The Eurovision Song Contest 2019 was the 64th edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest. It took place in Tel Aviv, Israel, following Netta’s win at the 2018 contest in Lisbon, Portugal, with the song “Toy”. It was the third time Israel had hosted the contest, having previously done so in 1979 and 1999. However, this was the first time Israel hosted the contest outside of Jerusalem. Organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and host broadcaster Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation (IPBC), the contest was held at Expo Tel Aviv, and consisted of two semi-finals on 14 and 16 May, and the final on 18 May 2019. The three live shows were hosted by Erez Tal, Bar Refaeli, Assi Azar and Lucy Ayoub.
Forty-one countries took part in the contest; Bulgaria and Ukraine were absent. Bulgaria did not enter because members of its delegation had been moved to other projects. Ukraine had originally planned to participate in the contest but withdrew because of the controversy surrounding their national final.
The winner was the Netherlands with the song “Arcade”, performed by Duncan Laurence who also wrote it with Joel Sjöö, Wouter Hardy and Will Knox. This was the Netherlands’ fifth victory in the contest, following their wins in 1957, 1959, 1969 and 1975. In a similar way to 2016, the overall winner won neither the jury vote, which was won by North Macedonia, nor the televote, which was won by Norway, with the Netherlands placing third and second respectively. Italy, Russia, Switzerland and Sweden rounded out the top five. Further down the table, North Macedonia and San Marino achieved their best results to date, finishing seventh and nineteenth, respectively. This was North Macedonia’s first top 10 finish since joining the competition in 1998. Israel finished in 23rd place in the final, making it the fourth time since 2015 the host country ranked in the bottom five.
There was an error in the voting at the contest: a wrongful counting of the jury votes by the Belarusian delegation caused the televised results to be amended three days later. The discrepancy was not large enough to change the order of the originally announced top four in the final result, which combines the jury voting and televoting by the public, but this update saw North Macedonia as the new jury winner instead of Sweden as shown on TV; there were also minor changes in lower positions. (Wikipedia)
BELOW: A look at the symbolism found throughout the finale of Eurovision 2019 and an analysis of Madonna’s extremely symbolic and controversial performance.