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!

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James
James
21 days ago

I wonder if the contract the songwriters signed has a clause where KAN reserves the right to change its selection method upon its discretion, on top of releasing the rights of the songs rejected back to their respective creators.

Rob
Rob
20 days ago
Reply to  James

The first part of your assertion is correct, but there was no clear mention in the contract about releasing the rights of the rejected songs. It makes sense though because one of Eden’s songs back in March this year was already submitted in 2019 and got turned down, but was resubmitted in 2020 when it made the cut (‘Savior in The Sound’). That probably means there wasn’t any legally binding contract after the 2019 process was concluded.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
21 days ago

“A contract is a contract is a contract… but only between Ferengi.”
(Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.)

Rob
Rob
20 days ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

I’ll just paraphrase this quote: “Any intelligent man or woman who reads Kan’s contract and then goes into it, deserves all the consequences.” (Replace Kan with marriage: Both end in heartbreak and loss of property rights).

EProduc
EProduc
22 days ago

Tbh three of the 5 songs she brought on last years national final were Eurovision worthy, so if these three new songs have just as much quality as last year or more then I’m happy. Also, too many songs seem to put a divide between fans so maybe this year there’s one fantastic song that stands out above the other two.

Rob
Rob
22 days ago

Back in mid October I reacted to the report about Kan receiving 220 submissions and I mentioned that ‘According to a Kan spokesman quoted on Euromix.co.il, there will only be one semi final instead of two. He also doesn’t commit to a 16 song format and leaves the number open depending on different variables and circumstances. According to the initial tender document, Kan reserves the right to modify the format, but if it does – it will poorly reflect on its ability to organize future song selections…I hope Kan pulls itself together after all’. Three weeks forward and it’s clear… Read more »

Alo
Alo
22 days ago
Reply to  Rob

I assume nothing is sure at this point.
Kan proved themselves in recent years. They know what they are doing so I trust them.

Joe
Joe
22 days ago
Reply to  Alo

They pulled through last year when they went back on saying Kobi would have a NF to pick his song. This is looking tenuous but I’m optimistic.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
22 days ago

The Moldovan broadcaster does things like this all the time. There may be issues that we’re not aware of going on here. Maybe, they just didn’t think there were 16 songs good enough? Maybe there’s been a scheduling change? Maybe Eden just didn’t like the ridiculous idea of performing so many songs live? Who knows?

Rob
Rob
22 days ago
Reply to  Briekimchi

Eden was only meant to perform 4 songs. Now it’s down to 3 which is just fine. It feels like budget cuts played a part here because instead of 2 semi-finals and a final the entire process will be held online. It’s also very likely that only 10 songs met the professional standards the selection committee was looking for and I bet all of them were written by established songwriters who got a specific invitation from Kan.

Azaad
Azaad
22 days ago
Reply to  Rob

If this was the original plan from the get go no one would be complaining. It’s the seemingly arbitrary change of format that has upset people.

Rob
Rob
21 days ago
Reply to  Azaad

It mostly upset the songwriters who were counting on the fact that 8 out of the 16 songs will get to be performed on TV during the semi-final phase/s. Now it turns out that only 3 songs out of 10 will get to see the day on TV. That’s a fundamental change done in bad faith, so I’m all for songwriters to pursue the matter in court if they can prove they were misled by the wording of the contract or found themselves taken at a disadvantage regarding the protection of their intellectual property. Those are really hot button topics.

ESCFanGA
ESCFanGA
22 days ago

Anyone knows when exactly the ten songs are going to be released on KAN’s website?
The new Eurovision season is about to start soon and I’m very eager to listen to new music that could be at next year’s contest!

Last edited 22 days ago by ESCFanGA
MALTESER
MALTESER
22 days ago

As much as I understand the songwriters’ frustration, a 16 song national final was waaaay to much. Although it might have contributed well to an otherwise lacking national final season. Not doing it live is a sin though.

Maya G
Maya G
22 days ago

I sympathize with the writers, and it is definitely not cool to change the rules while the game is on, but I thought that a 16 song selection for just one singer was overkill. Even 10 songs are a bit much IMO. I think KAN should save their energy for the 2022 national selection and keep Eden’s song selection quick and simple. However, if KAN really are planning to reboot the Kdam tradition in 2022, they’ll need the trust of the writers and artists, and they’ll gain that trust by being fair, transparent and consistent. If they keep it up… Read more »

Last edited 22 days ago by Maya G
Ethan
Ethan
22 days ago

this is really disappointing because Eden can really bring a song to life on stage, and it would be nice to hear live original music performed on stage again! looking forward to seeing what reasoning KAN provides for this decision

Una
Una
22 days ago

And of course, totally unexpected “drrammaaa”: first Ger now Isr.

esc2021rotterdam
esc2021rotterdam
22 days ago

KAN must reconsider this decision. Online selction just lowers the hype that I had when I heard that Israel is doing a national selction (especially with Eden, A performer that makes a huge impact with her performances for songs), and if covid is still a problem then so do it without audience, a lot of national finals might be held without audience due to it.

Last edited 22 days ago by esc2021rotterdam
Una
Una
22 days ago

There is so much to unpack here. Thoughts: first, I wish to express my disappointment at KAN’s decision. But I will await more news from them – it’d be nice to know what lead to that decision. I was *very* excited about their 16 songs in November and the final in February 2021. Israel was up there in my broadcasters’ ranking for the 2021 season. I own my feelings but I will exercise caution for the future. I don’t want to be disappointed again. As a loyal fan I mean.

Last edited 22 days ago by Una
Una
Una
22 days ago
Reply to  Una

About the composers’ disappointment: it’s understandable. I have a lot of empathy for them. It must be hard to make a product, give it away and then not be able to make use of it. *Not the same as what happened with the big contest in 2020 and the push to change the 1st of September rule because the 2020 songs had been released out to the public and some were hyped like there was no tomorrow*. I am empathatic towards the composers and I can see merit to their disappointment but the broadcaster must have some ground to allow… Read more »

Una
Una
22 days ago
Reply to  Una

About the on-line selection: I envisage something similar to Romania or San Marino in 2020. There is only as much as one can do with an on-line selection. But a new, innovative format would be cool.
I am excited for Eden and I hope that she will have a few good songs to pick from. Good luck, Eden!!!
I am also *very curious* to see who wrote the final songs. Known names? New names? Will Israel 2021 be a chance for new composers and lyricists?

esc2021rotterdam
esc2021rotterdam
22 days ago
Reply to  Una

Romania hasn’t done an online selection for 2020

Una
Una
22 days ago

You are 100% right. My bad. I was thinking about the 5 lyric-videos not the show in itself.

esc2021rotterdam
esc2021rotterdam
22 days ago
Reply to  Una

No prob 😉

Azaad
Azaad
22 days ago

This is messy and not a good look for KAN. If this debacle rubs off onto the blameless Eden herself (it’s clearly not her fault, but as the face of Israel’s 2021 participation she can’t avoid association with it) KAN will have wasted one of their best singers in recent memory.

Whisker
Whisker
23 days ago

Can they release the rights back to the composers that didn’t have their song selected? #shadyaf

Helena
Helena
23 days ago

I am Israeli
The media here is secretly talking about the level of the songs that were sent
The bottom line is that KAN thiks all songs are horrible and they don’t want to spend too much money on a bad result.

Israel probably won’t be qualifying.

Edina
Edina
20 days ago
Reply to  Helena

Where did you read this? I’m from Israel and nobody including the media is talking about this so stop the rumours. One good song is all it takes.
I trust KAN more than you. Soon we will know the real facts.

Lucia
Lucia
23 days ago

Good luck gorgeous !
Can’t wait to hear the songs.
Dear god of eurovision, please please make eurovision happen next year. 🙂

Leo
Leo
23 days ago

I want more acts to do song selections, even if it is online.
I have stated very openly what I think of Armenia, for example, and that she deserves to have a lot more noise around her, and that, if at least one of COVID or war makes it hard for her to go to the country she loves, than a selection should be held outside Armenia (like San Marino for 2018).
I like this format as it allows emotional investment in the acts.

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
23 days ago
Reply to  Leo

Armenia has lost major land areas to war again today. They have bigger problems than eurovision

Leo
Leo
22 days ago
Reply to  Frisian esc

This, COVID, hospitals and corruption (I know little about Armenian politics, as I have nothing to do with the country beyond emotionally investing in Athena, but, aside from the war, it has a very high COVID rate and no knowledge of how to make it quieten down) are way more important than bringing a woman in from Greece, but she deserves to be a star of renowned, because I think Chains is a should-be top 3 entry.

Whisker
Whisker
23 days ago
Reply to  Leo

Or they could just take the shortest and easiest route possible and do internal selection – that is the broadcaster, Athena, and her record label etc. pick a song for her.

Leo
Leo
22 days ago
Reply to  Whisker

Athena is self labelled (though she used to be on Panik) but I don’t want David Tserunyan or Tokionine to give her a subpar walking out-esque soul song. I want her, Paco, and major name producers, to submit several ideas. Also, she has a strong relationship with her fans and I want her song to be something approved by them. I understand Armenia has more important things on its mind, and bringing a woman from Greece to compete in a singing competition months away is not even in the top 50, but she deserves to be promoted in tandem with… Read more »

Last edited 22 days ago by Leo
Una
Una
22 days ago
Reply to  Whisker

I really hope that Wiwibloggs will make an article on Armenia solely. Really soon.

RavensHeart
RavensHeart
23 days ago

Gotta say Israel big fan of yours normally but that’s a pretty poor showing!

Ashton
Ashton
23 days ago

This is really disappointing, both to the composers, Eden, and the viewers. Israel 2020’s crop of songs were great, but Eden absolutely made them so much better live. Now we won’t get to see that. Will Eden even be singing them or will it be other people? This is just confusing and a bit of a mess.

Azaad
Azaad
22 days ago
Reply to  Ashton

At this point it seems like Eden will be singing all three songs herself, albeit not in a live format

Ashton
Ashton
22 days ago
Reply to  Azaad

I hope so.