Following the report that a qualification and a good result in Vienna might lead Israel to use the same mechanism of a collaboration between Keshet Productions and IBA that will send the winner of HaKochav Haba (The Next Star), we can see that the organisers are not wasting time and the preliminary auditions for the upcoming season have already begun.
The auditions are branded under the slogan The way to the Eurovision Song Contest begins at The Next Star! and calls people from all over Israel to come to the local bars and pubs where the auditions are held. About 25-30 candidates came to give it a try in the Evita club in Tel Aviv, which is also widely known in the local community for its dedicated Eurovision Sundays.
“I hope to represent Israel on the stage in Stockholm, and I believe that I have a place in this competition. I have studied music in high school and perform in hotels at the Dead Sea. When I saw a post on Facebook about the auditions, I decided to come as I think I have the experience needed.”, said Aline (20), one of the participants of the night.
The Israeli fans seem to be satisfied with the decision of having the same system for another year, as Keshet brings the high production level needed for having a successful Eurovision participation. “Overall, the examinees were good, but only two or three really stood out. I am happy that the early qualification levels are already on the way, so we can have plenty of time to find the right artist to wave the Israeli flag next May”, said one of them.
The auditions scene at the Evita in Tel Aviv.
No official statement from IBA was given yet regarding the participation and the mechanism for selecting the song and representative. Israel Hayom, one of the biggest newspapers in Israel confirms the mechanism in case of participation, but makes the subject even more uncertain as the Israeli memorial begins on 10 May’s evening (first semifinal) and ends on 11 May’s evening (second jury semifinal). Since the introduction of the two semifinal system in 2008, the memorial day fell on the rehearsals of the first semifinal in 2011 and 2014 which caused Israel to be allocated directly to the second semifinal while the first semifinal was not even broadcasted. As in previous years, the issue will probably be sorted out with the EBU. Locally, the reform undergoing for a year which is planned in the public broadcasting in Israel might have its affect on the participation.
Nadav Guedj won the former season of Hakochav Haba and brought Israel to the Top 10 in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest after four years of non-qualification. His song Golden boy became an instant hit all over the country and abroad. It is currently placed fourth in Galgalatz’s weekly chart (Israel’s biggest radio station), along with the winning song Heroes from Sweden placed fourth as well in the foreign weekly chart.
Stay tuned to ESCToday.com for more updates regarding Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest.
Special thanks to Shai Gilam for his contribution to the article.