Update: The Israel broadcaster originally stated October 30. But on 23 October they changed their minds, moving the show forward by one day to October 29. We have updated this article to reflect that.
The search for a new Golden Boy kicks off in just two weeks. Yes, The Next Star for Eurovision 2018 will launch its new season on October 29. The upcoming season will be twice as long as the previous season and will feature some familiar contestants who you’ll recognise from Kdam — Israel’s national selection of yesteryear.
After the Israeli spokesperson’s dramatic farewell in the Grand Final of Eurovision 2017 in May, many thought the game was up for Israel, but as we reported recently the EBU and Israel’s new broadcaster IPBC (KAN) have come to an understanding which will allow Israel to take part at Eurovision 2018 in Lisbon. Yay!
As in recent years, Israel will use The Next Star for Eurovision to select their representative for Eurovision, while hoping to continue and qualify for the final (as they have every year since using this national selection method) and maybe even improve their final results and aim for the win. The upcoming season will feature 20 weekly episodes so we can expect the final towards February-March 2018.
There will be no major changes in the show other than the fact that the hosts Assi Azar and Rotem Sela will get to have their say in the auditions phase, as they will have the right to veto in case a contestant they like does not pass his audition.
One of the names is Chen Aharoni, who took part in a similar talent show called Kokhav Nolad (A Star Is Born) during 2007. He also took part in Kdam Eurovision 2011, reaching fourth place, and even participated in the UK X Factor during 2013.
Another known figure is Rinat Bar, who took part in Kdam Eurovision 2005 with the song “Kmo Chalom” (Like a Dream) and finished in seventh.
Rinat has been on stage since the age of 12 and released nine albums. She is relatively successful, especially within her genre of pop-oriental music, but she has never become a full-fledged star in Israel.
The judging panel
There will be no changes regarding the judges, as Harel Skaat, Keren Peles, Assaf Amdursky and the duo Static & Ben El Tavori will all return to the hot seat.
- Harel Skkat was Israel’s representative at Eurovision Song Contest 2010 with the song “Milim” (“Words”). Harel is a successful singer and a songwriter who rose to fame during 2004 in a similar talent show called Kokhav Nolad (A Star Is Born), finishing as runner-up.
- Keren Peles is a singer-songwriter, poetess and pianist with dozens of hits on her resume since 2005. Some of these she wrote for herself, others she wrote for a number of successful Israeli singers (Harel Skaat among them).
- Static & Ben El Tavori are a fresh pop duo who have taken Israel by storm since their first hit at the end of 2015. Their chart success has seen them named breakthrough of the year and helped them win many other awards over the last couple of years, including song of the year. They also landed the most-viewed YouTube video in Israel with over 40 million views.
- Assaf Amdursky is a famous singer, songwriter and producer who has been on the music scene since the 90s. He has released many albums and worked with many Israeli artists such as Ivri Lider and Arik Sinai.
The show’s production team have wasted no time getting some Lisbon vibes, as the hosts of the show, Assi Azar and Rotem Sela have already visited and filmed in the Altice Arena in Lisbon, where the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 will take place this May.
As you can see Rotem was very excited to be there.
In the previous season of The Next Star for Eurovision, we saw eventual winner IMRI during the first auditions in the first episode.
Will we get to know Israel’s representative for Eurovision 2018 before the end of this month? As Valentina Monetta sang, maybe…