The hype for the Israeli national selection for Eurovision is real. The names of a dozen participating artists have already dropped, and the excitement keeps building. Last week, Israeli news outlet Israel Hayom reported that the Israeli national final will begin airing November 23. But now we know — thanks to a promotional video that aired on Keshet 12 Channel — that the first episode will air this Wednesday.
After Malta and Georgia started their selection processes, Israel is next in line. The national selection process includes a slight format change this year: The winner of Next Star for Eurovision will be the sole participant of a mini Kdam to select the country’s song.
So who will grace the stage during the televised auditions? LUKAH and Ohad Shragai, the two songwriters of last year’s Israeli entry “Home”, will take part. And so will Eden Alene, winner of X Factor Israel. And no doubt more surprises await as the show unfolds on television in the months ahead.
Just as a reminder, here’s what we know so far about the format of Next Star for Eurovision and the subsequent mini Kdam.
Israel’s national selection format
- 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 the ESC schedule conflicts with the holy Sabbath.
- ESC 2010 participant 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. However, it’s important to remember that under the Next Star for Eurovision format, the Israelis have never failed to qualify for the grand final.
The show will probably go on for at least two months. While we’ll probably know the identity of the winner in January, there’s no way to know when the song reveal will happen. It could be as late as March 10, the date on which the Israeli entry was revealed in the last two years.
Which revealed artist for The Next Star for Eurovision are you most excited for? Are you excited for the first episode? Share your thoughts in the comment section!