In recent months, Israeli broadcaster KAN received a total of 220 submissions for their much-anticipated song selection show for Eden Alene. The national final was meant to include 16 shortlisted songs, which were to be revealed in November. Eden was then expected to perform eight of those in a televised national selection.
Alas. Israeli Eurovision site Euromix has broken the news that KAN has watered down its plans. Rather than 16 songs advancing to the next round, only 10 have been chosen. These 10 demos will be available on KAN’s site and three will make it to a superfinal, which will be held online rather than on TV. There will be no live shows at all.
KAN says that its committee has selected ten songs based on “professional criteria”, including its fit for Eurovision 2021 singer Eden Alene. The public will soon vote for their favourites and the top two will advance to the superfinal. The third will be chosen by the committee. Once again, people will vote online to choose the winner. The winning song will be revealed in a special broadcast in late January or early February.
Songwriters react to Israel’s 3-song national final
Several songwriters have expressed their resentment to Euromix for the sudden change in format. “We nearly killed ourselves by creating songs at the height of lockdown because we knew about a particular situation and then they changed it,” one anonymous songwriter told them. “I hope that 16 songs were indeed selected as promised, because if not we will go to court over the matter.”
Wiwibloggs reached out to one songwriter, who corroborated the anger and dismay among the composers Euromix spoke with. Here’s what she told us.
“We were given a contract. We gave away our rights to our own creations. We did everything we should’ve done. KAN’s side of the contract was to hold the contest in the format they promised. We’ve known of the pandemic for eight months now, and they had all the time in the world to properly prepare. This is just incompetent handling of the situation.”
“Sending a song to HaShir HaBa means creating a song and giving KAN legal power over it whether or not you get in. Doing that with the knowledge that 16 songs will make it and 8 will be performed live is vastly different from submitting a song with the knowledge that only 10 will make it to the digital round and none of the songs would be performed on TV. Maybe I wouldn’t have submitted at all if this were the format since Day 1. This is just very disappointing. Obviously KAN will blame it on coronavirus precautions, but the submission window opened during the nation-wide lockdown. It’s no excuse.”
Composers are obviously very close to the situation and understandably disappointed. But we don’t know what went on behind closed doors. It’s possible that the committee did not feel there were 16 songs that fit with Eden’s voice. Or perhaps they didn’t think there were 16 songs up to scratch. We anticipate more details to be revealed in the weeks ahead.
What do you think? Are you sad Israel is going for an online selection? Or do you think it’s a wise move, given the ever-shifting situation with coronavirus? Let us know down below!