Like in previous years, Israel has used the HaKokhav HaBa L'Eurovizion show (The next star for Eurovision) to determine a representative for the ESC which is Kobi Marimi. Later on the song “Home” has been revealed. This will be the host entry of the Tel Aviv ESC 2019.
Kobi Marimi was born in Ramat Gan, close to Tel Aviv in 1991. Kobi started singing in the age of 13. Later on he started to study acting in a studio. During his studies he appeared in the plays The Caucasian Chalk Circle and The Comic Illusion and Prayer. Kobi has won the Promising Actor Award at the 2017 Musical Celebrations in Bat Yam and also won the Israeli Music Theatre Festival. He has also concentrated on opera music. In 2019 Kobi has participated in the “The Next Star For Eurovision” show and could delight the jury and Israeli public with his singing talent. He soon became Israel’s sweetheart.
The Israeli song “Home” is a very personal, which has been especially written for him with his own story when he struggle to be on stage. The song’s lyrics:
“You pulled my heart, I took it in It made me someone, I am someone And now I'm done, I'm coming home”
are very emotional and touching, about being someone. Compared to last year, this Israeli song is a smooth and calm song with a certain beauty sung in the opera style. Only if a host entry is very strong the chances to win again or to make a Top 5 place can be achieved, but in the recent history we saw that beautiful host entries are ending up last like the Makemakes in Vienna or Claudia Pascoral in Lisbon. Will this be enough for the host country’s entry?
Finals: 36 (10 since 2004)
Top 10: 20
Chances for Top 10: 48%
Chances for Final: 67%
This year Israel will be hosting the Eurovision Song Contest for the third time, thanks to the victory of Netta with “Toy” last year in Lisbon. It’s the fourth victory of Israel. In 1979 Israel won in its own country with “Hallelujah” by Gali Atari & Milk & Honey, but Israel did not host the following ESC in 1980, The Netherlands instead hosted the ESC. This year Israel will participate for the 42nd time in the Eurovision Song Contest. Israel joined the Eurovision Song Contest in 1973. The debut entry “Ey-Sham” by Ilanit made a very good 4th place in Luxembourg. Since then, the Israeli entries brought a new energy in the contest full of good music, dance and joy. In the ESC history of Israel there were many strong, outstanding and unforgettable songs. Within the past 42 years, Israel has been in the Grand Final for 36 times, and reached the Top10 for 20 times. The chance to reach a Top10 place for Israel lays at 48% statistically, which above the average.
Three times Israel could win the Eurovision Song Contest. One year after the first victory of Izar Cohen & The Alphabeta with “Abanibi”, Israel won successively with “Hallelujah” by Gali Atari & Milk & Honey on home ground. The extraordinary victory of the Dana International was legendary, when she sang her anthem “Diva” in Birmingham 1998. And another 20 years later, Netta could follow this 20 years victory interval with “Toy”.
Israel is also popular for great choreographies, especially in the 80’s and 90’s the traditional formation dance was strongly used in the Israeli contributions and has been mimicked from other countries later, but not as successfully. The traditional “Hora” dance has become a new dimension, when this was the name of the 1982 entry sung by Avi Toledano (2nd place). The contest is enjoying a great interest in Israel and has huge viewing figures every year.
Due to the introduction of the Semi Finals in 2004, Israel is not always among the finalists, out of 16 times, Israel could only qualify ten times.