KAN, the Israeli national broadcaster, has revealed that they alone will be responsible for selecting both the Israeli artist and song for Eurovision from 2021 onwards.
KAN will broadcast a national selection on KAN 11, the main channel of the broadcaster. KAN have launched a call for production companies to offer formats for the new national selection. The new selection will be presented by Lucy Ayoub, one of the presenters at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.
Currently, the Israeli representative for Eurovision is chosen through the talent show “HaKokhav Haba L’Eurovizion” on private broadcaster Keshet. The show has been used since 2015 to select the Israeli representative for Eurovision. It has resulted in Israel appearing in the final every year since, including winning the contest in 2018.
The current series of the show began last month and will select the artist only. The entry that the selected artist will perform in Rotterdam is set to be decided on a seperate show on KAN. This will be the first time since 2016 that the Israeli public will be able to select their entry for the contest. The creation of the show comes after criticism of the current internal selection process.
Representing Israel this year was Kobi Marimi, who sang “Home” in his home city of Tel Aviv. He placed 23rd in the Grand Final. The result matches that of Imri Ziv who represented Israel in 2017.
Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest
Israel debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1973, and were represented by Ilanit who finished in 4th place with the song “Ey Sham”. Their first victory came in 1978 with Izar Cohen and the Alphabeta. Israel won again the following year with Gali Atari & Milk and Honey. Israel’s third victory came in 1998 when Dana International performed “Diva” in Birmingham, beating Malta to victory in a tense voting sequence. Israel struggled in the contest during the early-2010s, failing to qualify for the final from 2011-2014. However since the HaKokhav HaBa selection process was introduced in 2015 Israel has seen its fortunes turned around. In 2018 Netta won the Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Toy”, the song has gone on to be the most viewed Eurovision entry of all time on YouTube.