The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — continues to rate and review the 41 competing entries of Eurovision 2019. Next we take a look at host country Israel, who have selected Kobi Marimi with “Home”. Did he make us feel at home? Read on to find out!
Kobi Marimi with “Home”
Anthony: It’s understandable why Kobi ends up with the Freddie Mercury comparisons during his time at Rising Star. And thankfully with the appropriately named “Home”, Israel made him more “Who Wants to Live Forever” rather than “I Want to Break Free”. After the likes of Claudia Pascoal and The Makemakes, Israel will hope to avoid suffering the same fate as the host country.
Luis: If I had to build a home out of the feelings that Israel’s song evokes in me, it would be a four-storey house made of concrete, isolated in the countryside with nude walls, huge square windows and iron stairs. That is, big and solid, yet cold and pretentious. Kobi’s vocals are undeniably brilliant, so it’s a pity he’s singing this soulless piece of musical theatre. “Home” wants to be a grand and portentous entry, but it passes totally unnoticed.
Deban: An emotionally stirring melody serves as this year’s host entry. Impactful, appropriately titled, and fitting with this year’s theme of “Dare To Dream”, Kobi Marimi’s theatrical leanings may appear exaggerated at times, but the strength of his voice shuts down any doubt. At the Israeli national selection, he was invited to return to the competition after losing a spot. He came, sang and conquered under that pressure. With him singing “Home”, expect a decent finish for Israel this year.
Jack: After Netta’s victory, it came as no surprise that Israel chose to send something on the other side of the musical spectrum to follow up her success. Unfortunately, “Home” lacks the emotion and uniqueness necessary to carry what is ultimately just a simple ballad — albeit one sung by a phenomenally talented performer. Despite this, I do think “Home” is good song and it does occasionally pull at my heartstrings. This entry could either sink or swim depending on the live performance, but I have no doubt that Kobi can pull it off.
Julian: “Home” really is a touching ballad which I more or less expected after Kobi won the competition in Israel. It is a song where his angelic voice can fully unfold. The song itself is not that outstanding but Kobi makes it a really good Israeli act for this year’s Eurovision. I wish the song would not be that theatrical though. If another singer would sing this song, I would not be as touched because the song itself is a typical ballad.
Sebastian: Kobi Marimi draws on an obvious history with musical theatre to deliver the emphatic track “Home”, with much emotion and gusto. And while he does a great job, “Home” unfortunately feels too familiar in a sea of top-tier ballads this year. If Kobi can deliver “Home” with a raw level of emotion and powerhouse vocals, only then might he just surpass your Russias or Netherlands of this year.
In the Wiwi Jury we have 29 jurors but only have room for six reviews. The remaining scores are below:
We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 2.5 and a high of 9.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 5.78/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!
Very nice cover of “La Quiero a Morir”. Unfortunately only original songs are allowed in Eurovision.
one of the bet vocalist of this year!! I want to confirm that Israel’s entry will be having a few changes vocally and instrumentally!! I hope it will be to his advantage!! I will there would be a new score based on that !
It’s grown on me a lot. Do I think it’s gonna give them a double? Not at all, but I think it’ll come higher than mid-table and I can’t see it tanking like Portugal and Ukraine did on home ground. It’s nothing ground-breaking, but it’s stirring and well-performed. 7.5/10.
Yeah, this actually really works for me and is one of my favourites of the year.
Amazing vocal performances tend to make me find more in a song than I should. I don’t think there are that many amazing male live vocalists this year or at the very least, not at the level of Kobi. The guy is just so consistent across multiple performances. Expecting this to achieve a better placing than people predict.
I have an issue with “I am someone” part. It gives the impression that he is a complete loser, trying to be someone taken seriously. It is like a small child asserting his personality. I guess it will pick up few sympathy votes from.jurors with his vocal self gratification and avoid last place, but barely. It is evident that KAN was really afraid of winning again, after all the problems they encountered this year, so they made sure to pick a song with zero.winning prospects.
Haha, yeah. He is someone though – that’s a fact, if nothing else. I suppose there is a “so what” factor in the lyric, if you don’t feel the emotion he does about becoming his own person.
Love the song
Well done Israel !
Very uninspiring. Horroble song.
You might not relate to the song but it is inspiring for others.
Agreed !! Hi voice is powerful! THERE will be changes to the song too which makes me happy 🙂
Love Kobi. Love the song. It is much much better than some other male ballads this year, but not as hyped. It can easily be top 10 if the Israeli delegation manages to give it a nice stage show. And his live vocals are chilling. So good. Kobi shines on a stage.
As usual – Good luck !!!
Agreed !! It was confirmed on a Israeli talk show that there will be a few changes to Israel’s song vocally and instrumentally so I can’t wait to see what happens .
Honestly, this is a 2/10. Just so hugely uninspiring. The only thing that could’ve saved this from bottom 3 is if it were in Hebrew.
That is a no go for me this year. The conparisons with Freddie Mercury are very misplaced! How could you compare this mediocre singer to a King of Rock & Roll, shame! Kobi does not come anywhere near the vocals nor the vibe of Freddie. No one can, but Kobi for sure not!
I try hard to like this but this does not work for me.
Probably last or second to last in final. Would not have qualified if it was no automatic qualifier.
Worst entry of 2019 🙁
His vocals are ?
I dont understand People saying that hisvoice is’so good’ it is undebelievably cringe and overtheatrale. It sounds like he does not sing with his own natural voice but like he ks pretending to be someone. For me one of the worst entries this year.
Great song, Amazing singer. 10/10
I’ve admired many male singers in my lifetime, some of them with unforgettable vocals. Having said that, Kobi Marimi is a great new discovery for me. It is amazing how I can listen to him endlessly!
Great song but not my favourite 6/10
Perhaps listen to it again?
Kobi is king
A happy ballad. My take from this is: The music is written entirely to showcase the voice of the singer. The first two Verses hover around G minor, while the Choruses are in B-flat major, then the Bridge modulates the song up to D-Flat major (my favourite major key) for the Reprise and the Coda. Kobi’s voice really does shine through this mid-Tenor range, and the emotion carried onto the top notes makes my eyes water with appreciation. Almost taken from the imagined “ballads for piano 101” book, it is also the easiest song of the year to play on… Read more »
so happy i had to hide all sharp objects in my property when i listened to it
Yes, because really happy ballads can drive you leap so high that you might have an accident when you come back down again. 😀
N.B. I’m aware you put this dead last in your video behind all the qualifiers, even though it will at least finish 26th. Shady.
Polegend has a youtube chaanel?
The music video is very off putting. The initial thing sounds like wailing even. While the guy can clearly sing , he seems to be overdoing it with his expressions too. I am not a fan of ballads. Israel clearly don’t want to host again next year. A 4/10.
This wouldn’t have qualified if it weren’t an automatic qualifier.
Like Russia, it’s less of a song more of a vocal obstacle course. To be honest that doesn’t impress as a listener for either case. 3/10 and a likely last place in the grand final.
Good vocals, but as with North Macedonia the song is a bit too classy for me. I think they could have come with something better after his performances in the NF. Kobi certainly elevates the song. I do think the live performance would be more impressive. Though I see Israel placing in the bottom 5 buried by the televote. I don’t really know why Israel is my 25th. I suppose I liked it more than the others when I placed it there. I only really like my top 17. 3. Greece (8.5) 5. Lithuania (8) 8. Portugal (7.75) 11. Azerbaijan… Read more »
after hearing it live in Amsterdam i finally paid attention
now it s one of my favourites
Robyn, could you please give me some insight on why my reviews are being held back lately? I think they are not excessively long, so I don’t really understand why they spend so many hours awaiting moderation… Thanks in advance!
If Robyn is in NZ, that’s 12 hrs ahead.
Mmm…. true! 🙁
But I guess she will not be the only one moderating…
So far, we’ve come to a half, and here is my top 20: 1. Estonia – 9/10 2. Portugal – 9/10 3. Russia – 9/10 4. Romania – 8.5/10 5. Greece – 8.5/10 6. Israel – 8/10 7. Serbia – 8/10 8. Poland – 8/10 9. Austria – 7/10 10. Denmark – 7/10 11. Armenia – 6.5/10 12. Hungary – 6.5/10 13. North Macedonia – 6/10 14. Azerbaijan – 5.5/10 15. Ireland – 5/10 16. Lithuania – 5/10 17. Latvia – 4/10 18. Moldova – 4/10 19. Finland – 4/10 20. Belarus – 3/10 Of course, most fan-favorites are still… Read more »
So far: 1) POR 9.5 2) GRE 9 3) POL 8.5 4) ROM 8 5) AUT 8 6) ARM 7.5 7) RUS 7.5 8) SER 7.25 9) ISR 7 10) HUN 6.75 11) GER 6.75 12) MKD 6.75 13) EST 6.5 14) LAT 6.25 15) AZE 6 16) IRE 5.5 17) DEN 5 18) LIT 4.75 19) FIN 4.5 20) MOL 4 21) BLR 3.5 Though I realize now that I would probably raise Serbia to 7.5 and Hungary to 7. And it turns out that I gave less than 5 to Finland, I had forgotten about it. 7 from… Read more »
Can’t wait to read them! I always find your reviews interesting. Forgot about Finland? Yeah, sounds about right. 🙂 To me, six of my top 10 are still to come, including my top 3. Also, my last place. Some countries got a place up or down before posting the review, so I’ll just tease that UK, Cyprus, Belgium and France don’t have the same rating as I intended when I made my list prior to posting my first review.
I can’t believe the comments, is like most are written by the same person (i know they aren’t) but why are you so against Kobi Marimi? So what if it’s a ballad? I don’t understand what is wrong with a ballad. So weird reaction, did you wanted Fuego 5.0?
It’s unfair to put Kobi at the center of criticism. It’s impossible to please everyone. There are songs this year that I don’t like at all, but I don’t go on criticising or insulting the artist(s) or the broadcaster. They all want to make their country proud and I respect that. I am in awe of this entry – artist, music, lyrics, story, meaning, symbolism, and I am not a fan of ballads.
It’s a decent song for a host country and a tribute for Israel. Right side of the scoreboard, but won’t be last like Portugal (unfairly) placed last year.
issa mere vocal showoff with last place written all over it
It’s a clear “we don’t wanna win again” song. There were 200 songs sent to the nationalj committee. Both Keren Peles (who wrote and composed 2 of the most beautiful Israeli songs for Harel skaat – Ve’at, Kol Hatziporim) and Shiri Maymon wrote songs for Kobi and they were rejected. So the ranking doesn’t surprise me – the score is exactly what the committee wanted. Personally I don’t like the song and it’s definitely not even 10% of what we can serve. 6/10 If the song next year sucks as well, we, the Israeli fans, gotta be loud and force… Read more »
Listening more carefully may perhaps change your mind.
Hovi’s song was selected by the public and Doron Medalie had to totally re-work it to get a decent placing, so for me, this is not an example of a successful system. Did anyone reject Toy for not being public-selected? As an Israeli living in New York and seeing this from afar, Home is a fabulously emotional song. Yes, it is a bit Broadway, but last year The Greatest Showman, a movie in this genre, became a major success and turned a few songs into classics. This too is a classic in my view. It may not be for everybody,… Read more »
Yea this is in my bottom 5. In my opinion the only good thing about this song is his amazing vocals but to me the song is just not emotional and the lyrics wow they are just not good I really don’t like him repeating someone over and over… 3.5/10
The whole 3 minutes are a huge display of vocal talent. It’s not only that Kobi has a powerful voice, he also knows how to use it. There are beautiful soft moments and the high note was saved to the end, avoiding that “too much showing off” feeling. Of course, the thoughtful song structure helps enabling it. This would be the perfect musical piece to win a talent show. To be competitive in Eurovision, Israel will need a magnetic performance by Kobi and staging that can make people hold their breath until they’re sold. 7/10
I think it is a very powerful ballad, and Kobi is the best vocalist this year, by far. Still, objectively thinking, I can understand that people don’t connect to the song very easily. I do hope and believe that the live performance at the contest will show people the greatness of this song and performer. Because Kobi brings so much more impact when performing live. I wish him the best of luck ! He is 1st place for me, no matter what !
I really like this entry – it doesn’t hurry, consequently builds up to the big finale and delivers both emotionally and musically. It’s indeed minimalist, but at the same time makes the voice of Kobi really stand out and gives him a chance to show of his skills in May. And to all those saying it won’t do well – one Kobi is charming enough, but have six Kobis on stage Emmy Liyana-style and it’s gona be douze points after douze points! 7/10.
ISRAEL – Yesterday I said I like hearing a *good* classical ballad and here’s an example. It’s powerful, well constructed and pulls some emotional strings. The lyrics tell a story of newly found confidence and reluctance of taking a challenge, while the music follows those sentiments. I like how the orchestration builds in a way I couldn’t predict. The first chorus is almost blended with verses, while only after we got the real drama. Kobi’s wonderful voice only strengthens it. It’s not re-inventing the wheel, it’s not intended to. It’s still a respectable host entry and I hope it does… Read more »
Kobi Marimi-Israel- is an amazing breath taking VIRTUOSO,no one like him,no one with a voice , talent ,Charisma and presence like his.!???
And the saga of host countries ending up bottom 5 in the final continues for a 3rd year… 🙁 And I’m sorry to say this, because I don’t think the song is bad at all. But with all this very strong competition, I don’t see Israel going any higher than 20th place. It’s a cheesy ballad with a good singer in a suit and that sums it up. Who will pick up the phone for this instead of any more high-impact ballad? And I think Kobi ,while being a great singer, wasn’t the right choice to begin with, because there’s… Read more »
This is such a grower for me, people singing along with this in Amsterdam gives me a bit of hope that this could actually do well after all
Again I’m having my comment filtered… 🙁
im from israel and i can say its an ugly song
Similarly to Tibor, my biggest problems are with Kobi’s singing style. I don’t particularly like the song either, but probably it’s better than I think; it’s just that his voice annoys me so much I cannot really concentrate on the music and lyrics. All those unnecesary and continuous inflexions and his forced vibrato work on my nerves and , at least for me, take away all the emotion the song is supposed to have. Israel is this year in my bottom 10, at number 34. 2. Greece (9.0/10) 5. Azerbaijan (9.0/10) 8. Russia (7.5/10) 10. Estonia (7.0/10) 11. Hungary (7.0/10)… Read more »
Boring song… He is so sexy though! Damn zaddy, serving face and bone structure and everything!
Could not agree more!
Great voice , emotional but the instrumentation lacks. It needed more impact, drama and perhaps more of an orchestra. I wish they could of made some changes but he better belt it out at the finals and have very good lighting and staging !
I absolutely love this song, IIRC it is deeply personal for Kobi and his own journey. I also see it as a metaphor for Israel.
Cannot understand why such song has been chosen to represent us now that we’re hosting. Instead of sending something happy and crazy that will lift the arena, KAN have brought us all a boring ballad.
I was a huge fan (and still am!) of Kobi but the song is a mistake. Sorry my dear homeland 🙁
I still think Shefita or Kitria were the better choices to represent . We know this is Kobi’s genre. I wish kobi’s song writers could of made a few changes instrumentally 🙁
You made my day!
Vocals are good, but this is the worst song of the year, and they make it really clear they don’t want to win again in 2019. What a cold, emotionless boring song, and the lyrics make no sense either. 3/10 which is generous.
Cold? Emotionless? Boring? Lyrics don’t make sense? That speaks more about you than about the song.
No need to @ me, it’s just my opinion. I just think that this song is more of a vocal showoff than a song with actual emotions behind it.
You are entitled to an opinion and so am I.
I never said otherwise.
My God, you guys are generous.
Underrated! How cold are you people, if you say, that this is emotionless? The song makes me cry everytime, because Kobi sings it with such a passion. It has deep meaning. I hope he does well in the voting.
I refuse to believe it won’t do well in the voting.
He sang it very well in Amsterdam