Tel Aviv to Host 2019 Eurovision Contest

Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS, Getty Images
Singer Netta Barzilai, representing Israel, wins the Grand Final of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest at Altice Arena in Lisbon.

The Eurovision Song Contest has announced that next year’s competition will be held in Tel Aviv. Thursday’s (Sept. 13)  announcement cleared up some of the controversy surrounding Israel’s hosting of the 2019 competition. The government initially insisted on holding the popular event in Jerusalem. But following a backlash over the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as its capital and a subsequent fear of boycotts it dropped the demand.

The Eurovision says it chose Tel Aviv, Israel’s cultural and commercial capital, because of its “creative and compelling bid.”

Israel won the Eurovision this year with a flashy pop tune called “Toy” by the charismatic, previously unknown singer Netta Barzilai, who dazzled viewers with her feminist lyrics, unconventional appearance and signature chicken dance. Her victory earned Israel the right to host next year’s contest.