Last year’s ‘Golden Boy‘ drew on all of the Israel’s early era strengths. Nadav Guedj and his crack team of energetic dancers achieved the same commitment on stage as Izhar Cohen and his highly choreographed routine thirty years before.
The intervening years haven’t been quite so fruitful, however. Israel has – surprisingly – been blighted with quite a lot of turkeys. There have been worthy but rambling affairs, some songs sung wildly out of tune, and a couple that should have been committed to demo tape let alone put on the Eurovision stage. Of note, I draw your attention to this, this, and especially this.
But in their favour, Israel did bring us some icons and anthems. First, the Eurovision classic Hallelujah (1st, 1979), and second, ‘Diva‘ (1st, 1998). Dana International’s win in Birmingham heralded a change in musical direction for Eurovision songs, meaning any country that didn’t move with the times succeeded in distancing themselves from the rest of Europe with outdated tracks. Ironically, Israel failed to move even further with the times post-2000 which goes in some way to explain their four-year run of non-qualification from 2011.
This year’s Israeli entry is a sweet heartfelt mid-tempo ballad which echoes another Eurovision song I can’t at the time of writing this put my finger on, the chorus in particular. That isn’t to its detriment however, as each successive time I listen to ‘Made of Stars’ I like it even more. I think it deserves a place in the final – a contender for my soundtrack to Eurovision 2016. Nice one, Hovi.