The Israeli Eurovision winner from 1998, Dana International, has confirmed that she will be performing at the upcoming contest to be held in Tel Aviv in 2019.
Dana was speaking at an event hosted by Limmud, a British-Jewish educational charity and also dismissed the suggestion that the 2019 contest should have been held in Israel’s capital city, Jerusalem, rather than Tel Aviv. The singer, who won the 1998 contest in Birmingham noted:
There’s no law that it should be held in the capital city
Dana International’s winning song Diva became a hit across Europe including reaching the top of the charts in Spain. She narrowly won the contest by 6 points over the UK’s home entry Where Are You? by Imaani.
Dana also recounted the negative publicity which surrounded her appearance in Eurovision 1998 as a transgender performer. Speaking about her response to comments by ultra-orthodox Jewish politicians, she said:
Why not take this ugly lemon and make it into a nice lemonade? So we took these statements from the Orthodox and we spread them around the world. I can tell you that it helped me a lot.
The singer was last on the Eurovision stage in 2011 in Dusseldorf where her entry Ding Dong failed to qualify for the final. Since then, she has continued to release music, has appeared on reality TV and also performed at the Eurovision Song Contest’s Greatest Hits concert in 2015 with Conchita Wurst.
Eurovision 2019 will be held in Tel Aviv at the Expo Tel Aviv centre on 14, 16 and 18 May 2019. Israel will host the contest following Netta’s victory in Lisbon with Toy. HaKokhav HaBa L’Eurovizion 2019, the contest to find the performer to follow Netta and represent Israel at home is ongoing.
Source: The Jewish Chronicle
Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest
Israel debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1973, and were represented by Ilanit who finished in 4th place with the song “Ey Sham”. Their first victory came in 1978 with Izar Cohen and the Alphabeta. Israel won again the following year with Gali Atari & Milk and Honey. Israel’s third victory came in 1998 when Dana International performed “Diva” in Birmingham, beating Malta to victory in a tense voting sequence. Israel struggled in the contest during the early-2010s, failing to qualify for the final from 2011-2014. However since the HaKokhav HaBa selection process was introduced in 2015 Israel has seen its fortunes turned around. In 2018 Netta won the Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Toy”, the song has gone on to be the most viewed Eurovision entries of all time on YouTube.