The talent show Hakochav Haba (Rising Star) which was used to select the Israeli entry for the Eurovision Song Contest in 2015 and 2016 might not be used to select the Israeli entry in 2017, despite announcing that the registration for the 2017 season is already open. A tender has been launched by the new Israeli broadcaster, IPBC, that will replace IBA shortly.
Back in 2014 the Israeli government decided to shut down IBA and launch a new public broadcaster, called IPBC (Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation). The shut down process, that has been delayed, will take place in the upcoming months, with test broadcasts already taking place online via IPBC’s Facebook Page and the official broadcasts of IPBC will launch on 30 September 2016. IPBC will take care of the Israeli participation in the Eurovision Song Contest starting 2017 onwards.
Rising Star is an external production by Keshet and Teddy Productions, which is broadcasted on Channel 2. In the past two years, they were responsible for choosing the Israeli entrant, taking care of the promo tours and producing the song and the performance for the Eurovision Song Contest, in collaboration with IBA. Although Teddy Productions have contacted IPBC and asked to continue with this method in 2016, a tender was published by IPBC, which will stay open for submissions until 29 June, calling all interested production companies to send a bid for taking care of the Israeli participation in Eurovision 2017 and producing a televised national selection, relating to various factors, including choosing the artist, the song, the team/committee choosing the song, the promotional work before Eurovision as well as corresponding to the official rules by the EBU and paying all the expenses for the Israeli delegation to Ukraine.
The tender states that the artist that will represent Israel in Eurovision 2017 should be selected no later than the end of January 2017.
The Israeli fan community are mostly pleased with Teddy’s work in the previous two years, reaching 9th and 14th final places respectively, after four years of failing to qualify to the final, and reaching the best viewing figures in Israel for the contest since 2008. The most would like to see Hakochav Haba choosing the Israeli representative again, but are open for new ideas as well, and talk about the possibility that Reshet, the producer of X Factor, might want use this show as a national selection.
“I think that this tender is only a formal procedure. They want to let people see that the possibility is open for everyone, but I’m not sure if any other producer would like to take care of the Eurovision participation. Following the two well-produced performances in 2015 and 2016 by Teddy Productions, I’m sure that IPBC is aware of the importance of a body that can take care of the financial costs. I would be happy to see Hakochav Haba as our selection in 2017 and I think that it is likely to happen, but I’m glad to see that it’s not automatically given to Teddy, and they must make some changes after last year’s selection: emphasize the performers and not gimmicks, give more time for the final rounds, select the singer only during the program and let the viewers at home vote starting in an earlier phase than the grand final, to know who are the favourites among the public. If they are going to give the win to a previous Kochav Nolad (Israeli Idol) participant again, we can give up on this process and internally select him/her!”, says Talia Grossfeld, a veteran Israeli Eurovision fan.
Israel was represented in Eurovision Song Contest 2016 by Hovi Star, reaching the 14th final place with Made of stars.
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