Israel didn’t make the grand final of Eurovision from 2011 to 2014. However, since the introduction of HaKokhav Haba L’Eurovizion — the show we all know and love as The Next Star for Eurovision — they have made five finals in a row, and even scored a win in 2018. As you’ll recall, the show selects the artist and afterwards a committee of producers and music experts decides on the song. Israel will once again use this selection method for Rotterdam 2020, but with the addition of a public song selection to determine the entry.
Now newspaper Israel Hayom has announced some exciting details about the Israeli national final. The auditions will take place in the coming weeks, and the television shows will begin airing later this year. Judging from the timeline from recent years, this probably means we can expect the selection to start this December.
Along with this scheduling update, the newspaper also reported on four artists who will audition for the contest.
The Next Star: Announced artists
Perhaps the weirdest choice out of the currently available options is comedian and actor Niki Goldstein. He is not a professional singer, so the Israeli public has reacted to this news with surprise and confusion. The comedian — born in 1977 — is the host of KAN’s “Carpool Karaoke” and isn’t releasing music. But Goldstein isn’t new to the Eurovision bubble. He participated in Kdam Eurovision in 2011 and 2013, coming 5th and 10th (that was last) respectively.
Eden — full name Eden Alene — was born in 2000, one year after a band of the same name represented Israel. The Ethiopian-Israeli singer currently serves in the IDF, but is still being considered for Eurovision 2020. Two years ago, she won X Factor Israel at just 17, after stunning the nation with a cover of Demi Lovato‘s “Stone Cold” during auditions. Last February, in honour of Israel’s win in Eurovision 2018, Alene unveiled a modern rendition of the Eurovision 1976 winning song, “Save Your Kisses for Me”.
She hasn’t made headlines in a long time. Aharoni participated in Israeli talent show A Star Is Born back in 2006 and gained moderate local fame. Last month she showed vital signs, uploading an acoustic cover of “Mirror” by Lil Wayne and Bruno Mars to YouTube. Despite being less popular than the other reported HaKokhav HaBa participants, her vocal ability can’t be denied: the girl has a set of pipes!
LUKAH (Inbar Weitzman)
Having written and composed Israel’s 2019 Eurovision entry, “Home”, Inbar Weitzman is ready to represent her homeland on the main stage. The 27-year-old singer-songwriter releases indie pop music under the moniker LUKAH. Last year, she released “Roller Coaster” in Europe, and earlier this year she came up with a new song titled “Scared Boy”. The latter could be more similar to what we should be expecting from her, in case she represents Israel next year. It’s also a highly addictive track.
Other artists that were offered a chance to participate are Ohad Shragai (co-writer of “Home”) and Loai Ali, but it appears that they are uncertain at this point.
Who would you like to see representing Israel? Do you like any of these options? Tell us what you think in the comments below!