Over the last few days, Israel’s hosting of Eurovision 2019 has been in jeopardy. The rhetoric between the government and the state broadcaster has escalated and now there’s even threatens to shut down KAN. In this scenario, the question is ineludible: will Israel be able to host in the end? And who should take the job if they decline?
In the past, other countries have taken over the Eurovision Song Contest when the winner declined to host for various reasons. This situation has happened five times: in 1960, 1963, 1972, 1974 and 1980 when Israel declined after having won for the second time in a row.
Now let’s take a look at some of the diverse options EBU might take into account if they eventually have to pick another host country.
Second-place-finishers, Cyprus may seem like the obvious country to talk with in case Israel refuses. This was the scenario in 1960, when The Netherlands declined to host after having done so two years earlier, and so the contest travelled to the UK, who had finished second. Cyprus has never won Eurovision and so the contest has never travelled to the island, but they did host Junior Eurovision in 2008. On the downside, Cyprus does not currently have a suitably sized indoor venue to host the event.
Third-placed Austria may also be an option. Cesár Sampson won the jury vote this year, so it wouldn’t seem out of place for them to take the job. Austria has hosted twice before, the last one being in only three years ago in 2015, after Conchita’s victory. In fact, wouldn’t it be a statement if Conchita hosted next year’s contest after TRT’s complaints?
Germany came in fourth place at Eurovision 2018. A member of Big Five, Germany undoubtedly has the infrastructure and the preparation to take the job. It’s no secret that Germany has been rumoured to be the back-up country in case the winner of Eurovision steps down from its duty. Will this be the case in 2019?
Why not? They have just hosted, but both RTP and EBU were pleased with the result, and so were we! Lisbon was all kinds of amazing this May so… maybe we can go back and have Filomena Cautela hosting solo?
The United Kingdom
In the 1960s and ’70s, the UK was the go-to nation for picking up unwanted hosting gigs. They took on the role four times, including the iconic 1974 Brighton show (following Luxembourg’s win) that set the scene for ABBA’s career-launching victory with “Waterloo”.
A country that has never hosted
What if EBU decided to switch things up? A country that has never had the honour of hosting Eurovision could be delighted to take the job. Malta, Cyprus and Iceland have long been waiting for their first victory at Eurovision so this could be a nice gesture. Or maybe go the other way round and pick the Czech Republic, who debuted not so long ago and have seen interest grow in recent years. Maybe someone who has been waiting since the 90s to win, like Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Hungary, Slovenia…?
All of this post is wishful thinking, and these have been only several options. Many others could also take the job: the Netherlands already did it in the past; France, Italy or Spain are big five members who could take the job; Sweden has already hosted twice this decade and has the ambition to do it again.
Now it’s your time to vote: where would you like to fly to next year if we’re not going to Israel? You can choose as many options as you want, but you can only vote once!
Do you think Israel will get to host Eurovision in the end? Which other country is your favourite in case they decline? Where would you like to be headed next year if we’re not bound for Tel Aviv or Jerusalem (or Haifa or Eilat)? Tell us in the comment section below!