Another Eurovision myth is debunked

by Marcus Klier 402 views

It is a widespread Eurovision Song Contest legend that Ilanit, the very first Israeli representative in the Eurovision Song Contest back in 1973, wore a bulletproof vest during her performance due to security reasons after the Munich Olympics massacre, which occurred just seven months earlier. However, the singer now revealed in an interview with Ynetnews that this was 'just a story'.

Ilanit states that the security indeed was very tight: "We had a lot of guards around us, everyone who went into the concert hall was searched, and women’s bags were checked – people were not used to it. There was a story that I had a bulletproof vest under my dress for security but it was not true. It was just a story." About the show, she also has some good memories: "On the evening of Eurovision, there were no people in the streets. Everybody was sitting in front of the television waiting for Eurovision – it was a new thing here in Israel."

In 1973, Ilanit was the last singer to enter the stage. With the song Ey sham (Somewhere), she was a strong debutant finishing 4th. She would return to the compeition in 1977 with the song Ahava he shir lishnaim (Love isa song for two); she finished 11th. In 1984, she was once again announced to represent Israel in the contest, but her song Balalaika was withdrawn since the day of the contest was also Israel's memorial day. Ey sham was composed (and conducted) by Nurit Hirsh who would also compose the first Israeli winner five years later: A-ba-ni-bi.

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