The Eurovision 2019 participants have been flying to Israel since early March to film their postcards — the tantalising segments that introduce each act to Europe in the moments before they perform live on stage. This year each of the acts is given a crash course in choreography — they’re filming their postcards alongside professional dancers in various settings around the country.

This week it was the turn of the Norwegian group KEiiNO. While all contestants had to work hard on their dance moves, this three-piece faced another challenge: spending time in Israel at a time of back-and-forth missile strikes.

On Tuesday the Israeli army bombed multiple targets in the Gaza Strip. That was a retaliatory measure after a rocket that was fired early Monday from Gaza. It slammed into a house just 20 miles north of Tel Aviv, injuring seven people. Dozens of rockets were subsequently fired from Gaza into southern Israel.

But life in Israel carries on. The “semi-war” between the Israelis and the Palestinians didn’t impact the group’s plans, nor did it leave members Fred Buljo, Alexandra Rotan and Tom Hugo feeling particularly worried.

In fact, they even found the time to give an interview to Israel’s Channel 12 (Keshet) in which they discussed their feelings, the calls to boycott the contest and the weather.

KEiiNO’s Interview in Israel

Proving that they really are from Norway, KEiiNO planned to go to the beach despite the rain and the relatively cold temperatures. “This is like a northern Norway summer, so I can go to the sea and take a bath,” Fred — he of the iconic joik — said.

They landed in the country around the time of the missile strikes. Naturally KEiiNO were also asked about the tension in the region and whether they felt safe.

“I believe that we are very well taken care of and I’m very confident that our security will be at the level that we need,” Tom said.

Tom isn’t a fan of boycotting cultural events that bring people together.

“Eurovision is a non-political event and I believe that the values of Eurovision are to include everyone and to have a meeting place where countries and cultures can meet in a friendly song competition. It is so important.”

They also mentioned Netta’s victory in Lisbon and that she’s their inspiration: “Her performance was so amazing and we look at her when we practise, how to do it as good as Netta did.”

Judging from their Insta, their postcard will be a visual feast in its own right.

“Today we recorded the postcard for Eurovision 2019, and it was an amazing experience with the greatest crew and dancers from @misgavdancegroup!” they wrote on Insta.

“We recorded from the desert, and got a little bit sun burnt — but it was totally worth it. So excited to see the result! What a day!”

What do you think? Could Norway achieve its fourth victory, matching the feat or Israel and the Netherlands? Let us know in the comments down below!

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[…] Norway, in turn, voted for Keiino, for a group whose song is peppered by Sámi joiking, performed by Sámi musician Fred Buljo, who has also been active in Sámi politics. Many, including the contestants themselves, saw this as a great chance to bring up the voice of the indigenous Sámi and create awareness of their culture and situation. All Sámi do not share this view, however: for instance the iconic Sámi joik-singer Mari Boine has supported the boycott publicly, and in Finland, Helge West’s critical blog describes movingly the paradoxes of Sámi participation in this song contest. Keiino, however,… Read more »

Dani
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Dani

Keiino : ” I see a missile in the sky… “

Grftn
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Grftn

The bias in this article makes it really hard for me to read. If you’re not gonna be writing objectively on a serious topic like this one (a « semi war » ? Wtf) then don’t write at all about politics. Please. Really.

Zed
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Zed

Yeah lovely, just say 7 people injured on israeli side and don’t mention those people israeli army killed. Great job. Totally objective.

Grftn
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Grftn

Preach

Femke
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Femke

You are the man

Ami
Guest
Ami

The difference is that the israeli army only aims for specific military targets, while the other side aims at civilians. What do you expect, that Israelis would just do nothing and let them launch missles at them? There’s nothing wrong with eliminating those who strive to hurt civilians, they are not ‘innocent protestors’ as the likes of you like to call them.

Ksenija
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Ksenija

Criticising israeli people/jews, and rightfully so, is called antisemitism, that’s why nobody is saying anything.

Ami
Guest
Ami

No darling, it’s because more and more people are realizing there’s almost nothing to criticize. It really takes only a glimpse at the people and media on both sides to understand the picture. People are awaking from the lies they were told by the media, cause in the end the truth always prevails. So maybe reconsider your views, especially on a post which mentions how missles were launched at Israeli civilians.

Rom
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I wonder what kind of issues will be present during Eurovision Week and any missile incidents that occur. Will there be a truce to ceasefire for a brief period of time or will there be a constant state of alert in Tel Aviv

La Signora
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La Signora

I’m so excited to see the postcards, I hope they’re good 🙂

Jake
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Jake

And when their music video is going out?

Una
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Una

First week of April, 4 or 5 I think. Wiwi made an article about it last weekend I think.

Una
Guest
Una

To answer Izhar’s question, I think that Spirit in the Sky will not win in Tel Aviv. I love it but it’s too much on the light side (genre and vocal performance). In my top 3 for sure but not a winner in the real contest. I will keep on listening to it a minimum of 10 times today just like yesterday and the day before yesterday. IT MAKES ME HAPPY!!!

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

Well, I’m just glad they’re all fine 🙂
Politics aside, I know everything will be alright