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Second Eurovision semi to determine grand finale lineup

Performers from 18 nations will grace the stage in Tel Aviv for the second half of the song contest's semifinals — ahead of Saturday night's grand finale; Israel's Marimi optimistic following successful rehearsals, but Madonna will likely steal the show

After Tuesday night's electrifying Eurovision semifinals, performers from 18 countries will grace the stage in Tel Aviv Thursday night for the second half of the semifinals — ahead of Saturday night's grand finale. The event will be broadcast on Kan channel-11 at 10:00 pm.

 

 

Thursday night's event will determine the 26 nations that will perform Saturday night, including host country Israel's contestant Kobi Marimi, to compete for the prize.

 

Belarus' contestant
Belarus' contestant

 

British music fans
British music fans

 

The high quality of the production earned Israel much praise from Europeans following Tuesday night's event. BBC executives even called their Israeli colleagues to congratulate them.

 

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai

 

Netta Barzilai in the orange carpet
Netta Barzilai in the orange carpet

 

Eurovision Village at Charles Clore Park
Eurovision Village at Charles Clore Park

 

The 18 nations performing Thursday include: Armenia, Ireland, Moldova, Switzerland, Latvia, Romani, Denmark, Sweden Austria, Croatia, Malta, Lithuania, Russia, Albania, Norway, Holland, North Macedonia and Azerbaijan.

 

 

Aussie spirit
Aussie spirit

 

Duncan Laurence of Holland
Duncan Laurence of Holland

 

Israeli fans are not eligible to vote in the second semifinal because they already voted in the first. Fans from Germany, Britain and Italy, that automatically qualify for the final, will vote tonight along with fans from other competing nations.

 

Music fans
Music fans

The four presenters — Bar Refaeli, Erez Tal, Assi Azar and Lucy Ayoub — also received much praise for emceeing the glitzy event. "People who are still in the closet, mainly from Russia, wrote to me because they were so excited to hear my coming out story in the broadcast and to see gays kissing during the performance of Dana International," Azar told Ynet.

 

Ayoub, Azar, Refaeli and Tal
Ayoub, Azar, Refaeli and Tal

 

Stephane Legar
Stephane Legar

 

Musical superstar Madonna landed in Israel Tuesday and surreptitiously went straight to her hotel room. On Wednesday, she showed up at Expo Tel Aviv, the Eurovision venue, for rehearsals. Afterwards, the pop star continued her rehearsal at her Tel Aviv hotel. She is expected to perform Like A Prayer and a selection of songs from her newest album at Saturday night's contest.

 

Madonna rehearsing
Madonna rehearsing

 

Madonna
Madonna

 

The US Embassy in Jerusalem even teased on Facebook that the Eurovision's most anticipated act is by an American: "No offence, Europe, but the performance we anticipate the most at the Tel Aviv Eurovision is by an American artist..."

 

Everything about the Eurovision is regulated by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the fact that Madonna has yet to sign a contract with the EBU led to much speculation whether she will be allowed to perform. But it seems that executives of the EBU understand that the issues are merely technical, and Madonna was cleared to perform on a specially designed stage.

 

Security for the Eurovision
Security for the Eurovision

 

An official of the production company responsible for bringing Madonna to Israel said that the rehearsals were excellent and that they were working on solving whatever points of contention remain ahead of signing a contract with the EBU.

 

 

Israeli contestant Kobi Marimi received considerable praise from foreign journalists following the successful rendition of his song, Home, during rehearsals; he is now more optimistic than before. However, Israel is still only ranked 25th in predictions by speculators, but Marimi and his team are confident that they will do better than that.

 

Kobi Marimi
Kobi Marimi

 

But it was the Shalva band that stole the show during Wednesday's rehearsals for Thursday's semifinals. The band is comprised of members with special needs and they entered the spotlight with their moving performance in the reality TV singing competition HaKokhav HaBa (Rising Star), which chooses the country's Eurovision contestant.

 

Shalva band performing at rehearsal
Shalva band performing at rehearsal

 

 

Shalva band was even a favorite to potentially become the Israeli contestants for the Eurovision, but they relinquished that option so as not to have to violate Shabbat. The event's performers invited them to sing A Million Dreams (from the film the Greatest Showman) during tonight's contest.

 

Excited fan
Excited fan

 

"We have reached a point where we are satisfied," said soloist Dina Samtah, "we did not imagine that we could make it and still they chose us to convey our message and it is a great honor for us." The band's manager said: "In the past, when we would sing, people would leave the room. Today they stop band members in the street to take pictures and tell them how much they love them. They want to hear us because we are good."

 

 

 

 


פרסום ראשון: 05.16.19, 20:34
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