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Tel Aviv hosts Eurovision 2019 grand finale today

18 May 2019, 03:19 ( 3 Months ago) | updated: 20 May 2019, 10:07 ( 3 Months ago)

DF Report
Photo Eurovision by Thomas Hanses.

The 64th Eurovision Song Contest will take place at the Expo Tel Aviv (International Convention Center) in Israel on Saturday.

The slogan of the contest is "Dare to dream" and this aspirational tag line symbolizes inclusion, diversity, and unity, as organizers said.

The Eurovision Song Contest — organized by the European Broadcasting Union, the world’s foremost alliance of public service media —represents 117 member organizations of 56 countries and an additional 34 associates of Asia, Africa, Australasia and the Americas.

Participants from 26 countries, including 20 finalists with the six pre-qualified countries — the “Big Five” and the host country Israel — will contest in the grand finale of Eurovision 2019 to enthrall the audience with their songs.

The finalists, who will perform in the final gala, were selected from among 41 countries in two semi-finals held on May 14 and 16.

The finalists are Michela from Malta with song “Chameleon”, Jonida Maliqi from Albania with the song “Ktheju tokës”, Lake Malawi from Czech Republic with the song “Friend of a Friend”, S!sters from Germany with the song “Sister”, Sergey Lazarev from Russia with the song “Scream”, Leonora from Denmark with the song “Love Is Forever”, Serhat from San Marino with the song “Say Na Na Na”, Tamara Todevska from North Macedonia with the song “Proud”, John Lundvik from Sweden with the song “Too Late for Love”, Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl from Slovenia  with the song “Sebi”, Tamta from Cyprus with the song “Replay”, Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands with the song “Arcade”, Katerine Duska from Greece with the song “Better Love”, Kobi Marimi from Israel with the song “Home”, KEiiNO from Norway with the song “Spirit in the Sky”, Michael Rice from the United Kingdom with the song “Bigger than Us”, Hatari from Iceland with the song “Hatrið mun sigra”, Victor Crone from Estonia with the song “Storm”, ZENA from Belarus with the song “Like It”, Chingiz from Azerbaijan with the song “Truth”, Bilal Hassani from France with the song “Roy”, Mahmood from Italy with the song “Soldi”, Nevena Božović from Serbia with the song “Kruna”, Luca Hänni from Switzerland with the song “She Got Me”, Kate Miller-Heidke from Australia with the song “Zero Gravity”, and Miki from Spain with the song “La Venda”.

The winners will be selected by a combination of juries and viewers from all the 41 participating counties.

The show will feature special guest performances from reigning Eurovision queen Netta, former winners Dana International, Conchita Wurst and Måns Zelmerlöw, as well as Eurovision icon Verka Serduchka.

Israeli top model Bar Refaeli, the well-known Israeli television hosts Erez Tal and Assi Azar and new television presenter Lucy Ayoub will host the event, live from Expo Tel Aviv.

Earlier, on Friday night, the dress rehearsal of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest grand finale was held which juries from all the 41 of this year’s participating countries watched via an internal broadcast and cast their vote, deciding 50 percent of the votes for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest. The voting will be revealed after the televoting in Saturday’s live show closes.

Meanwhile, DJ Darude and vocalist Sebastian Rejman who represented Finland to the contest became disqualified in the first semi-finals, which disappointed the Finnish fans. The duo performed the song “Look Away”, which was selected by an international jury and the Finnish people.

The Eurovision Song Contest is an international song competition held primarily among the member countries of the European Broadcasting Union.

In 2018, new Israeli singer Netta Barzilai won the Eurovision in Lisbon with her song “Toy.” The win has brought the competition to Israel the following year, as a tradition of passing the hosting to the champions country.

The Eurovision Song Contest began with seven participating countries in 1956. Over 1,500 songs across the years have taken part in the annual event.

With seven victories, Ireland has so far been the most successful country in the contest. Sweden won the competition six times while Luxembourg, France and Britain won five times.