Israel 2019

For all the news about the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Israel.

‘We’ll follow rules to secure Eurovision in Israel’ says Prime Minister

As reported yesterday, a meeting has taken place involving Israeli Prime Minister and several general officials.  One of the topics discussed was the current uncertainty on Israel hosting next year’s event. EBU guidelines will be followed to secure hosting privilege The prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed that the government would follow rules from the EBU to ensure Eurovision in Israel next year.  He addressed this in the following statement; “The government will act according to European Broadcasting Union rules,” Netanyahu said according to a statement from his office. Broadcaster split could infringe EBU rules This comes days after Netanyahu supported an idea which would see the Israeli broadcaster being split into two seperate channels.  The plan would see Kan seperated into two divisions with one channel focusing on entertainment content and the other dedicated to news and affairs. The prime minister acknowledged that the change would likely cause problems, adding that authorities would need to work out any legal issues. Last Thursday, the EBU sent a letter to Kan informing them of their concerns. In the letter, organisers re-iterate that the broadcaster’s membership would likely be re-considered if a split were to go ahead.  A copy of the letter was published on Twitter …

Yle to continue with the invite-only Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu

After making it to the final for the first time in four years, Yle seems to be happy with the change they made with Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu and will use the same format again next year. Once again they will invite an artist, or artists, to the contest rather than having an open search for the songs. Getting help from the record labels The producer of UMK, Anssi Autio, says that they are already in discussions with record labels, producers, songwriters and artists. He also says that with this format, they can invest more in performances and other content. Last year Saara Aalto was the only artist in Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu and the Finnish public together with international juries chose her entry. It’s still unclear if Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu 2019 will have one or more artists. The biggest show in years Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu 2018 was easily the biggest and the most expensive show Finland has had after the introduction of their new national final format. Despite the show having only three competing songs, all the performances were filled with big props and choreographies.  The show was also a success. The broadcast reached over 1.4 million viewers and over 289 …

Cyprus confirm participation in Eurovision 2019

Eleni Foureira gave Cyprus their best ever Eurovision Song Contest finish this year in Lisbon as Fuego took the silver medal position. Despite CyBC’s recent announcement that they will no longer take part in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, the Cypriot broadcaster is undoubtedly keen to continue their Eurovision momentum. Thus, according to esctoday.com, CyBC have confirmed their participation in the 2019 contest! Cyprus in the Eurovision Song Contest Cyprus made their Eurovision Song Contest debut 37 years ago, back in 1981. The island nation has participated in every contest since, with the exception of 1988, 2001 and 2014. Prior to Eleni’s record-breaking second-place finish last month, Cyprus’ best results had come in the form of three fifth place finishes. These came courtesy of Anna Vissi’s Mono i agapi in 1982, Hara & Andreas Constantinou’s Mana mou in 1997 and Lisa Andreas’ Stronger Every Minute in 2004. A struggle to adapt to the semi-final format While Cyprus secured seven top 11 finishes in the 1990s, the nation’s form dipped as we entered the semi-final era of the Eurovision Song Contest. Cyprus failed to qualify in six out of eight occasions between 2006 and 2013. CyBC cited the ongoing financial crisis and budgeting restrictions as …

Israeli government to drop Jerusalem demand

Times of Israel have today reported that the Israeli government will drop their Jerusalem demand. Earlier, it seemed the government were going to stick by their desire to let Jerusalem host the Eurovision Song Contest. Allegedly however, the government took the decision on Friday not to interfere with the host city decision. Netanyahu leaves Miri Regev out The conference call on Friday included senior officials of the Israeli government. Besides Prime Minister Netanyahu, three others attended the meeting. They were Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, Communications Minister Ayoub Kara and Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit. Interestingly, the most vocal supporter of a Eurovision in Jerusalem, Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev was not present at the meeting. Last week, Regev spoke out on Israel’s hosting duty for next year’s contest. She issued an ultimatum, where she said that Israel should not host Eurovision at all if they couldn’t host it in Jerusalem. Her statement followed the cancellation of the football friendly between Israel and Argentina. The Argentinian FA decided against travelling to Jerusalem. After that, Prime Minister Netanyahu already said international pressure could lead to more major events pulling out of going to Jerusalem. This might have been a reference to the upcoming …

Eilat joins race as potential host city for Eurovision 2019

We now have a four horse race to host the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in Israel. The Israeli news site Walla now reported that an unnamed source at the EBU told them, that Eilat is considered as a possible host city for the upcoming contest. According to the source, the EBU is considering Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and now also Eilat as a possible city to welcome fans from all over the world for next year’s shows. “The decision depends on things around” As, according to the source, the EBU at this point considers four cities to host the upcoming contest in Israel, the decision will be made based on different factors. Of course, there has to be a venue available for the needed time. It’s also a question about infrastructure, airport and hotels in the area. Apparently, the EBU waits for the official presentations of the cities to submit their ideas. The city, that matches the most with the ideas and needs of the EBU will most likely get the contest for next year. As we reported earlier, Jerusalem is the favourite of the officials in Israel.  Haifa joined the race later, while Tel Aviv announced, that they don’t wanna host …

Haifa to submit a bid to host Eurovision 2019

The host city race for the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 is shaping up nicely. After Jerusalem and Petah Tikva, there now seems to be a third city to throw its hat into the ring: Haifa. The Mayor of the city has expressed his desire to bring Eurovision to the Sammy Ofer Stadium. Official bid sent Yona Yahav, the Mayor of Haifa, has stated that they have submitted an official bid to the Ministry of Culture and Sport. He claims Haifa is one of the most peaceful cities in Israel, which is very proud of the coexisting cultures there. The desired venue would be the Sammy Ofer Stadium. The football arena can hold over 30,000 people and faces a similar issue to the Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem. Neither arena currently has a roof. Yahav has stated that the muncipality of Haifa will cover the costs of a temporary roof over the Sammy Ofer Stadium. That same muncipality will also make sure enough hotel rooms are available. If that isn’t the case at the moment, they will build extra hotels. The city does have an airport, although that is not used by many international airlines. From Israel’s largest airport, Ben Gurion in …

Greece’s ERT approach Tamta for Eurovision 2019?

   Despite Eurovision 2018 taking place a month ago, news about Eurovision 2019 have just started coming! Greece after failing to qualify to the final in 2018 seems ready to return to the final! That’s why we might have our first potential candidate for Eurovision 2019, Tamta! Who is Tamta? Tamta is no stranger, when it comes to the Greek fans. Born in Georgia, she moved to Greece and rose to fame through the Greek “Idol”. She tried to represent Greece in the 2007 Eurovision with “With Love”. She finished in third place. Tamta tried to return and represent Greece in the 2015 contest with the song “Unloved” but she missed the national final deadline proposed by the Greek Broadcaster, ERT. In January 2018 she was approached both by the Cypriot Broadcaster, CyBc, and by Alex Papakonstantinou, in order to sing “Fuego” and represent Cyprus in Eurovision 2018. She rejected the proposal, with Eleni Foureira being selected. So, will Tamta represent Greece now? On the 8th June, a rumor that Tamta was in talks with ERT in order to represent Greece in Eurovision 2019 started surfacing. A Greek TV reporter, Giannis Poulopoulos talked about a potential duet of Mikolas Josef …

Israel’s culture minister outlines Jerusalem ultimatum

Miri Regev, Sports and Culture Minister, has made an ultimatum to withdraw Israel’s automatic right to host the contest if it isn’t held in Jerusalem. Speaking to Israeli broadcaster KAN, Regev explains: “I will recommend to the government that if the Eurovision is not in Jerusalem, then it wouldn’t be right to host it” The matter-of-fact warning follows the recent cancelled football match between Israel and Argentina. The match was originally due to take place in Haifa, but was moved to Jerusalem by Regev. As host to Eurovision, she suggests Israel should have freedom to ‘market the country’, citing the deposit of NIS 50 million ($14 million) made to the EBU. However, these comments directly contradict a recent statement by the director of the Regev’s department, suggesting ‘Jerusalem 2019’ isn’t a certainty. Jerusalem have previously hosted the contest twice, in 1979 and 1999 respectively. Broadcaster tensions Regev’s statements appear to be a veiled comment at the recent meeting between the EBU and KAN. News site Ynetnews reports the EBU requested at least two Israeli cities tender a hosting bid. The Eurovision organisers also demanded the contest should be held in a “non-divisive” location. These two requests heavily imply Jerusalem is not the EBU’s favoured location …

“Jerusalem isn’t at all a given” says Israeli Official

Since Netta’s victory last month, speculation on where next year’s contest will be hosted has been rife.  A senior official has today claimed that the government’s preferred host city may not be the contest’s home next year. “Eurovision in Jerusalem? It isn’t at all a given, Yossi Sharabi, director of the Culture and Sport Ministry, made the claim in a response to a question regarding the cancellation of a football match between Argentina and Israel.  The match would originally take place in Haifa. Israeli authorities however moved the match to Jerusalem. The Argentinian national team received criticism from several Palestinian groups for their trip to the city. As a result, the Argentinian FA cancelled the match altogether. When speaking to the Sports 5 news channel regarding next year’s event, the director answered: Eurovision in Jerusalem? It isn’t at all a given. It’s early to talk about this. Everybody wants it to be in Jerusalem. But there could well be other considerations. Uncomfirmed rumours – EBU unhappy Following Israel’s victory, ministers Ayoub Kara and Miri Regev spoke about next year’s host city. They implied that next year’s host city would indeed be Jerusalem. News website Haaretz report that EBU officials were unhappy …

No comeback in the making! Slovakia will not return for Eurovision 2019

The Slovak National Broadcaster, RTVS, has announced that they will not return to the Eurovision Song Contest 2019. Their last participation dates back to 2012. Following the success of neighboring Czech Republic in the most recent edition of the contest, fans have been speculating the return of Slovakia. However, rumors were put to rest in a recent interview for Eurocontest.cz, where they confirm the fact that we will not see them back to the competition in the near future. A spokesperson for RTVS stated that; The long-standing RTVS standpoint remains unchanged. The Eurovision Song Contest is beyond our financial possibilities, so RTVS will not join it. As always, we remain hopeful that RTVS find the funding to participate. Perhaps a sponsor could stand up?  Slovakia at Eurovision The central European country has quite a poor track record when it comes to Eurovision. Slovakia debuted in 1994 and have participated on only seven occasions. Their best result to date was 18th in 1996 with Marcel Palonder and the song “Kým nás máš”. Between 1998 and 2009, Slovakia did not participate. However in 2009, they returned with Kamil Mikulčík and Nela Pocisková. They only managed to achieve 18th place in their semi final and thus failed to …