Israel have quite an interesting history in the Eurovision Song Contest noting that they are known for bringing about innovative ideas to the competition having been the first ever country to host a female conductor way back in the edition of 1974, when Ilanit performed the track Ey Sham which ended up finishing in fourth place. Nevertheless, in recent years it seems that success has not been on the agenda for the nation especially following the fact that they have not made the final since the beautiful ballad Milim was performed by Harel Skaat way back in 2010. They decided to select their entry internally earlier this year but nevertheless, it was not well received so to speak with Izabo and their entry Time finishing in thirteenth place in the semi-final. Thus, following two disappointments in a row, the Israeli broadcaster, IBA will be hosting a high profile national final.
Next years' national final procedure will be very much the same as the Norsk Melodi Grand Prix thus comprising of around thirty artists split up in three semi-finals, ten in each one with the top three of each round making it through to the final phase of the selection. From all of the entries that fail to make through automatically, there will be yet another competition, with the public selection another one making it ten entries in the final in total. It is to be noted though that Norway has not been successful in the past two years as well despite the fact that they were favourites in 2011 with Stella Mwangi and Haba Haba and also Tooji and his track Stay in 2012. This will be quite an interesting process actually especially for a country like Israel whose best attempts at national finals came through the typical Kdam process which was only a grand gala night. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com as we follow this brand new selection process.
Israel have always managed to make their name known in the Eurovision Song Contest starting with their debut participation when their entry entitled Ey Sham performed by Ilanit and conducted by Nurit Hirsh who just happens to be the second female conductor ever at the international showcase. The song would ultimately be a strong debut by finishing in fourth place after a dramatic, beautiful performance. The nation would continue their stroke of good luck throughout the next couple of years gaining their premier victory just a couple of years into the competition in 1978 with A-Ba-Na-Bi before managing a second victory the following year with Halleluljah.They would ultimately record a third victory in 1998 with Diva but nevertheless, their recent results have been nothing to write home about.
They have gone for internal selection of the artist in most of the recent years actually noting the selection of Mira and Noa, Teapacks, Boaz Ma'uda and Harel Skaat amongst others. Most of the performances ended up bringing about mid-table results but then again, they have not really set the scoreboard on fire with their last top ten placing coming in 2008 with The Fire In Your Eyes. This year, the nation were represented by the track Time performed by Izabo. Unfortunately, the group failed to make an impact and finished in thirteenth place meaning that Israel did not qualify for the second year in a row. It seems that the Israeli broadcaster, IBA is hopeful of turning the tide though noting that they have promised the artists who would be submitting interest a fair selection. There has been thought of sabotage towards the extremely popular Maya Buskila who has been wanted to represent the country for quite some time. She has been very close to garnering the spot and this year only failed by just a point in front of an internal jury as chosen by the broadcaster.
Despite the apparent failure in Baku, Azerbaijan it seems that things will definitely be taking a turn for the better with IBA monitoring things very closely wanting to put Israel back into the final. They have spoken about the fact that the selection will be held earlier this time round in order to support the artist in the best possible way therefore confirming that they will be heading to Sweden in order to retrieve not only their respectful dignity but to give the people something to cheer about. The Eurovision Song Contest is very popular in Israel and therefore, it will be quite interesting on how things evolve for next year. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as we unravel the news in the lead up to the next competition taking place in Sweden.
Source: Mako, Eurovision.tv
Nine reviews have now been published and therefore, we move onto the tenth one in accordance with the draw for the running order in order to give the readers a better analysis to how the songs styles will be heard about after each other. In the first semi-final one could easily note that there are not too many issues because most of the songs manage to stand up on their own and reach the best possible result. The next country, is Israel, a debatable nation on whether it is actually European such as Azerbaijan due to the ties with another continent. Nevertheless, they have presented great songs over the years and this time round they have chosen a very interesting track entitled Time written by Ran Shem-Tov & Shiri Hadar who are part of the performing group known as Izabo.
Izabo are best described as a brilliant, action packed combination of Psychadelic Rock, Disco, Punk flavoured with Arabic spices. They secured a spot as one of Israel’s most successful alternative pop bands with the 2003 release of their debut album The Fun Makers. From there Izabo went on to sign with Sony BMG, and in the same year released “The Morning Hero EP” in the UK and began to take their funky sounds to an international audience. In January of 2005 The Fun Makers was released in the Benelux countries via the label Rough Trade NL, and in 2006 it was released in France via Roymusic/ Discograph.
Since 2006, Izabo have been busy touring Europe constantly and showcasing their catchy disco beats at a variety of festivals including Trans Musicales, The Paleo Festival, and Eurosonic. Their second album Superlight was released in Israel and France in 2008 with Roymusic/ Discograph to rave reviews. In October 2011 Izabo signed with the English Label 100% Records, who signed artists among Gossip, Moby and Placebo. Izabo’s first three Track EP has been released in the United Kingdom this July, with their brand new album due to be released by the end of the year, in the UK, Europe & Israel.
The Critics Voice Their Opinion
Jan Van Dijck
- This song brings me back to the Motown Sound. The song itself has a melody line that reminds to one of ABBA’s less known songs “Nina, Pretty Ballarina” included in ABBA’s first album. But the song is catchy, funny and the band members of Izabo are enjoying. Will Europe enjoy it? I did and I give it seven (7) points.
- Israel goes in a rather crazy direction this year. But where other crazy efforts fail miserably, like Montenegro, this actually works in its own special way, because there is some musicality in it. And I believe that originality is something that should be credited, so five (5) points they shall receive, although I’m not crazy about the song!
- A rock/pop song with nice strings added to it. The chorus is the best part in there but the melody has a silly ”asian” feel to it. Not enough to make it a good song. We can only give this track three (3) points.
Composers: Ran Shem-Tov & Shiri Hadar
Authors: Ran Shem-Tov & Shiri Hadar
History of the Nation
One can always learn new facts about a country when it comes to the Eurovision Song Contest. Israel is one of the nations who has never finished last in the event. Their first participation came in 1973 with the beautiful track Ey Sham performed by Ilanit which finished in fourth place making it a very respectable debut. This entry did cause some interesting talk because the conductor of the orchestra was a woman, the first ever at the music competition. They would continue to reach positive results year after year and in their first five years of competition, their worst placing was eleventh. Their first victory would come in 1978 with A-Ba-Ni-Bi performed by Izhar Cohen and the Alphabeta but they would reach the top placing once more the following year in 1979 with Hallelujah sung by Gali Atari & Milk and Honey. The results would continue to flourish and another victory would be recorded by Dana International and her track Diva in 1998. Since the qualification system was introduced Israel failed to make it through on three (3) occasions and made it through on another four (4) occasions.