the song "Toy", performed by Netta. The contest will be held at Expo Tel Aviv, the city's convention centre; the show will consist of two semi-finals on 14 and 16 May, and the final on 18 May 2019.
The contest will take place at Expo Tel Aviv's 10,000-seat congress and convention centre called "Bitan 2" (Pavilion 2), which was inaugurated in January 2015. Located on Rokach Boulevard in northern Tel Aviv, the convention centre serves as a venue for many different events, including concerts, exhibitions, trade fairs, and conferences. The fairground has ten halls and pavilions, plus a large outdoor space. The new pavilion hosted the 2018 European Judo Championships from 26–28 April.
After Israel's victory in Lisbon, Portugal, Netta Barzilai and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that the 2019 contest would be held in Jerusalem, but this was yet to be confirmed by the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation (IPBC/KAN) and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). Israeli finance minister Moshe Kahlon also stated in an interview that the event would be solely held in Jerusalem and estimated its cost at 120 million Israeli shekels (approximately €29 million). The mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, mentioned Jerusalem Arena and Teddy Stadium as possible venues to host the event. The municipality of Jerusalem had also confirmed that the contest would not be held at the International Convention Centre, which hosted the Eurovision Song Contest 1979 and 1999, due to its insufficient capacity.
On 18 June 2018, Prime Minister Netanyahu stated that Israel had committed to remaining in compliance with EBU rules regarding the constitution of member broadcasters, as to not affect its hosting of Eurovision. The IPBC's establishment included a condition that news programming would later be delegated to a second public broadcasting entity, which violates EBU rules requiring member broadcasters to have their own internal news departments.
On 19 June 2018, Israel was officially confirmed as the host country, and on 24 June 2018, KAN formally opened the bidding process for cities interested in hosting the 2019 contest. On 28 July 2018, Israeli Minister Michael Oren, who is closely connected to Prime Minister Netanyahu, stated that Jerusalem did not have the resources to host the contest, restating the common talking point that Tel Aviv was the more likely host. Soon after, reports of the government not providing the €12 million downpayment, KAN requested to cover hosting expenses and security surfaced, with a compromise reached on 29 July 2018.
Following a tense back-and-forth between KAN and the government, a compromise between the two parties was reached that would see KAN paying the €12 million to the EBU and the Finance Ministry covering expenses should complications arise. The Mayor of Tel Aviv announced that the city would be willing to pay for the Convention Center itself, should it be chosen as the host city.
The week of 27 August 2018, executive supervisor/scrutineer Jon Ola Sand led a handful of EBU delegates around Israel to scope out the potential venues in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and to hear the bid from Eilat. On 30 August 2018, Sand stated in an interview with KAN that Eilat was no longer in the running to host, leaving it between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. He also stated that there was no serious discussion among members of the EBU for boycotting the event.
Key:Host venue Shortlisted
|Eilat||Hangars on the port||10,000||Proposal intended to connect two hangars to a hall, in order to meet the EBU's capacity and venue requirements.|
|Haifa||Sammy Ofer Stadium||30,870||Candidacy had been dependent on the construction of a roof.|
|Jerusalem ‡||Pais Arena||11,000||Indoor arena similar to the venues of recent contests. It was Jerusalem's preferred venue, in case they were chosen to be the host city.|
|Teddy Stadium||31,733||Candidacy had been dependent on the construction of a roof.|
|Tel Aviv||Expo Tel Aviv, Pavilion 2 †||10,000||–|
The Eurovision Village will be the official Eurovision Song Contest fan and sponsors area during the events week, where it will be possible to watch performances by local artists, as well as the live shows broadcast from the main venue. It will be located at the Charles Clore Park in Tel Aviv.
The slogan for the contest, Dare to Dream, was unveiled on 28 October 2018. Its visual design was revealed on 8 January 2019 which features logo consisting of triangles forming a golden star. Along with the main version, there are two more alternative versions of the logo. The logo, brand and theme was created by Studio Adam Feinberg.
On 25 January 2019, KAN announced that four presenters will host the three shows: TV hosts Erez Tal (who was also one of the Israeli commentators for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 grand final) and Assi Azar who work for the Israeli Channel 12, supermodel Bar Refaeli, and KAN host Lucy Ayoub, who was also the Israeli spokesperson at the 2018 contest. Tal and Refaeli will be the main hosts, while Azar and Ayoub would be hosting the green room.
The draw to determine the allocation of the participating countries into their respective semi-finals took place on 28 January 2019 at 17:00 CET, at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. The thirty-six semi-finalists had been allocated into six pots, based on historical voting patterns as calculated by the contest's official televoting partner Digame. Drawing from different pots helps to reduce the chance of so-called neighbourly voting and increases suspense in the semi-finals. The draw also determined the semi-final that each of the six automatic finalist countries (host country Israel and Big Five countries France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom) will broadcast and vote in. The ceremony was hosted by contest presenters Assi Azar and Lucy Ayoub, and included the passing of a Eurovision insignia from the city of Lisbon (host city of the previous contest) to the city of Tel Aviv.
|Pot 1||Pot 2||Pot 3||Pot 4||Pot 5||Pot 6|
The EBU announced on 7 November 2018 that forty-two countries will participate in the contest, with Bulgaria absent due to financial reasons.
The contest, as of 27 February 2019, will feature four representatives who also previously performed as lead vocalists for the same countries.
Two of these returning artists participated in 2016. Sergey Lazarev represented Russia, won the first semi-final and placed 3rd in the final with the song "You Are the Only One". Serhat represented San Marino with the song "I Didn't Know", which placed 12th in the first semi-final.
Tamara Todevska previously represented Macedonia (now named North Macedonia) in 2008 along with Vrčak & Adrian with the song "Let Me Love You", where they placed 10th in the second semi-final; she was also a backing vocalist in 2004 and 2014 for Toše Proeski and Tijana Dapčević respectively.
The first semi-final will take place on 14 May 2019 at 22:00 IDT (21:00 CEST). Eighteen countries will participate in the first semi-final. Those countries plus France, Israel and Spain will vote in this semi-final.
|TBD March 2019||TBD March 2019|
|Lake Malawi||"Friend of a Friend"||English|
|Darude feat. Sebastian Rejman||TBD 2 March 2019||English|
|Joci Pápai||"Az én apám"||Hungarian|
|TBD 3 March 2019||TBD 3 March 2019||Serbian|
|Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl||"Sebi"||Slovene|
|Kate Miller-Heidke||"Zero Gravity"||English|
|TBD 2 March 2019||TBD 2 March 2019||Georgian|
|Katerine Duska||"Better Love"||English|
|TBD 2 March 2019||TBD 2 March 2019|
|TBD 2 March 2019||TBD 2 March 2019||Portuguese|
|Serhat||TBA 7 March 2019|
|TBA February 2019||TBA February 2019|
The second semi-final will take place on 16 May 2019 at 22:00 IDT (21:00 CEST). Eighteen countries will participate in the second semi-final. Those countries plus Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom will vote in this semi-final. Switzerland was pre-drawn into this semi-final due to scheduling issues.
|Leonora||"Love Is Forever"||English, French, Danish|
|TBD 2 March 2019||TBD 2 March 2019|
|Ester Peony||"On a Sunday"||English|
|TBD 9 March 2019||TBD 9 March 2019|
|TBA 7 March 2019||TBA 7 March 2019|
|Jonida Maliqi||"Ktheju tokës"||Albanian|
|TBA March 2019||TBA March 2019|
|Roko||"The Dream"||English, Croatian|
|Jurijus||"Run with the Lions"||English|
|Duncan Laurence||TBA 7 March 2019|
|TBD 2 March 2019||TBD 2 March 2019|
|Bilal Hassani||"Roi"||French, English|
|Michael Rice||"Bigger than Us"||English|
Eligibility for potential participation in the Eurovision Song Contest requires a national broadcaster with active EBU membership that will be able to broadcast the contest via the Eurovision network. The EBU issued an invitation of participation in the contest to all fifty-six active members. The Israeli Minister of Communications Ayoob Kara has also invited countries from the Middle Eastern and North African region, with which Israel largely has tense relationships or no diplomatic relations. Kara pointed out Tunisia and the Gulf states Saudi Arabia as well as Dubai and Abu Dhabi as part of the United Arab Emirates. Tunisia is eligible to participate but has not due to rules banning the promotion of Israeli content, while the Gulf states do not have national broadcasters with EBU membership.
The spokespersons announce the 12-point score from their respective country's national jury.
Most countries will send commentators to Tel Aviv or comment from their own country, in order to add insight to the participants and, if necessary, the provision of voting information.
On 14 May 2018, Yaakov Litzman, leader of the ultra-Orthodox party United Torah Judaism and Israel's former Minister of Health, drafted a letter to the Ministers of Tourism, Communications, and Culture and Sports, in which he requested that the event not violate religious laws: "In the name of hundreds of thousands of Jewish citizens from all the populations and communities for whom Shabbat observance is close to their hearts, I appeal to you, already at this early stage, before production and all the other details of the event has begun, to be strict [in ensuring] that this matter does not harm the holiness of Shabbat and to work in every way to prevent the desecration of Shabbat, God forbid, as the law and the status quo requires". According to Jewish religious law, Shabbat—the holy sabbath—is observed from just before sunset on Friday evening until Saturday night. The Saturday evening broadcast of the show, which will start at 22:00 local time, will not conflict with this. However, the Friday evening jury show and Saturday afternoon rehearsals would. Similar protests arose in the lead-up to the 1999 Israeli-held competition, but then there were fewer competing teams allowing for certain adjustments to be made to accommodate the issue. The Chairman of the EBU's Eurovision committee, Dr. Frank-Dieter Freiling, noted that he was well aware of the tension, and has plans to address it in his communications with the Israeli broadcaster. Shalva Band, who will perform as the interval act during the second semi-final, withdrew from Israel's national final citing similar concerns on possibly performing during Shabbat in the rehearsals for the final, should they have won.
Due to the contest being held in Israel, and initially there being a potential for Jerusalem to host for a third time, some have expressed their discontent and called for a boycott, as part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Despite this, no country withdrew as a result of such calls.
As part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, several national selections were disrupted in the run-up to the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest. On 19 January 2019, the second-semi final of Destination Eurovision was invaded by stage intruders who held up signs declaring that Eurovision 2019 should be boycotted as it is hosted in Israel.
The European Broadcasting Union has reportedly sent a special letter to all participating broadcasters advising precautions that they can take to prevent similar disruptions.
During the final of the national selection, it was announced that the broadcaster had reserved the right to change the decision made by the jury and Ukrainian public. Following Maruv's win, it was reported that the broadcaster had sent her management a contract, requiring Maruv to cancel all upcoming appearances and performances in Russia in order to become the Ukrainian representative. She was also given 48 hours to sign the contract or be replaced. The day afterwards, Maruv revealed that the broadcaster's contract had additionally banned her from improvising on stage and communicating with any journalist without the permission of the broadcaster, and required her to fully comply with any requests from the broadcaster. If she were to not follow any of these clauses, she would be fined ₴2 million. Maruv also stated that the broadcaster would not give her any financial compensation for the competition and would not pay for the trip to Tel Aviv.
On 25 February, both Maruv and the broadcaster confirmed that she would not represent Ukraine in Israel due to disputes within the contract, and that another act would be chosen. National final runner-up Freedom Jazz announced on 26 February that they had rejected the broadcaster's offer to represent Ukraine as well.
The incident garnered media coverage from major international outlets such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Billboard, The Telegraph, The Independent, SBS News, The Irish Independent, Le Figaro, Cosmopolitan, and ABC.