In recent months Israel’s national selection The Next Star for Eurovision has helped tied our post-Eurovision depression. A series of reports from the Middle Eastern nation teased NF participants, including LUKAH and Judah Gavra. And now the hype becomes real: Israel will become the second country (after Malta) to air episodes of their national selection in only two weeks!
According to Israel Hayom, the popular Israeli reality show will commence on November 23. So mark your calendar: the Eurovision season really is on.
Keshet 12, the channel that broadcasts the show every year, has now confirmed the news. A series of promo videos aired on the channel in recent days, along with the first episode date. Keshet is keeping the artists’ identities a secret for now. But several names have already dropped as you’ll know from our earlier reports.
Israel’s national selection format
We don’t know much about the format of the contest yet, but we’re going to assume it will follow the format of recent years. Even so, we should note that the Israeli broadcaster has announced some exciting (and less exciting) changes to the pre-selection.
- This year, singers that follow the Jewish practice of honouring Shabbat will not take part. This is a response to 2019 contestants Shalva Band, who, despite being real contenders, withdrew from the contest because of conflicts with the holy Sabbath
- ESC 2010 fan favourite Harel Skaat will be leaving the jury for good. The other judges will remain, with guest judges expected to appear throughout the season.
- As announced this summer, the song the artist will ultimately sing at Eurovision won’t be decided behind-closed-doors. Instead, a mini Kdam will determine that. This will be the first time since 2016 that the Israeli public will have a say about which song represents them. It’s been almost seven years since the last edition of Kdam and fans are starting to miss the old format. Under the Next Star for Eurovision format, however, the Israelis never failed to qualify for the grand final.
As for the regular show format, we’re expecting a slow, two month-long contest ending in either January or February. The first few episodes should cover the initial auditions, followed by a quick bootcamp. The Israeli NF will then follow the duel round/double elimination pattern until we’re down to a final four.
What do you expect from The Next Star for Eurovision this year? Do you think the old Kdam format will eventually return? Should it? Share your thoughts in the comment section!