Eurovision Song Contest was held at the Tel Aviv
Convention Center, capital of Israel or not depending who you
are talking to, on May 14, 16 and 18, 2019 after the victory in
2018 of the song
"Toy" performed by Netta.
This was the third time that Israel hosted the festival after
editions organized in Jerusalem. In spite of its victory in
house in 1979,
Israel declined to organize
the edition in 1980 that took place in
Holland in the end. The venue of the festival had a capacity for
10,000 people, exceeding the minimum required by the EBU which
is 8,000, but much lower than that of the venues where the event
took place in the last decade.
The Netherlands was the
winner after one of the most tight and exciting votes in many
years leaving Italy in second place by a difference of only 27
points. In this way The Netherlands returned to win Eurovision
after 44 years, his last triumph had been in
Stockholm in 1975 with the
song Dinge-Dong of Teach-In, and added his
fifth victory joining the group of France, Luxembourg and United
Kingdom who had won the contest on the same number of occasions,
surpassed only by Sweden with six wins and Ireland with seven
After the political peace of the Portuguese edition in 2018 the
designation of Israel as host in 2019 was not exempt from
controversy. And this was stoked when the Israeli prime minister
said that the event would be held in Jerusalem. Many countries
disagreed with this election and threatened a boycott concerned
about the possible complications with the observation of Shabbat
by ultra-Orthodox Jews and the delicate situation and fragile
security of the Holy City. Portugal and Austria came to offer
themselves as possible organizers in case of lack of agreement.
And the agreement was not easy and it took time to reach it,
negotiations between the EBU, the government of Israel and the
Israeli television channel Kan that was to organize the event
were plagued by tensions and threats. Finally on September 13,
2018 the EBU announced that Tel Aviv would host the event with
the participation of 42 countries and the absence of Bulgaria.
However, in February 2019, Ukraine announced that it would not
participate after a series of controversies in its national
team, which reduced the final number of participants to 41.
The Netherlands, Australia, Sweden, Italy and
Switzerland were among the favorites to win the contest even
before the two semifinals. The first of them with clear
advantage over the others in all the betting houses. The sad
truth is that probably none of them would have achieved much
more than an intermediate place in the classification in
previous editions, but this one in Israel has had one of the
worst musical levels in a long time. Almost everything presented
was vulgar, with many singers lacking tuning and voice and many
with more than questionable choreography. Really, at times, it
seemed more like we were watching an edition of Got Talen
instead of the final of the most famous musical contest in the
world. So the winner may well be said that it is not so much for
its own merits as for the demerit of all others.
After weeks of rumors, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU)
officially confirmed just a few minutes before the second
semifinal that Madonna would participate in the grand final. The
confirmation of his performance was delayed several days
because, according to the EBU, although the economic agreement
between Madonna and billionaire Jewish philanthropist Sylvan
Adams who paid her high price ticket was already closed, the
contract with the organization of the contest was still pending.
Without this contract, the EBU would not have allowed the diva's
performance since the EBU is the sole and exclusive owner of all
rights for the broadcasting and commercialization of everything
that happens in the event.
Finally, the American singer
played two songs during her performance. One was her great
success from 1989, "Like a prayer", which she sang accompanied
by 35 backup singers and the other one, the song "Future" from
the album Madame X, scheduled to be released on June 14, 2019,
which she performed alongside American rapper Quavo and that the
eurofans could enjoy exclusively one month before its premiere.
However, pop queen Madonna was blasted for being "out of tune"
during her incredibly controversial performance on Eurovision
(including a Palestinian flag on the back of one dancer) and her
much-anticipated appearance, which had not been seen by
commentators, was met with bemusement as she failed to hit the
So, with Madonna's permission, it has to be said that the best of the evening and,
perhaps one of the most
emotional moments and a highlight already in the history of the
contest was the Mix and Switch Song game played by five Eurovision icons:
Verka Serduchka and
Atari, performing five covers of Eurovision famous
songs. It definitely was a touching and
very exciting Eurovision moment that will undoubtedly be part of
the history of the contest.