Israel’s 2016 Eurovision Song Contest delegate is Hovi Star, a flamboyant 29-year-old singer and reality idol. Star, whose real name is Hovev Sekulets, was voted to the top spot of the Rising Star television song contest thereby winning the ticket to Eurovision.
“I’m wildly excited,” Star told local media after winning the final. “This is a childhood dream come true and I promise to represent Israel in the best way possible.”
Star first came to public attention when he took part in another televised song contest, Kochav Haba (A Star is Born), in 2009. He also does voice overs for cartoons.
The Kiryat Ata resident is actually Israel’s second Eurovision representative – France announced last month that it was sending Israeli-French singer Amir Haddad as its delegate to the campy song contest.
And while Star’s triumph over runner up contestants Nofar Salman, Ella Daniel and Gil Hadash was expected, local fans are protesting the song selection Made of Stars, written and composed by Doron Medalie.
Eurovision fans – in Israel and abroad – have taken to social media to proclaim that if the song remains, Israel will not advance past the first half of the second Semi-Final of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest on May 12.
According to Israel Hayom newspaper, an urgent meeting was held over the weekend to discuss the Eurovision song selection. And though he won great acclaim last year for his Golden Boy composition, even Medalie has reportedly given his approval for the switch to Somebody Out There.
The Israeli Eurovision committee has until March 14, 2016 to choose a song.