FILED UNDER SOMETHINGISRAELI >> Arts & Entertainment
With this year's Eurovision Song Contest final set to take place in Athens on May 20th, Israel is getting ready to choose their entry.
The annual Kdam-Eurovision – the TV show where their song is selected – will be held on March 15 in Jerusalem, with 11 artists competing for the chance to represent the Holy Land.
The line-up includes singer Eddie Butler, who previously represented Israel in 1999 (when the contest took place in Jerusalem) as part of the group Eden, Tzvika Pik, an Israeli pop legend who also wrote Dana International's 1998 winner Diva, and two new bands, Gameboys and Diamondz. Singers Michael Kirkilan and Tzipi Mash'hid – both of whom were contestants on the Israeli talent show Star Academy – are also among those taking part.
Last year Israeli singer Shiri Maymon finished fourth in the contest with the powerful ballad The Silence That Remains – giving Israel their best Eurovision result since Dana International's victory. As a result they're one of 14 countries who have qualified directly for the final of the contest on May 20 – the other 24 participants will take part in the semi-final on May 18 to try and win a place in the main contest.
Whatever happens, their representative won't be the only Israeli taking part in this year's Eurovision. Fellow finalists Switzerland are sending a multi-national group, Six4One, to Athens, with the song If We All Give A Little. Among the band's members are Israeli singer Liel, the 16-year-old singing sensation whose career highlights so far include performing a duet with former US president Bill Clinton. Whether or not Switzerland's gamble will pay off remains to be seen – but they should be guaranteed some points from Israel at least.