Tel Aviv confirmed to host Eurovision Song Contest 2019
The Eurovision Song Contest will be hosted by Tel Aviv in 2019.
Israel’s Netta Barzilai won this year and the event traditionally moves to the winner’s country.
The Israeli government had talked about moving the show to Jerusalem to avoid backlash over America recognising the latter city as its capital.
However, a Eurovision spokesperson said they decided on Tel Aviv in the end for its "creative and compelling bid".
Mayor Ron Huldai commented: "Eurovision is a perfect fit for our city, which has been internationally acclaimed for its vibrant energy, creative spirit, its lively cultural scene and its celebration of freedom.
"We are looking forward to host a joyful and nonstop event in the spirit of Tel Aviv."
The semi finals for the contest will kick off in May, with the grand final set for May 18.
The 25-year-old singer triumphed at the Altice Arena in Lisbon, Portugal, earlier this year, with her catchy track ‘Toy’ raking in an impressive 529 points from the viewer vote and the jury vote combined.
Speaking after finding out she had won, Netta said: "I’m so happy. Thank you so much for choosing different. Thank you so much for accepting differences between us. Thank you for celebrating diversity. Thank you. I love my country. Next time in Jerusalem!"
It was a close race between the countries, with Cyprus’ Eleni Foureira, Austria’s Cesár Sampson and Sweden’s Benjamin Ingrosso all topping the leaderboard at one point or another during the score reveal.
This year’s final – which was broadcast by BBC One in the UK – was a difficult time for British entry SuRie, whose performance of her track ‘Storm’ was interrupted by a protestor. Dr ACactivism snatched SuRie’s microphone out of her hand in the middle of the performance before being wrestled off the stage.
However, despite the mishap, the 29-year-old singer wowed with her performance, impressing the 20,000 that had packed into the arena.
SuRie was offered to sing again by the team behind the contest but declined the offer.
Other performances of note during the show included former winner Alexander Rybak returning for ‘Norway’ to perform his song ‘That’s How You Write A Song’ whilst Australia’s Jessica Mauboy impressed Eurovision fans with ‘We Got Love’.