Eurovision and Israel reveal Song Contest 2019 host city

Tel Aviv and not Jerusalem will host the Eurovision Song Contest next year following Netta's win in 2018

Israel's Netta Barzilai wins Eurovision 2018

With Netta’s chicken-clucking hit Toy taking top spot at last year’s Eurovision Song Contest, Israel ensured they would be hosting the 2019 competition. But where?

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Well, the lucky city has just been announced as… Tel Aviv.

It’s a change from what Netta expected, telling the Eurovision crowd after her win last year that the contest would be held in Jerusalem. Jerusalem could be seen as a controversial choice with rehearsals and the main competition overlapping holy days.

However, host broadcaster the European Broadcasting Union said the decision to choose Tel Aviv, Israel’s cultural and commercial capital, as host city was taken because of its “creative and compelling bid.”

This is the third time Israel has hosted the contest, but the first for Tel Aviv; Eurovision 1979 and 1999 were both held in Jerusalem.

Israel has participated 42 times since its first appearance in 1973.

10,000 people will watch the show live from the Tel Aviv Convention Center, with millions watching worldwide – last year’s Eurovision was watched by a reported 186 million. A peak of 8.1 million UK viewers watched the 2018 song contest Grand Final in Lisbon, Portugal.

Israel’s Netta was the clear winner last year, gaining 529 points for her bubbly pop song with a feminist message.

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The Eurovision Song Contest will be held on Saturday 18th May 2019. The first semi-final takes place on Tuesday 14th May with the second semi-final following on Thursday 16th May.