Israel: Two national selection shows to determine the Eurovision 2020 act and entry
Israel will be present at the 65th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest and the country will hold two national selection shows in order to determine the next Eurovision act and entry.
The host nation of Eurovision 2019 , will hold two shows that will select the next Israeli Eurovision representative and the song he will perform in The Netherlands next year. The Eurovision 2020 act will be selected once again through the HaKokhav HaBa L’Eurovizion show, a format that has been used since 2015 to determine the country’s Eurovision acts.
However, after criticism on the internal selection process concerning the song, the Israeli broadcaster has decided this year to hold a special show through which the Israeli representative’s song will be selected. The two broadcasters KAN and Reshet are likely to make an open call to interested acts next week with the dates and terms of the Israeli national selection for Eurovision 2020.
The Eurovision Story so Far
Israel has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 40 times since making its debut in 1973. Israel’s first appearance at the contest in 1973 was successful, with Ilanit finishing fourth. Israel has achieved 4 victories, in 1978 and 1979, with first two wins for Izhar Cohen and the Alphabeta, with the song “A-Ba-Ni-Bi”and Gali Atari and Milk and Honey, with “Hallelujah” . Its third victory came in 1998, with Dana International and “Diva” and its fourth this year with Netta’s song Toy.
The country’s best results apart from its victories were the second-place finishes for Avi Toledano in 1982 and Ofra Haza in 1983. Former winner Izhar Cohen returned to place fifth in 1985. Duo Datz finished third in 1991, while Eden finished fifth in 1999. Israel has hosted the contest twice, in 1979 and 1999, both times in Jerusalem.
After the introduction of the semi-finals in 2004, Israel has failed to reach the final six times. In 2014, the country failed to qualify for the fourth consecutive year, when Mei Feingold finished 14th (out of 15) in the second semi final, despite being one of the favorites to qualify. In 2015, Israel reached the final for the first time in five years, with Nadav Guedj finishing ninth. The only Israeli entrant to achieve a better result in the 21st century before their 2018 win was Shiri Maimon in 2005, who gave the country its tenth top five result in the contest, finishing fourth. In 2018 Netta Brazilai brought the trophy home winning Eurovision 2018 in Lisbon with her song Toy
This year the host nation was represented by Kobi Marimi and his entry “Home” which finished 23rd in the Grand final.