Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv reports today that Israel's entry to the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest is supposed to be revealed by the end of this year and that the IBA has already decided on a pre-selection method for the 2005 contest: a talent show.
According to the report in Ma'ariv, the Israeli broadcaster IBA is supposed to appoint a special committee of 15 members, in the next two weeks, who will convene by the end of November. This jury, which will consist of IBA's seniors ,musicians, artists, producers and entertainment journalists, will chose an artist as Israel's entrant by the end of November. This artist, should he or she accept the invitation to participate in the contest, will have a month to present demo versions of 4 new songs, from which the same committee will chose the entry to the Eurovision Song Contest in Istanbul. 'Our goal is to complete the pre-selection procedure by the end of December with a worthy song and performer', says head of entertainment at the IBA and head of delegation to Eurovision, Izhak Sonnenshein. Last year's Eurovision committee at the IBA was the target for harsh criticism. A huge research article that was posted last year by Yediot Ahronot paper claimed that Lior Narkis was prefered over other worthy candidates just because of close personal relationships with some jury members, who were also members of the Mediterranean Music Committee.
'We have already decided that our 2005 entry will be selected by a talent show where the viewers will be entrusted with the power of chosing the right winner. We didn't have enough time to arrange this kind of production for 2004, but our Eurovision committee which will convene soon will also set the regulations and layout for next year's pre-selection as a talent show', Sonnenshein adds.
Israel's entarnt will have to compete in the semi-final of Eurovision Song Contest 2004, to be held on May 12th, and reach a top 10 position in order to participate in the final round, on May 15th.