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Kobi Marimi will represent Host Country Israel!

12 February 2019 at 22:34 CET
Finalists Rising Star (HaKokhav HaBa L'Eurovizion) 2019 Ronen Akerman
Kobi Marimi dares to dream! After an exciting finale of Israel's 'Rising Star for Eurovision', Kobi was selected to represent the country in Tel Aviv in May.

Israel's national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, HaKokhav HaBa, or Rising Star for Eurovision, held its live finale tonight. After an exciting season, tonight's final episode ended as Kobi Marimi edged out Ketreyah Fouch to win the season. Given that Israel is this years' Host Country, Kobi is guaranteed a place in the Eurovision Grand Final on May 18th.

About Kobi Marimi

The 27-year-old Kobi Marimi was born and raised in Ramat Gan, Israel. Kobi finished his acting studies last year at the Nissan Nativ acting Studio in Tel Aviv. He appeared in a few plays. For he’s role in Messiah Now he won the ‘Promising Actor’ Award at the 2017 Musical Celebrations. Kobi began singing at the early age of 13. He started his journey on Rising Star without professional music experience as a lead vocalist and gained public attention thanks to his unique style and voice.

Rising Star for Eurovision

The show is Keshet 12 and Tedy Production’s most successful Israeli musical reality program to date. Since its second season, the winning act has gone on to represent Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest. The hallmark of the new format is the bar that rises as the studio audience votes until the act receives enough votes to surpasses a threshold which allows the act to proceed to the next stage. 

The Rising Star format became a franchise which has been sold to ABC in the US, France’s M6 channel, the UK’s ITV and other mainstream channels in Russia, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Turkey, Brazil, Portugal, China, Indonesia, Greece, Argentina and India.

How the voting worked

Stage A - Duels 

In the first round, two duels took place: Shefita versus Ketreyah and Maya against Kobi. The scoring was a split between judges (3% for each judge - a total of 15%) and the remainder from the audience. Kobi and Ketreyah were victorious and therefore moved on to the final round. 

Stage B – A choice between the bottom two 

In the second round, Maya and Shefita went head to head, and Shefita was saved by way of audience vote. She went on to join Kobi and Ketreyah for the final number.

Stage C - Final number

The final round was determined by 50% audience vote (studio audience and viewers from home through the Mako application) and 50% Rising Star judge and expert vote revealed to the audience in typical Eurovision format, with each contestant getting 8, 10 or 12 points. At this stage, the three remaining contenders sang a cover of their choice. After voting concluded, the judges revealed Kobi Marimi as their choice, and this was later confirmed by audience and televote.

The song Kobi will perform will be announced in March. 

Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest

Israel has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 41 times since making its debut in 1973 and has made it to the finals 35 times. The country has hosted the contest twice, both in 1979 and again in 1999 in Jerusalem. Israel will host the Contest for the third time this year, this time in Tel Aviv, due to Netta's iconic win last year.

What do you think of this year's Israeli delegate? Will Israel secure another win in 2019? Let us know in the comments!