Israel will participate in Eurovision 2015! A long period of uncertainty ended yesterday at 19:00, when Yoav Ginai, director of the culture and entertainment department at the IBA, finally confirmed Jerusalem’s return.

But wait…hasn’t Israel already confirmed participation? Wasn’t an artist already chosen? If you feel a little confused (Team Wiwi was too!), don’t worry. A lot of conflicting information has been published about Israel recently in various medias. A lot of  decisions have been made, and were then cancelled or changed.

The inconsistency is a result of the fragile state of the IBA, which is in a progress of closing down and being re-established. But hey, don’t you worry even a little bit! We’re here to put things right and sum it all up for you, so you’ll know exactly what’s going in in the land of milk and honey!

It all started a few months ago, when a risk of Israel withdrawing arose, due to 3 main reasons. Firstly due to a government decision the IBA was going to be closed. Secondly the finances of the IBA meant the cost of participating might be too much and lastly, of course, Mei Feingold’s failure to qualify for a fourth consecutive year was very demoralising for everyone.

Mei was the fourth consecutive Israeli act not to advance to the Final (Credit Andreas Puttin).
Mei was the fourth consecutive Israeli act not to advance to the Final (Credit Andreas Puttin).

Last month, however, the Israeli fans were able to relax after holding their breath for months: the biggest problem of the three seemed to be solved. The process of closing down Channel 1 is expected to take an awfully long time, so Israel, it was reported, would still be able to participate through it. With last year’s result fading away from everyone’s memory, the only problem left was the money.

That’s why Jonah Viesenthal, IBA’s content director, came up with the idea of an internal artist selection by the music editors of Radio 88fm. Israel also confirmed preliminary participation at the same time, but was still saving herself the option of  withdrawing later without penalty, if later calculations would show that it can’t afford the participation economically.

The editors of radio 88FM came up with 3 selected artists: Jazz singer Marina Maximilian Blumin was their first choice. After her came Esther Rada and Asaf Avidan, both well known and very appreciated Israeli artists.

Even though a formal announcement hasn’t been given, the gossip section of the free daily newspaper Israel Hayom claimed that Marina Maximilian Blumin was planning to decline the offer, because she wanted to focus on other aspects of her career. Another gossip item from the last days says that Esther Rada, radio 88fm’s second option, is now pregnant. It seems possible then that Rada might decline the offer as she now has her baby on board!

Since Israel’s participation is now finally confirmed, the only question left to be answered is: Who is it going to be? Is it going to be Asaf Avidan, radio 88fm’s third and last option? Not necessarily. While confirming Israel’s participation, Yoav Ginai said that further information regarding the outline of participation would be revealed next week. And stay tuned: he told us all to be prepared for a really big surprise.

Hold your breath untill next week, because that’s when the mystery of the Israeli entry for Eurovision 2015 will be finally solved.

In the meantime enjoy an encore of ‘Same Heart’:

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Erin
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Erin

Disappointed to hear that and more disappointed that this is the platform chosen, even if it makes perfect sense financially. In order for Israel to do better in Eurovision, Keshet or IBA have to forge links with other broadcasters, initiate exchanges, guarantee the selected artist’s exposure in various countries by a live participation on Eurovision related TV shows, make every effort to invite other countries’ selected performers to appear on Israeli tv outlets and make sure that there is an ongoing campaign rather than a last minute exercise in amateurish public campaign. Giving interviews on Eurovision sites is only one… Read more »

Maya G
Guest
Maya G

@Erin Actually Rita won’t be judging in the next season, reportedly it would be Muki, Hayehudim and possibly Harel Skaat.

Erin
Guest
Erin

BREAKING NEWS…The ‘big surprise’ is going back to the 2008 formula that sent Boaz Mauda to Belgrade. This year’s Israeli representative will be the winner of the ‘Rising Star’ show which is produced by Israel’s Channel 2 KESHET franchisee. All costs pertaining to Israel’s ESC delegation and the winning song’s production will be solely incurred on Keshet-tv, while IBA will air both semi-finals and the grand finale. So at least my previous prediction about Rita is indirectly connected as she’s one of the judges on the show’s panel, but unfortunately we are likely to have a newcomer in Vienna and… Read more »

Erin
Guest
Erin

It’s wise for Israel to participate on the 60th edition for the symbolism of it above any other reason and if it fails to qualify again, IBA could always say they exhausted all efforts and that it’s time to close this chapter (unless the next public broadcaster has a strategy for Eurovision). Speaking about ‘the really big surprise’, I’m putting my ‘reputation’ on the line and guessing that it is either RITA (1990) or Shiri Maimon (2005). If it ends up being Dana International or Maya Buskila, I’ll be pi**ed off.

Maya G
Guest
Maya G

@Haris D.
By “work on your country” do you mean “sit idly as Muslim terrorists target Israeli civilians on a daily basis”?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUcX3oCa7mY

Haris D.
Guest
Haris D.

If Russia got booed in 2014, people will throw stuff on stage while Israeli performance in 2015. Stop it IBA. Withdraw. And work on your country.

Maya G
Guest
Maya G

@Hans @Alex
The announcement was made in an informal post by Ginai on his personal Facebook page. Since a formal announcement was not made I guess it’s still theoretically possible that things would change last minute, but as head of IBA’s entertainment department he must know what he’s talking about.

Alex
Guest
Alex

I was wondering the same thing as Hans. Did IBA confirm participation to wiwibloggs directly?

Hans
Guest
Hans

A lot of hyperlinks in this article, but the most important one, to the article where “Yoav Ginai, director of the culture and entertainment department at the IBA, finally confirmed Jerusalem’s return” seems to be missing? Where can we see the prove that IBA has confirmed. Their own website and Eurovision site have nothing on it?

David
Guest
David

Good to see that Israel does not quit ESC! Israel just need to get a modern sound back

Dar
Guest

@timselvision , pre 2010 Israel didn’t have as bad a reputation politically .. Politics can play a part in Eurovision wether you care to acknowledge it or not ..

Calvin
Guest
Calvin

Might Mei Finegold be back to avenge her robbery?

Timselvision
Guest
Timselvision

@Dar: bad memories? They qualified in 2005, automatically in 2006 because of a top 10 spot in 2005, 2008 (top ten), 2009 and in 2010. And hey, they won a few times xD It´s not because of geography that Israel didn´t qualify in either 2013 and 2014. Both the songs were good, very good – but the performance was kinda… awkward? Bad vocals and revealing dresses brought Israel non-qualifications in those years. And you have to admit it, the studio version of Same Heart is like 20 times better than the live version. However, about 2015 – I can´t wait… Read more »

Dar
Guest

I honestly don’t know why they bother .. People won’t vote for Israel because of politics ..
Waste of time .. The will not even qualify never mind win..
Not even a song like euphoria would get them to final ..

ESCaddict
Guest
ESCaddict

So happy Israel is joining the party in Vienna

danielvarga
Guest
danielvarga

Thanks Israel! I’m happy now. 🙂

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

HOORAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

beccaboo1212
Guest

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!