Kobi Merimi has won HaKokhav Haba L’Eurovizion 2019 and will represent Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 on home ground in Tel Aviv.
The final of HaKokhav HaBa L’Eurovizion 2019 took place this evening in Israel. The four finalists that competed to represent the host nation of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest were:
- Maya Buskila
- Kobi Merimi
Originally Shalva Band had qualified to the final, but withdrew from the competition, due to the fact that if they did go to Eurovision, they would have to perform during Shabbat.
In the first round of the final this evening the finalists will be split in to two duels. From each duel one singer will be selected to go through to the second round, and one singer saved by the public to compete in the second round.
The results of the first round were:
- Ketreyah (69%) v Shefita (63%) (public vote qualifier)
- Maya Buskila (55%) v Kobi Merimi (79%)
In the second round of the competition, all three singers will return to the stage again. During each performance the public can vote at home, will the juries will score each of the artists. Last year alongside the judges there were four groups of juries who also voted. Each judge and group jury awarded 8, 10 and 12 points.
The results of the second round were (jury + public voting):
- Shefita – 250 (90 + 160) 3rd
- Kobi Merimi – 317 (102 + 215) 1st
- Ketreyah – 243 (78 + 165) 2nd
The song that Kobi will sing in Eurovision will be selected internally and presented in March. The song submission window is currently open and will close on February 17.
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 entry of all time on YouTube.