Kobi Marimi tweaks Eurovision song ahead of contest

Netanyahu: May the best win: Kobi • Singer: It’s not a competition for me

May 13, 2019 03:28
2 minute read.
Kobi Marimi rehearses for the Eurovision at Expo Tel Aviv on Sunday.

Kobi Marimi rehearses for the Eurovision at Expo Tel Aviv on Sunday.. (photo credit: ANDRES PUTTING/EBU)

Kobi Marimi, Israel’s 2019 Eurovision contestant, has released a new updated version of his song, “Home,” ahead of the competition this week.

The original song didn’t get a particularly warm reception when it was released in March, with some Israeli critics calling it sleepy, boring and slow. The song was much better received among Eurovision fans abroad, but Israel has still been ranking in 25th place among betting sites out of the 41 competing countries.

The new version of the song, released on Sunday, is a little more fast-paced than the original, and it cuts out Marimi’s signature operatic battle cry at the start of the song.


During his second rehearsal on Sunday morning at the Expo Tel Aviv – this time in front of foreign and local journalists – Marimi impressed the crowd.

The popular Eurovision blog, Wiwibloggs, said his performance was “vocally assured” and said Marimi can “be proud of his performance and how expensively this comes across.” But they didn’t rank his chances particularly high.

Similarly, ESCExtra said that Marimi “gives his all to the performance,” is very emotional and “his voice sounds perfect on each of his runs.”

But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu still has high hopes. At the start of the cabinet meeting Sunday morning, Netanyahu said he wished luck to all of the contestants, “and may the best one win, which of course will be Kobi Marimi.”

At a press conference on Sunday at Expo Tel Aviv, Marimi said his expectations were somewhat more measured.

“I could win, I could be last place, I could be fifth I could be 15th, I don’t know,” he said. “For me it’s not a competition. I’ll win if I know that I did my best, if I walk off the stage and say ‘it was amazing, I enjoyed it...’ The results – it’s not up to me after that.”

Amid the press conference, Marimi and his five backup singers entertained the gathered reporters with a quick rendition of “Hallelujah,” the song by Gali Atari and Milk and Honey that won Israel the 1979 Eurovision in Jerusalem.

Marimi also answered a question about the criticism within Israel over his song, “Home.”

“I’m trying to look at the positive stuff,” he said. “There are so many compliments... we are all here together in Israel. We waited 20 years for this, and I’m not going to let anyone take this amazing moment from me – from us.”

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