Israel is changing its national final plans again. Despite earlier expectations that singer Eden Alene would perform her three songs live at the national final on January 25, KAN will reportedly instead broadcast music videos of the finalist songs.

The scaled-down format of the song selection show HaShir Shelanu L’Eurovizion comes as a response to Covid-19 restrictions in Israel.

Because of the pandemic situation, broadcaster KAN had to rethink some of their plans. After already having scrapped its plans to have a 16-song multi-week national final, the broadcaster has made another cut. Eden will still present three potential Eurovision songs, but there will be tweaks to the show format.

According to Israeli site EuroMix, instead of a live show, the voting will take place based solely on music videos. KAN will still broadcast a January 25th live show hosted by Eurovision 2019 co-host Lucy Ayoub, but Eden will not perform the three entries live.

Additionally, the professional jury will not be present. Initially, the plan was to have the televoting make up 40% of the vote, but now the vote will be decided by 100% televote.

Israel — which is now in preparations for a fourth legislative election in two years — is facing Covid-related issues. Despite a successful start to vaccination season, the number of coronavirus cases is still soaring. As a result, Israel has gone into an extremely tight nationwide lockdown. This prevents many public events from taking place, and many limitations on transportation are in place.

This in turn makes holding a full national final in less than two weeks seem almost impossible.

Eden Alene’s Eurovision journey

Three potential Eurovision 2021 songs have been shortlisted for Eden Alene. At the grand final on January 25, viewers will have to choose between “La La Love”, “Set Me Free” and “Ue La La”. Voting will open on 19 January and run until the grand final on 25 January.

While music videos won’t give viewers the same experience as a live performance, viewers will still be familiar with Eden’s talents singing live.

Eden originally won Israel’s Eurovision 2020 artist selection HaKokhav HaBa L’Eurovizion. She was due to perform at Eurovision 2020 with the song “Feker libi”. After Eurovision 2020 was cancelled, KAN gave Eden the return ticket to Rotterdam.

What do you think of the new format? Which song should Eden Alene take to Eurovision 2021? Have your say below!

Read more Israel Eurovision news here

43 Comments
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Musimakeup
Musimakeup
10 months ago

i’m torn between lala love and set me free.

I started watching JESC before ESC
I started watching JESC before ESC
10 months ago

I think la la love is the choice because she look kinda annoyed singing set me free and forgot the lyrics to ue la la

Clever1
Clever1
10 months ago

Yup, COVID is just an excuse. My guess is that Kan decided to change plans due to the low quality of the songs.
1. Videos instead of live performances could add variety and depth to what are pretty similar songs musically.
2. No need for a jury, since Kan has no favorite to try to push through.

Rob
Rob
10 months ago

Covid is a convenient excuse to deflect from Kan’s shortcomings throughout this selection. The original 16 song final premise was planned at the height of the crisis and the submission window itself took place at the peak of the second Covid wave. The decision to scrap the 16 song concept was a result of poor quality and inadequate submissions. The song committee could barely agree on 9 songs and the situation must have been so dire that they couldn’t even come up with 10 songs like Kan was willing to settle for. With only 9 demos in sight, it made… Read more »

Rob
Rob
10 months ago

I don’t get the urgency of filming 3 videos in 3-4 weeks when the only video that really matters is that of the winning song. There should have been 3 prerecorded live studio performances shot in one take each with no audience due to the current lockdown. There would have been plenty of time to focus on a properly thought out and well-designed video after January 25. This 2021 selection reminds me of Mei Finegold’s selection in 2014 when the public vote was based on 3 music videos. The only difference is that Mei had complete control over the songs… Read more »

Azaad
Azaad
10 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Keep in mind that the mandatory switch to Hebrew (which does blend into English well at all) and busy staging were the only things going against Same Heart in 2014, which was a good song, something that KAN don’t have the luxury of falling behind this time.

Rob
Rob
10 months ago
Reply to  Azaad

Mei’s 3 songs reflected her personality and stage persona a lot more than this year’s imposed choices on Eden. KAN may not be responsible for the generally low standard of songs submitted this year, but if Ue-La-La ends up being selected, the predominantly Hebrew slang with the lazy French and English lyrics will sound disconnected and incongruous. If KAN ends up getting a slap on the wrist by not making it to the final, I don’t think it’s such a bad thing. Eden also needs to experience what it’s like to be on the ‘losing’ end because she’s been pampered… Read more »

Rob
Rob
10 months ago

Covid is a convenient excuse to deflect from Kan’s shortcomings throughout this selection. The original 16 song final premise was planned at the height of the crisis and the submission window itself took place at the peak of the second Covid wave. The decision to scrap the 16 song concept was a result of poor quality and inadequate submissions. The song committee could barely agree on 9 songs and the situation must have been so dire that they couldn’t even come up with 10 songs like Kan was willing to settle for. With only 9 demos in sight, it made… Read more »

McRoro
McRoro
10 months ago

Can’t KAN just postpone the NF? Or is their schedule full already?
I just feel like Eden deserves so much better than this…

gilpgilpgilp
gilpgilpgilp
10 months ago

This change benefits Ue La La and La La Love. William is right, Ue La La is the best choice. The other two are so generic and unmemorable.

Una
Una
10 months ago

I don’t mind the format – Israel have done similar in 2014 AFAIR and San Marino in 2020.
The only thing I “shade” kind of is the wide window for voting – as per current article it opens on Jan 19 up until Jan 25. It’s a pretty long period of time and it’s only 1 artist and 3 songs. And those songs have been out for more than a week or so. Why six days for voting?

James
James
10 months ago
Reply to  Una

The voting in 2014 also lasted for a week

Landon
Landon
10 months ago

I wish they could have done one of those virtual concert type of things, with Eden performing them live from her house or someplace like that, but I guess this is what needs to be done. A bit unfortunate, as that means my favourite song (Set Me Free) will probably get last place.

Oh well. Let’s just hope KAN and Israel will still be able to participate in Eurovision.

MALTESER
MALTESER
10 months ago

I don’t get why the Covid excuses are almost justifying cancelling this selection. Songwriters must be furious, Eden is now just being used as a puppett and I don’t get the point of it being impossible when Junior Eurovision managed to take place in a similar situation. KAN must either be broke or really lazy.

Azaad
Azaad
10 months ago
Reply to  MALTESER

I wonder if this is all to ensure that they don’t host next year.

Kalla
Kalla
10 months ago

Poor Eden, she must be getting so frustrated!

Azaad
Azaad
10 months ago

This is messier than the arguments in the Knesset.

Saul Browne
10 months ago

Its a bit of a shame but needs must

Colin
Colin
10 months ago

On one hand, we don’t need to see live-live performances to see that Eden is a great performer, because we already know that. However, the ever-changing (and simplifying) rules do them no favors in appearing assured in what they want. I get that it’s a tough situation, so I’m not judging.

Now that the juries are out, I can assume that it will be between La La Love and Ue La La, meaning that Israel is already applying for the worst lyrics award of 2021. They are darn, catchy, though. 😉

KRM
KRM
10 months ago
Reply to  Colin

I really hope for Set Me Free or possibly La La Love. I just can’t with Ue La La..

Mahi Mahi
Mahi Mahi
10 months ago
Reply to  Colin

Because “I’m a golden boy, come here to enjoy, I’m the king of fun, let me show how we do it” was written by Shakespeare?

Colin
Colin
10 months ago
Reply to  Mahi Mahi

A) Golden Boy isn’t in the 2021 contest.
B) It would be like 25th best written song in the 2015 contest.
C) It plays off more self-aware and like a subtle parody of the genre.

Point being?

Mahi Mahi
Mahi Mahi
10 months ago
Reply to  Colin

The point is that I don’t understand why people are obsessing about lyrics of a party song. Lyrics are not the focal point of any successful party song. History shows that party songs can achieve very good results even with trashy lyrics.

When I think about it again, even the lyrics of “Heroes” is pure trash. it didn’t prevent it from winning.

Last edited 10 months ago by Mahi Mahi
Colin
Colin
10 months ago
Reply to  Mahi Mahi

The lyrics might not be a *focal* point of a party song, but they still matter. There is a big difference between standard lyrics and terrible ones. I also thought that Heroes’ lyrics are pretty good.

I *never said* that Israel won’t qualify. I just said that *I think the lyrics are bad*. Sure, with Eden’s energy and a memorable hook, I can see both songs qualifying. That wasn’t an issue here. 😉

Last edited 10 months ago by Colin
Mahi Mahi
Mahi Mahi
10 months ago
Reply to  Colin

I talk generally that judging a party song by it’s lyrics is wrong. It’s like complaining that a chocolate-fudge cake has no real nutritional values. Yeah, this is why it’s a cake and not a salad – it doesn’t pretend to be healthy, it’s not the point of it. You don’t eat a cake because it’s healthy. On the other hand, If you gave me a ballad with amazing vocals and melody, but silly lyrics, I would totally agree that something is lacking in that ballad. PS. Add “I wanna f**k, but I’m broken hearted, cry cry cry since the… Read more »

Last edited 10 months ago by Mahi Mahi
Una
Una
10 months ago
Reply to  Mahi Mahi

Hahahaha. Is that that quote from a real song?

Una
Una
10 months ago
Reply to  Mahi Mahi

Noooooooooo, don’t be. I am. I thought the quote was from a song related to Eurovision. My bad.

Colin
Colin
10 months ago
Reply to  Mahi Mahi

While I agree that having terrible lyrics is perhaps even worse when it comes to a ballad (because it’s point is likely more to provide emotional depth or some form of epic or uplifting content), I don’t think that the uptempo songs are excused of critique in that regard. Sure, *on average* ballads and slower songs do tend to have slightly deeper lyrics, but that’s far from being a rule. Some uptempo ESC songs with extraordinary lyrics include Occidentalis karma, Viszlat nyar, No me avete fato niente, Running, L’enfer et moi, Hatrid mun sigra and many more. So, the question… Read more »

Last edited 10 months ago by Colin
Azaad
Azaad
10 months ago
Reply to  Mahi Mahi

There’s a difference between mediocrity and offensiveness. You don’t need to have Shakespeare’s prose in a bop, but you shouldn’t make light of a pandemic that will have claimed over 2 million lives come May 2021. Not only is it in poor form, but it will offend jury members and viewers and consequently lead to a bad result for Israel.

Mahi Mahi
Mahi Mahi
10 months ago
Reply to  Azaad

“not offending anyone” is a very slippery rabbit hole that will make every broadcaster send safe, boring and dated songs.
Look at the BBC, this is practically their approach to Eurovision.

I come from the sane camp that says “Let’s not speak on the behalf of others, Let’s not tell people what they should be offended from, and let’s not demonize things by trying to find non-existent negativity in them”

Both Toy and 1944 can be offensive to some people. Art can be offensive. C’est la vie.

Last edited 10 months ago by Mahi Mahi
Una
Una
10 months ago
Reply to  Mahi Mahi

The pandemic has been affecting – and keeps affecting – people all over the world. I don’t find the comparison to “Toy” and “1944” legit, take no offence, please.

Colin
Colin
10 months ago
Reply to  Mahi Mahi

That’s a fair point as well, but I still think there’s a difference of having a thought-provoking song, like 1944 or Toy and thus rubbing some people the wrong way, and having a lazily written lyrics like La La Love, which just accidentally give us the cringe factor of being dismissive towards a global health issue. That said, I do understand some people not liking Toy or 1944 exclusively due to lyrics. I’m only emphasizing that some people being offended by them was perhaps a part of the point. I don’t think that the authors of La La Love were… Read more »

Last edited 10 months ago by Colin
Whisker
Whisker
10 months ago
Reply to  Mahi Mahi

Sorry, anyone can write bad lyrics. Good lyrics require talent, vision, knowledge, art.

Eurovision fan
Eurovision fan
10 months ago

Idk I really expected to see how Eden performs all of these three songs live to know what’s the best option for Israel. :/

From this point I think La La Love is the best one.

Last edited 10 months ago by Eurovision fan
Ashton Schier
Ashton Schier
10 months ago

This is such a mess, eden deserves better. With these songs, though I’m not fully certain ofc, it’s possible she could not qualify. It’s such a shame. I just dont understand why KAN didn’t follow whatever process they did to get eden’s 2020 songs, ALL 4 of which are better than every single one here (Shoulders is a close 5th).

James
James
10 months ago
Reply to  Ashton Schier

The factor that made the main difference has been COVID. Depending on how bad is the situation there in Israel, KAN had to adjust to the continually changing circumstances. Even if they decide to make a re-do of last year’s format, the broadcaster would still have been plagued with difficulties of holding a show due to measures being implemented by the government.

Azaad
Azaad
10 months ago
Reply to  James

A difference in show format is understandable, but how would that impact song quality, especially when the 2020 songwriters had only a month to write a song that fit Eden, much less time than the 2021 songwriters who knew for months who’d be representing Israel.

Dimos
Dimos
10 months ago

This just feels so so wrong. They announced something big as a national selection and then made so many cuts that it ended up like a cheap Greece-2017 final

Last edited 10 months ago by Dimos
Grft
Grft
10 months ago

So weird. I don’t know why they’re doing Eden so bad.

Michaela Radová
Michaela Radová
10 months ago

don´ t understand why they couldn´t shoot the “live” performace in advance like some of the other countries… don´t understand what´s the point of the NF show then… I´m sorry for a negative comment, I´m just really disappointed about this.

Mahi Mahi
Mahi Mahi
10 months ago

Seems good to me.
Save the real performance for May.
Last year, Feker libi didn’t climb the betting odds and didn’t get much hype because of that.
There was no real video clip to accompany the song and the live performance, while catchy as hell, was only the preview and not the final product.
I prefer to keep the surprise element to the real show instead of letting it burn out for 3 monthes.

Whisker
Whisker
10 months ago

Voting based on music videos as opposed to live performances is not in the spirit of Eurovision. Anyway, if people can vote at home, so could a jury?