Forty-two nations will compete next May in the Eurovision Song Contest, to be hosted at Expo Tel Aviv, Globes reported Wednesday.
The announcement was made by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).
Of the 42 participating countries, 36 will compete in the semi-finals on May 14 and 16. The finals will be held on May 18, with France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom (the “Big Five”) and Israel automatically qualifying.
Despite the efforts of the discriminatory Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, no country is planning to boycott the fourth Israeli opportunity to host the competition. Of the 43 countries which participated in the 2018 Eurovision contest, only Bulgaria will not be represented in 2019. Bulgaria’s decision was prompted by financial difficulties.
Israel won the right to host next year’s Eurovision when Israel’s Netta Barzilai won this year’s competition in Portugal with her song, Toy.
The 2019 Eurovision competition, with the theme “Dare to Dream,” will be co-produced by EBU and the Israeli broadcaster, Kan.
“Last year Netta dared to dream and won the contest in Lisbon, bringing it to Israel for 2019,” Jon Ola Sand, the Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, said. “We are thrilled that 42 countries will be represented in Tel Aviv and hope the participating broadcasters are inspired to have the same dream. The team at KAN is busy preparing to welcome the participants – and the world! – to Tel Aviv and will be putting on a show to remember.”
“We already know that dreams come true when we saw Netta Barzilai win the Eurovision Song Contest in May and bring the trophy back to Israel for a fourth time,” Eldad Koblenz, the CEO of Kan, added. “Netta allowed us to dare to dream and now, as these dreams are being realized, we can’t wait to host the 42 delegations who will aspire to do the same. All of us at KAN are looking forward to welcoming everyone to an exciting and memorable Eurovision Song Contest that will be watched by millions of viewers in Israel and across the globe.”
[Photo: EurovisionBelgium / YouTube ]