Eurovision 2019: Everything we know so far

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All 41 countries participating in the Eurovision Song Contest this year have already picked the song to represent them in Israel. Find out what is known so far about this year’s 64th edition of the contest.

Known as the Olympics of music, the 2019 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) is fast approaching. After the country’s win in Lisbon last year with “Toy” by Netta, this year’s show will be hosted by Israel. The Expo Tel Aviv Convention Centre will receive the two semi-finals (May 14th and 16th) and the final, taking place May 18th.

The hosts are also already known. The supermodel Bar Refaeli will be joined by longtime TV hosts Erez Tal and Assi Azar and by YouTuber turned TV star Lucy Ayoub.

Political controversies

Although politics aren’t supposed to be involved in the show, this year has already had controversies regarding certain countries. One of them was in Ukraine, after the selected perfomer, MARUV, refused to sign a contract with guidelines for the representative regarding the political tension with Russia. “I am a musician, rather than a tool of the political stage”, she said. Other contestants in Ukraine’s Vidbir also refused to sign the contract and the network ended up withdrawing from this year’s competition.

Iceland’s group Hatari has also been involved in some controversy. The self-described “anti-capitalist techno BDSM band” has previously supported a boycott of Iceland’s participation in the contest, in solidarity with Palestine. This prompted the Israeli civil rights organization Shurat HaDin to ask that the band be denied entry to the country. The group has also made a video challenging Israel’s prime-minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a traditional Icelandic wrestling fight.

The songs

All the songs representing the 41 participating countries have already been revealed. The first semi-final will receive Slovenia, Belarus, Czech Republic, Montenegro, Cyprus, Serbia, Finland, Poland, Hungary, Estonia, Portugal, San Marino, Iceland, Georgia, Australia, Belgium and Greece. The second semi-final will count with Switzerland, Sweden, Ireland, Austria, Moldova, Latvia, Romania, Denmark, Armenia, Albania, Azerbaijan, North Macedonia, Norway, Russia, The Netherlands, Croatia, Lithuania and Malta.

According to eurovisionworld.com, as of writing this article, dutch singer Duncan Laurence is leading the winning bets with his ballad “Arcade”. Russia comes second with “Scream” by Sergey Lazarev, who already represented the country in 2016 and won the televote in that same year. Sweden closes the top three, with John Lundvick’s “Too Late For Love”. Luca Hänni is next, representing Switzerland with “She Got Me”. Italy is fifth with “Soldi” by Mahmood. “Replay” by Tamta follows, representing Cyprus. Icelandic techno group Hatari is currently seventh, with “Hatrið mun sigra”. Portugal is next, with Conan Osíris’ “Telemóveis”, followed by Malta’s Michela Pace with “Chameleon”. Norway closes the top ten with “Spirit in the Sky” by the trio KEiiNO.

However, anything can happen and it’s likely that the odds change with the live performances, as they have in previous years. All the entries are available in Eurovision’s official website and on the show’s YouTube channel.

Cover Photo of Tel Aviv by Rubinstein Felix, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0) License

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