This year’s hosts are up next – having won last year for the fourth time (and maintaining a twenty year cycle of victories in 1978, 1998 and then 2018). Netta was the big favourite going into the contest and saw off a strong challenge from Cyprus to triumph. I don’t think we’ll be seeing a back to back victory this year however.
Like last year, Israel used their reality TV singing competition (HaKokhav HaBa “The Next Star”) to select the artist, though the song chosen was internally decided once they had the artist. Kobi Marimi won this year, a 27 year old with a background in musical theatre and even opera.
That background is much in evidence in the choice of song – a complete contrast to “Toy”, it’s a big melodramatic male ballad that would probably fit well into a musical – maybe as the song just before the interval, or somewhere in the second act. Unlike many Israeli entries in the past, there is little or no Israeli/Middle Eastern sounds in this (which is a shame).
I’ve ranked this pretty low, and it’s nothing against Kobi who I am sure is a great singer and will perform this well – fittingly it’s called “Home” when he is singing it in his home city. It’s just I think this fits much better into a musical than as a standalone Eurovision song. While it may pick up jury points, I do think it could be vying with Germany for last place.
Official music video:
My preview video:
Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest
First entered: 1973
Appearances (excluding this year): 41
Best result: Winner 1978, 1979, 1998, 2018
Last year’s result: Winner