Israel is searching for The Next Star who can take the country back to the finals at Eurovision. As we reported on October 5, Jerusalem is revamping its selection process, handing power to the people through Hakochav Haba, the re-branded version of the popular series Kokhav Nolad (“A Star is Born”). Producers have not yet revealed when the final will take place, but we do know this: Harel Skaat, the last Israeli to make the Eurovision final, will judge, and the auditions will be broadcast on television from December 9. The winner, known as “The Next Star”, will then sing at ESC.

Next Star: Israel’s National Selection

Judging from the TV show’s official Instagram and Facebook accounts, it’s going to be an exciting few months filled with glitz, glam, and hopefuls who make you laugh and cry (for better or worse). Check out this trailer to see what we mean:

The show combines elements of The Voice, Idol and X Factor. Competitors first perform hidden by a screen, while the judges and voters at home vote via a special app. Once acts reach an undisclosed threshold of votes, the screen disappears revealing the aspiring star in all his or her glory. This is not the first time that the IBA will collaborate with an existing TV franchise to find its singer for ESC. Boaz, the winner of the fifth season of Idol, sang for Israel in 2008. Israel also has a rich history of sending singers with experience on these shows (even if they didn’t win). Harel Skaat, the last Israeli singer to actually make the Eurovision final, was a finalist on Idol. And Shiri Maimon, who came fourth at Eurovision, was a runner up on Kokhav Nolad.

The Next Star Judges

Given that Harel Skaat was the last Israeli to make the Eurovision final, it’s appropriate that he is one of this year’s four judges. He will be joined by Assaf Etedgi, Mookie and Keren Peles. Asi Azar and Rotem Sela will host.

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Erin
Erin
6 years ago

@Maya G – I am willing to bet that the artist chosen is not going to be the winner of Rising Star despite the announcement from early October. This is still the official line, but there are many indications that the rules are being written and rewritten as the show progresses and nothing is still carved on stone, so I’m just suggesting to keep our eyes open and not take the official line as a sealed and done deal, that’s all.

Maya G
Maya G
6 years ago

The previous season of ‘The Next Star’ was dreadful in every way. Poor production value and mediocre (at best) contestants. Though the show had good ratings it generated very little buzz and the finalists quickly sank into oblivion.
Hopefully they’ll do a better job this time, but anyway the show is only intended to determine the singer that would represent Israel in Vienna, the song will most likely be written after the winner is known.
BTW Mei Finegold is also an Idol veteran, she came 3rd in the seventh season.

Erin
Erin
6 years ago

It’s popularity in Israel is questionable. The first season was commercial free for some time in order to induce a larger viewing share. The TV rating system in Israel is based on only 580! households chosen annually from a list of 6,000 throughout the country. Even if the show has a viewing share of above 30% is by no means a reflection of what Israelis watch on prime time, because the ratings are measured only for the national state-run and commercial channels which form no more than 8 channels, while viewers have a choice of over 100 channels on cable… Read more »

Just being honest
Just being honest
6 years ago

The show is still very popular in Israel despite the fact that it didn’t do so well in other countries..

Erin
Erin
6 years ago

@Branko – it happened almost a decade ago, so if my wording implied that it’s still ongoing today, I regret that. The Israeli popular music scene is like a ‘merry warm little home sweet swamp’ where everybody knows everybody and conflicts of interest usually take place when jury members personally know the composers, the songwriters and the performers. The reason I mentioned it in a somewhat sarcastic phrasing is because I don’t trust the format, the TV franchise and the production company behind this Rising Star facade and I encourage others in Europe not to waste their time or attention… Read more »

Branko
Branko
6 years ago

“romantically involved with one of the hosts”??? Really?… oh, what an innovative way of getting a new job… phhh…

Erin
Erin
6 years ago

So in fact you’re guilty by association for reacting and for perpetrating your odious association with this contest, this website and the EBU.

Erin
Erin
6 years ago

BTW, Harel Skaat was negotiating the terms of his contract with the production company and Keshet-TV quite some time before this collaboration between the IBA and Keshet saw the light of day, so his presence there isn’t related to the Eurovision campaign of 2015 but rather to the fact that he’s an established mainstream Israeli performer (or just happened to be romantically involved with one of the hosts: that’s public record y’all!)

Erin
Erin
6 years ago

Don’t be surprised if the artist sent to Vienna isn’t necessarily going to be the winner of this year’s Rising Star format. It could end up being one of the participants, one of the judges or an external choice that the production company is interested in promoting. If you check the show’s webpage or see the actual promos leading up to its debut, you’ll notice there’s no mention of Eurovision whatsoever. The audition process which starts airing on December 9th is entirely made for domestic Israeli purposes and usually lasts between 3 to 4 weeks. The official line is that… Read more »

Many
6 years ago

Actually, this show was rebranded “Rising Star” and sold to many countries. Broadcasters were impatient to buy it because they thought it will be the new “The Voice”.
Indeed, it flopped in many territories such as US, Germany and France.

Thiefo
6 years ago

Way to pre-judge a song that hasn’t been selected yet, because of the results of another version of the contest held in another country G.

G
G
6 years ago

This show got cancelled before it was in production in the UK and I hear that the US version wasn’t good either so Israel probably won’t qualify this year again.