Since 2015, Israel has used The Next Star For Eurovision (Hakochav Haba Le’Eirovizion) to select the country’s representative in Eurovision. The Next Star has been a successful format, but according to Israeli media, the current edition could be the last.
Ynet reports that from 2021, the Israeli broadcast KAN will select the nation’s artists by itself. This is because The Next Star has been produced by Keshet (channel 12), which is not a member of the EBU.
This unusual method of selection resulted from the former Israeli Broadcasting Authority (IBA) being unable to fund the pre-selection and to manage its financial resources until it was replaced by KAN. Keshet stepped in with The Next Star, serving as a popular talent show as well as Israel’s Eurovision artist selection.
Since KAN was founded in 2017, they have gone from strength to strength, including their successful hosting of Eurovision 2019. As such, KAN now feels that they want to be solely in charge of Israel’s national finals.
Ynet also reports that KAN will call for proposals from production companies for a new Eurovision selection show format.
Will Israel return to the Kdam for its Eurovision national final?
One option KAN is considering is to relaunch the Kdam Eurovision, the old Israeli national selection. The Kdam was first introduced in 1981 and ran until 2013 (with some breaks in between).
During the 1980s the Kdam was one of the most popular TV shows in Israel and it contributed many successful songs, in particular, “Hora” (1982, runner up), “Hi” (1983, runner up), “Ole Ole” (1985, fifth place) and “Kan” (1991, third place). However, in the ’90s the Kdam lost its charm and became dated.
During the 2000s and 2010s, there have been some attempts to bring the Kdam back to life and it was held five times overall – in 2001, 2005, 2009, 2011 and 2013.
The Eurovision results of Kdam acts were mixed, with Shiri Maymon reaching fourth position in 2005, compared to low results in 2001 and 2009 (16th position in both) and non-qualification in 2011 and 2013.
Back then, many fans and Israel commentators suggested that the Kdam did not fit to the new era of Eurovision anymore. When The Next Star was introduced in 2015, it ended Israel’s four-year non-qualification streak. The show resulted in four semi-final qualifications and Netta’s 2018 Eurovision victory.
According to Ynet, KAN’s decision to abandon The Next Star is a controversial choice. As well as selecting successful acts for Eurovision, the show is also credited with building interest in Eurovision among the Israeli public.
Since the news of the possible end of The Next Star was published, many fans and media commentators in the media have expressed their concerns, asking KAN to reconsider their decision or at least to revamp the Kdam.
What do you think about KAN’s decision? How should Israel select their Eurovision entries? Do you want to see the Kdam making a comeback? Tell us your thoughts below!