Following two consecutive appearances in the Eurovision final, the country’s most read daily newspaper – Israel Hayom – has confirmed details of what to expect for Israel’s selection process for the 2017 contest.

The newspaper reveals that The Next Star (or HaKokhav HaBa) will be in charge of selecting the entry for the third year in a row. In comparison to previous seasons of The Next Star which have lasted for several months, the forthcoming season is expected to be shorter due to scheduling conflicts, with ten episodes being aired from January 2017.

The Next Star is amongst the most unique talent show formats that have been sold to broadcasters around the world. At certain stages of the season, viewers are able to vote for their favourite artists using a mobile application with statistics of the live vote being shown on the broadcast. The judging panel are also able to influence the vote, and contestants perform behind a gigantic screen which only lifts to reveal the studio audience once they reach their set goal.

In an incredibly tense final earlier this year, Nofar Salman had been set a goal of 69% to beat Hovi Star who had performed first of the three remaining contestants, but the screen never lifted for her as she fell agonisingly short of the victory by just 2%. Hovi went on to secure a 14th place finish in the Eurovision final with a substantially-revamped Made of Stars (watch the performance below), written and produced by Doron Medalie who also wrote Golden Boy which finished in 9th place for Nadav Guedj the previous year.

Of course, Israel’s most successful results remain their three Eurovision victories in 1978, 1979 and 1998 with A-Ba-Ni-Bi, Hallelujah and Diva respectively. Perhaps their fourth isn’t too far away?

My first memory of watching the Eurovision Song Contest was back in 2001 and, over the years, my passion and enthusiasm for the contest has very much turned into an obsession. I adore music and I love geography, so this contest is a natural fit for me. If la la loving Eurovision was a crime, I'd certainly be a criminal!

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