Israel’s entry into the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest said Saturday night that he was happy with his performance and proud to represent Israel, despite his disappointing finish.
Kobi Marimi ended up in 23rd place (out of 26 contestants) with the slow, operatic ballad “Home.”
“I couldn’t have asked for more than this. I’ll remember this night forever. I don’t have words to explain how much I love this country, and how proud I am for myself and my team,” Marimi told the Ynet news site.
“I’m very happy and grateful to the audience for the applause, and for the flags they brought to the venue. This is a moment I’ll remember for the rest of my life,” he said.
אירוויזיון 2019 | צפו בביצוע המלא של קובי מרימי, הנציג הכי מתוק שלנו לתחרות האירוויזיון, שפורץ בבכי קורע לב ומדהים את הקהל pic.twitter.com/BSAsctlmgX
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) May 18, 2019
Critics had said Marimi’s song was too slow and lacked personality, but Marimi gave it a little extra for the performance.
He cried as he ended the song, barely managing to thank the crowd in Hebrew.
“Wow” is all the local announcer could manage.
“It was a lot of fun for me. There were rehearsals with an audience, but it was never like that before. The number of Israeli flags that were there, it was crazy,” an upbeat Marimi told the Kan public broadcaster.
“I kept crying after I came down from the stage. The whole delegation, we were all crying,” he said, calling the performance an emotional “roller coaster.”
When asked what he would do following the contest, Marimi said he was hungry.
“My mom’s food, whatever she makes me I’ll eat,” he said.
“I’m going to celebrate a little tonight. We deserve it,” he told Kan.
Duncan Laurence of the Netherlands won the 64th edition of the contest with his doleful piano number “Arcade.”
Laurence was tapped as an early front-runner before Saturday’s Grand Final, but he had to rely on the fan vote to secure the country’s fifth win in the competition. Italy finished second, followed by Russia, Switzerland and Norway.
Israel’s Netta Barzilai, winner of last year’s contest, presented the trophy to Laurence.
“This is to dreaming big, this is to music first, always,” Laurence said.