After failing to qualify for the grand final in Turin for the first time since 2014, the Israeli Broadcasting Corporation (IPBC/KAN) has decided to move back to an internal artist selection for the 2023 contest.
The artist will be selected by a 9 member committee appointed by IPBC, with the committee bring comprised of the director of IPBC’s radio stations, two music editors with experience selection songs, two representatives from IPBC’s television division, and four additional members from the culture and music industry. IPBC’s goal is for the committee to represent the wide range of musical genres and styles present in Israel.
The artist selection process
The appointed committee will be tasked with examining the names of several prominent singers in the country, and there is a requirement that these artists have experience performing live in front of large audiences and have commercial success on the radio and streaming platforms. It is currently unknown if IPBC with curate a list for the committee to review and select from, or if it will be based on individual applications and/or recommendations from record labels.
This is not the first time that Israel has used a committee to select their Eurovision artist, as Ilanit was selected by a committee in 1973 to be the first ever representative for the country – though her selection was not a shock given that she approached then broadcaster IBA a year earlier to participate in the contest. Other artists to be selected by an internal committee were The Beehive Band, Shlomo Artzi, Chocolate Mint Mastic, Dana International, Eden Band, Sarit Hadad, Lior Narkis, Mei Finegold, and more.
How will their 2023 entry be selected?
The statement from IPBC goes on to say: “After the selection of the representative, a procedure will begin to select the song that will best represent Israel on the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 stage.” This means that even though the artist will be decided internally, a national final could still occur to give the public a say in their entry next year. Israel has used this method a few times from 2002 through 2004, 2007 through 2010, and most recently in 2014 with Mei Finegold. Under that system, Israel only saw three non-qualifications in 2004, 2007, and 2014.
However, we do know is that neither Keshet or Reshet submitted a tender to host a national selection. Keshet was responsible for organizing the Israeli national final from 2015 until 2020 with the show “The Next Star for Eurovision”, and Reshet served as the selection host in 2022 by using “X-Factor: Israel”.
The reasoning for the lack of tenders appears to be due to the terms presented by IPBC for hosting the show and the costs associated. Per the terms, if Keshet or Reshet accepted to host the national final they would be responsible for covering the delegation costs to Eurovision, the music video, song recording, but IPBC was to decide how the song would be selected. Essentially, IPBC would get to pick the selection format while another broadcaster paid for everything else. More information about the selection method will likely come from IPBC after an artist announcement.