Eurovision 2020

Israel: 2020 participation confirmed, song to be selected by public

The song will now be selected by the Israeli public in a separate show

Earlier this week week, Israel confirmed their participation for next year’s contest. They join the likes of AustraliaAustriaBelgiumDenmarkLithuania and San Marino in confirming their participation. Along with the news was the announcement of changes to their selection method.

Following their stint as the host country for 2019, Israel now give up their privileges and will return to the semi finals once again for the 2020 contest. Following a disappointing finish for their host entry, “Home”, similar to many host entries before it, the Israeli delegation will be looking to improve their result for next year. To achieve this, they are planning to hold a selection show for the song as well as the artist.

According to Israeli site Srugim, the delegation will not be internally-selecting their song like they have done in previous years. Although the Rising Star (HaKokhav HaBa) format will remain for selecting the artist, the song will be selected through another show. This additional selection show will feature three-to-five songs, with a public vote determining which will be taken to the contest by the singer. This is similar to the format of Finland’s UMK.

Israel at the Eurovision Song Contest

Israel has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 41 times since making its debut in 1973. The country has won the contest four times (1978, 1979, 1998, 2018), and has hosted the contest twice (1979 and 1999).

Since the introduction of the semi-finals in 2004, Israel has failed to reach the final six times. In 2005, Shiri Maimon gave the country its tenth top five result with “HaSheket SheNish’ar”, finishing fourth. Having failed to qualify for the final for four consecutive years (2011–14), Israel reached the final with Nadav Guedj’s “Golden Boy” in 2015. Since Nadav’s ninth place finish, Israel has qualified for every Grand Final. 

Last year, Netta brought Israel it’s forth victory, 20 years after its previous win. Her song won the televote and placed 3rd in the jury vote, amassing 529 points. The 2019 edition of the contest was hosted in Tel Aviv. Performing on home soil, Kobi Marimi’s “Home” didn’t quite reach the heights of its predecessor, placing 21st with 35 points.

Are you happy to see Israel return for 2020? Do you agree that the selection method should be changed? Let us know! Be sure to stay updated by following @ESCXTRA on Twitter@escxtra on Instagram and liking our Facebook page for the latest updates!

Costa Christou

Ever since I saw Helena Paparizou's triumph at Eurovision in 2005 (at the tender age of 6), I have been crazy about Eurovision. From the regional native language bops and shrieky female-led balladry to the sophisticated avant garde pop songs and chart-friendly EDM, I love everything about this cultural phenomenon. I'm currently working as a Delivery Manager in a software development team.

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