Israeli broadcaster IBA revealed today its plans for the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest, with a surprising decision: The Kdam-Eurovision will be back this year in a new format resembling the Swedish Melodifestivalen.
The new century hasn't been generous with Israel in the Eurovision Song Contests: the 2000-2004 entrants failed to reach respectable positions, not to mention failing to qualify from the semi-final in the last contest. IBA now seems to comprehend that a change is very much needed. Therefore, IBA decided today on a major shift in the pre-selection procedure, by abolishing the controversial committee, which chose Israel's entrants in the years 1998-2004 (except for 2001).
“The previous method hasn't proven itself very successful, and it was even clearer last year when it came to the song pre-selection show”, says head of TV committee in the IBA, as he must be referring to the show where To Believe was chosen. That show was, by all means, one of the IBA's poorest productions ever. “The previous system was just not very appropriate for television. we decided to listen to the public's demand and revive the Kdam-Eurovision”, says IBA's head of entertainment and head of delegation to Eurovision.
Despite all that, the Kdam-Eurovision will undergo major changes. The format is currently under development, but apparently Israel will follow Sweden (and other countries) by using qualifying rounds leading to a grand final. Contestants will compete in 3 rounds, which will take place in a southern city (which hasn't been selected yet), Tel-Aviv and Haifa. The grand final will be broadcasted from the capital city, Jerusalem.
Head of entertainment confirmed that for the time being, Israel will be absent from the 50th anniversary extravaganza, but added by saying: “I would like to believe and wish this decision will eventually be altered”, leaving a small reason for hope for Israeli fans.