On Tuesday, Israeli broadcaster KAN released an exciting announcement: Noa Kirel will represent Israel in 2023. While many fans were quick to celebrate the news, others doubted why the artist announcement came so early. And now it seems that their unease may be justified.
In an interview with 103 FM’s Raz Shechnik, the Israeli representative-to-be distanced herself from the announcement. Though Eurovision.tv have already unveiled her as the Israeli artist, the 21-year-old said it isn’t certain: “We’ll make a decision later on”.
Noa Kirel not yet confirmed for Eurovision 2023
In true Israeli fashion, Israel’s confirmed representative for Eurovision 2023 is already serving drama…and might be pulling out. Noa Kirel, whose participation was met with a highly positive response within the Eurovision fanbase on Monday, has quelled the rumours by confirming that the decision hasn’t been made yet.
On Monday morning, the KAN committee debated 78 potential artists to represent Israel. They picked — unanimously, according to KAN — Noa Kirel. Probably out of excitement that the artist had previously said yes, KAN prematurely revealed her as the Israeli representative. However, in a radio segment that aired Tuesday evening, Kirel clarified that nothing is set in stone.
A video from the interview opens with interviewer Raz Shechnik saying: “We’re minute[s] after the exciting Eurovision announcement, and we still haven’t heard what you have to say”. She replied: “You’re right, I’m still taking the whole thing in. First of all, it’s a great honour that they chose me. It’s really exciting, and as a kid I always watched [the contest]. So there’s something very grand about it, a lot of responsibility on my shoulders. I’m not taking this whole thing in yet. I’m taking a few days off to understand […] what’s happening. It’s a really big deal. Right now, I’m concentrating only on [my upcoming concert].”
The interviewer then led Noa back to the topic. “But everyone is asking, did she say yes? Did she say no? Does she want to go? Does she not?”, he asked. Noa laughs nervously and her response is hesitant. “This just happened and we’re still in the middle of this whole thing. My team and I will take some time to figure it all out. Together, we will make a decision, slowly. The interviewer then quickly interjects: “So, May 2023. Noa Kirel at Eurovision?”. She answers: “Maybe. Maybe”.
Next in line: Mergui
Anyone who followed Israel’s Eurovision 2018 selection, or knows current Israeli pop music, will recognise this name. Mergui, who placed second to Netta in Next Star for Eurovision, and also happens to be Noa Kirel’s ex-boyfriend, lost to Noa Kirel in the internal selection by only one point, according to a report by Eran Swissa.
If Noa Kirel turns down the offer to go to Eurovision eventually, Mergui will be invited. Chen Aharoni, who wrote Israel’s 2021 entry and participated in the Israeli selection a couple of times, made the following prediction in the comments: “Both Noa and Mergui will turn down the offer, and so will the third-placer”.
What do you think? Will Noa represent Israel at Eurovision, will it be Mergui, or someone else? Let us know in the comments!