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The Eurovision Song Contest 2019 was the 64th annual event and was held in Tel Aviv, Israel at Expo Tel Aviv, Pavilion 2 thanks to Netta Barzilai's win the previous year in Lisbon. The official dates were 14 and 16 May 2019 for the semifinals, with the grand final on 18 May 2019.

41 countries participated, Bulgaria decided to withdraw citing financial issues. Ukraine later withdrew due to difficulties in finding a replacement act for their national final winner (see "Incidents" below).

It was widely suspected that it would be a two-horse race between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv to become the host city. Eliat was also considered but dropped out of the race on 30 August 2018. This was the very first contest to be organized by Israel's new public broadcaster IPBC (KAN) since it began operations in mid-2017.

Duncan Laurence of the Netherlands was crowned the winner with the song Arcade, giving his country its 5th win overall and its first in 44 years. Rounding out the top 5 were Italy, Russia, Switzerland and Norway.

San Marino and Switzerland returned to the final for the first time since 2014, while North Macedonia made its first appearance since 2012. All three countries recorded some of their best results in recent years.

Format

Presenters

Like the previous year, the 2019 contest featured a quartet of presenters and were revealed on 25 January 2019. They were model Bar Refaeli and Israeli TV personalities Erez Tal, Assi Azar and Lucy Ayoub.

Erez and Bar handled the main presenting duties, while Assi and Lucy hosted the green room which was housed in Pavilion 1 directly adjacent to the main venue.

Theme

The theme of the 2019 contest is Dare to Dream. The slogan itself focuses on unity, diversity and confidence. As Executive Supervisor Jon Ola Sand said about the theme:

"This aspirational tag line represents and symbolizes everything that the Eurovision Song Contest is about. It’s about inclusion. It’s about diversity. It’s about unity. Being on that stage, daring to dream you can win the Eurovision Song Contest, be brave enough, be confident enough, standing there performing for a world audience is something that is worth the dream."

The theme art, unveiled on 8 January 2019, consists of three triangles that, when they come together, form a glowing star. It is inspired by Florian Wieder's stage design for the event.

Postcards

The concept of the 2019 postcards is "Dancing Israel". Each participant is shown visiting a different location in Israel where they stop to touch a triangle on the screen. They are then invited to perform a style of dance with the people they meet.

Voting Twist

A twist was announced for the revealing of the grand final voting results. The jury result and the counting and combining of televotes would take place the same way as the last three years, however the televotes would then be awarded to countries according to their placement in the jury rankings. For example, the country placed last with the juries would receive their televote score first and so on with the country ranked first receiving their points last.

Incidents

Calls for Boycotts

After the 2017 final, the Lord Mayor of Dublin said that Ireland should not participate in the 2019 contest due to the fact that it is being held in Israel (specifically in Jerusalem if it is chosen as the host city), also citing the "horrific ordeal of the Palestinian people needs to be highlighted." Ireland previously competed both times Israel hosted in 1979 and 1999. Additionally, the Left Party of Malmö in Sweden also called for the boycott of the event for the same reasons, saying Israel should be excluded from Eurovision "on humanitarian grounds." Iceland's participation was in jeopardy when a petition with over 22,000 signatures circulated in the hopes that the national broadcaster would not participate in the 2019 contest. All three countries since confirmed their participation.
A number of European and international members of the arts community including a few within the Eurovision circle signed a collective letter urging the EBU to pull hosting of the 2019 event from Israel - among them musician Roger Waters, who sent out pleas to Portuguese representative Conan Osiris and Australian representative Kate Miller-Heidke to "stand on the right side of history" and withdraw from the event. In response, Executive Supervisor Jon Ola Sand stated that the contest should not be used as a platform for political aims and expressed his support for the event's non-political nature.

BDS Threats/Security

Coinciding with these events, supporters of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement converged on the contest's social media accounts such as Facebook and Twitter along with those of many of the participating artists and broadcasters, trying to coerce fans to boycott the contest (by either not watching the event on TV/internet or live in the venue) and artists to withdraw their participation due to escalating tensions in Gaza. Their actions also involved invading the stage during the second semifinal of the French selection and protesting outside the venues of the Spanish, German and Danish finals. Protests were also held outside the headquarters of several participating broadcasters including RTÉ in Ireland and the BBC in the United Kingdom. The BDS branch in Australia organized similar protests using the SBS logo in their promotional material. SBS later served BDS Australia with a cease and desist order for unauthorized use of their branding for the movement's purposes.

Following threats sent to Bilal Hassani and Chimène Badi by the BDS movement during the French national selection, the EBU, according to Israel's Channel 2, sent letters to all participating countries outlining measures to ensure artists' and delegations' safety and security during the contest. Additionally, KAN is expected to ask for assistance with security costs from the Israeli government, which was later granted.

Ukraine

Ukraine was to have been represented by the artist MARUV with the song Siren Song. However, following the Ukrainian national final, the Ukrainian broadcaster gave MARUV an ultimatum regarding upcoming performances in Russia. Later, MARUV refused to give into a list of demands in the contract drafted by UA:PBC which included stiff financial penalties for any broken rule. On 25 February 2019, she withdrew as the Ukrainian representative. UA:PBC then looked to Freedom Jazz, Kazka and Brunettes Shoot Blondes (who placed second, third and fourth), but all three acts declined the offer.

On 27 February 2019, UA:PBC announced that Ukraine would withdraw from the 2019 contest, but would still broadcast the event.

Dismissal of Belarusian jury

Eurovoix.com reported that members of the Belarusian jury revealed their votes during the first semifinal jury show. Under the rules set for national juries by the EBU regarding confidentiality and impartiality, all five jurors were dismissed and barred from voting in the grand final. The country's jury scores were determined by an "aggregated result".

Iceland

As Hatari was receiving their televote score, they displayed a Palestinian flag banner on camera, which violates the rule of political statements. The EBU will make a decision on punishment or sanctions related to this incident in due time.

Participants

The semi-final allocation draw was held on 28 January 2019 at Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and hosted by Assi Azar and Lucy Ayoub. The insignia handover ceremony took place before the draw began, officially beginning the countdown to the contest.

The pots were as follows, calculated by the EBU's voting providers Digame and based on voting patterns over the past 14 years:

Pot 1 Pot 2 Pot 3 Pot 4 Pot 5 Pot 6 Finalists
Flag of Albania Albania
Flag of Croatia Croatia
Flag of Macedonia North Macedonia
Flag of Montenegro Montenegro
Flag of Serbia Serbia
Flag of Slovenia Slovenia
Flag of Denmark Denmark
Flag of Estonia Estonia
Flag of Finland Finland
Flag of Iceland Iceland
Flag of Norway Norway
Flag of Sweden Sweden
Flag of Armenia Armenia
Flag of Azerbaijan Azerbaijan
Flag of Belarus Belarus
Flag of Georgia Georgia
Flag of Russia Russia
Flag of Ukraine Ukraine
Flag of Australia Australia
Flag of Ireland Ireland
Flag of Latvia Latvia
Flag of Lithuania Lithuania
Flag of Poland Poland
Flag of Portugal Portugal
Flag of Austria Austria
Flag of Belgium Belgium
Flag of Czech Republic Czech Republic
Flag of Hungary Hungary
Flag of The Netherlands The Netherlands
Flag of Switzerland Switzerland
Flag of Cyprus Cyprus
Flag of Greece Greece
Flag of Malta Malta
Flag of Moldova Moldova
Flag of Romania Romania
Flag of San Marino San Marino
Flag of Israel Israel (Host)
Flag of France France
Flag of Germany Germany
Flag of Italy Italy
Flag of Spain Spain
Flag of United Kingdom United Kingdom

Pre-Allocations

  • Switzerland has been pre-allocated to semifinal 2 as per a request from SRF due to scheduling conflicts involving the airing of a World Hockey Championship match on the day of SF1. It was approved by the Reference Group.

Returning Artists

Artist(s) Previous Year(s)
Tamara Todevska 2008
Serhat 2016
Sergey Lazarev 2016
Joci Pápai 2017
Nevena Božović 2013 (with Moje 3)

Semi Final One

Flag of France France, Flag of Israel Israel and Flag of Spain Spain voted in this semi. It took place on 14 May 2019.

Draw Country Artist Song Language Translation Place Points
01 Flag of Cyprus Cyprus Tamta Replay English -- 9 149
02 Flag of Montenegro Montenegro D-Moll Heaven 16 46
03 Flag of Finland Finland Darude ft. Sebastian Look Away 17 23
04 Flag of Poland Poland Tulia Pali Się Polish, English It's on fire 11 120
05 Flag of Slovenia Slovenia Zala & Gašper Sebi Slovene Yourself 6 167
06 Flag of Czech Republic Czech Republic Lake Malawi Friend of a Friend English -- 2 242
07 Flag of Hungary Hungary Joci Pápai Az én apám Hungarian My father 12 97
08 Flag of Belarus Belarus Zena Like It English -- 10 122
09 Flag of Serbia Serbia Nevena Božović Kruna Serbian Crown 7 156
10 Flag of Belgium Belgium Elliot Vassamillet Wake Up English -- 13 70
11 Flag of Georgia Georgia Oto Nemsadze Sul tsin iare Georgian Keep on going 14 62
12 Flag of Australia Australia Kate Miller-Heidke Zero Gravity English -- 1 261
13 Flag of Iceland Iceland Hatari Hatrið mun sigra Icelandic Hate will prevail 3 221
14 Flag of Estonia Estonia Victor Crone Storm English -- 4 198
15 Flag of Portugal Portugal Conan Osíris Telemóveis Portuguese Mobile phones 15 51
16 Flag of Greece Greece Katerine Duska Better Love English -- 5 185
17 Flag of San Marino San Marino Serhat Say Na Na Na 8 150

Semi Final Two

Flag of Germany Germany, Flag of Italy Italy and Flag of United Kingdom United Kingdom voted in this semi. It took place on 16 May 2019.

Draw Country Artist Song Language Translation Place Points
01 Flag of Armenia Armenia Srbuk Walking Out English -- 16 49
02 Flag of Ireland Ireland Sarah McTernan 22 18 16
03 Flag of Moldova Moldova Ana Odobescu Stay 12 85
04 Flag of Switzerland Switzerland Luca Hänni She Got Me 4 232
05 Flag of Latvia Latvia Carousel That Night 15 50
06 Flag of Romania Romania Ester Peony On a Sunday 13 71
07 Flag of Denmark Denmark Leonora Love is Forever English, French 10 94
08 Flag of Sweden Sweden John Lundvik Too Late for Love English 3 238
09 Flag of Austria Austria Paenda Limits 17 21
10 Flag of Croatia Croatia Roko Blažević The Dream English, Croatian 14 64
11 Flag of Malta Malta Michela Pace Chameleon English 8 157
12 Flag of Lithuania Lithuania Jurijus Run with the Lions 11 93
13 Flag of Russia Russia Sergey Lazarev Scream 6 217
14 Flag of Albania Albania Jonida Maliqi Ktheju tokës Albanian Return to the land 9 96
15 Flag of Norway Norway KEiiNO Spirit in the Sky English, Northern Sami -- 7 210
16 Flag of The Netherlands The Netherlands Duncan Laurence Arcade English 1 280
17 Flag of Macedonia North Macedonia Tamara Todevska Proud 2 239
18 Flag of Azerbaijan Azerbaijan Chingiz Truth 5 234

Grand Final

All countries voted. The final took on 18 May 2019. Israel's place in the running order was decided during the Head of Delegations meetings in March 2019.

Draw Country Artist Song Language Translation Place Points
01 Flag of Malta Malta Michela Pace Chameleon English -- 16 95
02 Flag of Albania Albania Jonida Maliqi Ktheju tokës Albanian Return to the land 18 90
03 Flag of Czech Republic Czech Republic Lake Malawi Friend of a Friend English -- 11 157
04 Flag of Germany Germany S!sters Sister 24 32
05 Flag of Russia Russia Sergey Lazarev Scream 3 369
06 Flag of Denmark Denmark Leonora Love is Forever 12 120
07 Flag of San Marino San Marino Serhat Say Na Na Na 20 81
08 Flag of Macedonia North Macedonia Tamara Todevska Proud 8 295
09 Flag of Sweden Sweden John Lundvik Too Late for Love 6 332
10 Flag of Slovenia Slovenia Zala & Gašper Sebi Slovene Yourself 13 105
11 Flag of Cyprus Cyprus Tamta Replay English -- 15 101
12 Flag of The Netherlands The Netherlands Duncan Laurence Arcade 1 492
13 Flag of Greece Greece Katerine Duska Better Love 21 71
14 Flag of Israel Israel Kobi Marimi Home 23 47
15 Flag of Norway Norway KEiiNO Spirit in the Sky English, Northern Sami 5 338
16 Flag of United Kingdom United Kingdom Michael Rice Bigger Than Us English 26 16
17 Flag of Iceland Iceland Hatari Hatrið mun sigra Icelandic Hate will prevail 10 234
18 Flag of Estonia Estonia Victor Crone Storm English -- 19 86
19 Flag of Belarus Belarus Zena Like It 25 31
20 Flag of Azerbaijan Azerbaijan Chingiz Truth 7 297
21 Flag of France France Bilal Hassani Roi French, English King 14 105
22 Flag of Italy Italy Mahmood Soldi Italian Money 2 465
23 Flag of Serbia Serbia Nevena Božović Kruna Serbian, English Crown 17 92
24 Flag of Switzerland Switzerland Luca Hänni She Got Me English -- 4 360
25 Flag of Australia Australia Kate Miller-Heidke Zero Gravity 9 285
26 Flag of Spain Spain Miki Núñez La venda Spanish The blindfold 22 60

Withdrawing

  • Flag of Andorra Andorra - RTVA confirmed on 19 May 2018 that Andorra would not participate in 2019, nor would they participate in any EBU events in the foreseeable future.
  • Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina -The EBU confirmed on 25 May 2018 that Bosnia and Herzegovina would not participate in any EBU events in the foreseeable future due to massive outstanding debts owed by BHRT, and will not air the 2019 contest.
  • Flag of Bulgaria Bulgaria - Despite a preliminary confirmation, BNT announced on 15 October 2018 that Bulgaria would not participate in 2019 due to financial issues.
  • Flag of Kazakhstan Kazakhstan - On 31 July 2018, the EBU said that it had no plans to invite Kazakhstan to debut in 2019 despite debuting at JESC 2018 in Minsk. On 23 November 2018, Executive Supervisor Jon Ola Sand confirmed that Kazakhstan will not debut in 2019. On 12 May 2019, Khabar Agency announced that it will air all three shows.
  • Flag of Kosovo Kosovo - RTK is currently in talks with the EBU regarding the member application process, however the country is still classified as a non-member state of the ITU, which under EBU statutes is a requirement for active membership. RTK will air the 2019 contest
  • Flag of Liechtenstein Liechtenstein - 1FLTV confirmed on 26 July 2018 that Liechtenstein will not debut in 2019
  • Flag of Luxembourg Luxembourg - RTL confirmed on 21 July 2018 that Luxembourg will not return for 2019.
  • Flag of Monaco Monaco - TMC confirmed on 17 August 2018 that Monaco will not return for 2019.
  • Flag of Slovakia Slovakia - RTVS confirmed on 2 June 2018 that Slovakia will not return for 2019. However, it will broadcast the final on Radio_FM.
  • Flag of Turkey Turkey - In an interview with the Turkish Prime Minister, he claims that Israel's victory in Lisbon was "planned" and that Turkey has no plans to return to the contest in the foreseeable future.

Other Countries

  • Flag of Canada OMNI Television broadcast all three shows in Canada on a same-day delay.
  • Flag of the United States Logo TV confirmed that it would not air the contest in the United States. The final was broadcast on Massachusetts radio station WJFD 97.3 FM with commentary by Samantha Ross, ESCInsight's Ewan Spence, and Wiwibloggs' Bernardo Pereira.

References (if any)