Time for a hot mess. Time for a perenially controversial nation. Time to see what Israel has this year.
Well Israel are obviously one of the odd ones out of the Eurovision family, stranded as the only representatives of the Middle East (they have a broadcaster that’s a member of the EBU, if you were wondering why they were even eligible).
I say stranded, several of its neighbours could apply, but refuse to recognise Israel as a nation, nor broadcast their entry when they show the contest, which is against Eurovision law. As it stands, Israel are not budging from Eurovision, and have been entrants on 34 occasions since the 70s, even winning three times. Most recent and notorious of these was Dana International’s “Diva” in 1998, heralding the modern age of Eurovision.
In recent years, despite its unique international profile, Israel has had reasonable success, qualifying from most semi-finals. Notably they failed with ill-advised nuclear song “Push the button”, and shockingly with a returning Dana International last year. They have found more success in sending inoffensive (and occasionally buff) singers with some strong songs. Boaz and Harel Skaat spring to mind, with the Hebrew tongue really setting off some powerful ballads. Which makes their most recent choice all the more confusing.
Izabo appear to have been going for a while, and judging by this entry they are largely untouched by the modern era. It couldn’t sound more Middle-Eastern if it tried, and it’s got a very 70s vibe to it.
I’m imagining terrible circus set-pieces on stage, trying to distract from the vaguely tuneful but ultimately soul-sapping tune. Israel have had success, but as their semi-final results show, nothing is guaranteed, and I don’t think this will really resonate with Europe. They are performing halfway the first semi-final this year, just before utter car-crash San Marino take to the stage. My guess is that we won’t be seeing this in the final. At least I hope now.
Check out the “Eurovision 2012” tab at the top of the page for links to the rest of my ESC2012 reviews. Only four more left to write!!