ISRAEL triumphed in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 with Netta singing Toy.
Kobi Marimi will represent the country on a home stage this year – here’s the lowdown…
Who is Israel’s 2019 Eurovision entry?
Kobi Marimi, 27, has been chosen to represent Israel in the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest.
Originally from Ramat Gan, he later moved to Tel Aviv where he worked in a cocktail bar.
In 2011 he completed a vocal and performance course at Muzic school and also studied at the acting studio Nissan Nativ.
In 2017 he won the Promising Actor award at the Musical Celebrations in Bat Yam for his role as Natan in Messiah Now – this was his Israeli opera debut.
How was Kobi Marimi chosen to represent Israel at Eurovision 2019?
Kobi Marimi was chosen to represent Israel at Eurovision 2019 after he won the national selection show The Next Star For Eurovision on February 12.
He first auditioned for the show back in November and quickly gained the approval of 2018 winner Netta before going to compete against three other acts in the grand final.
He was almost eliminated in the quarter final but got a second chance after a stunning rendition of Knocking On Heaven’s Door.
Kobi emerged as the firm choice after winning the majority of votes from the jury as well as viewers at home.
Rotem Shefi, known as Shefita came third but drew much criticism for singing in Hebrew with an Arabic accent – some accused her of appropriating Arab culture.
The Israeli broadcaster KAN and the producers of The Next Star for Eurovision will now convene a panel to decide what song Kobi will sing at Tel Aviv.
MORE ON EUROVISION
When is Eurovision 2019?
Eurovision 2019 will take place in Tel Aviv in May 2019.
The semi-finals will be held on the 14th and 16th with the grand final on May 18.
The event will take place at Expo Tel Aviv – the city’s convention centre.
Israel is hosting the event as the country won the competition in 2018 with Netta Barzilai singing Toy.
This marked the fourth time the country had won the competition, having first participated in 1973.