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Israel fails to qualify for Eurovision finals

JTA

May 22, 2012 | 4:17 pm

Israel failed to advance to the Eurovision Song Competition final for the second consecutive year.

The eclectic band Izabo performed the song “Time” on Tuesday in the first semifinal of the competition, held this year in Baku, Azerbaijan. The Israeli Broadcasting Authority had unilaterally selected the band in February to represent Israel in the competition.

It marked the first time since the semifinal round was introduced in 2004 that Israel failed in back-to-back years to advance to the finals.

Israel has produced two top 10 finishers in the past eight years: Shiri Maimon in 2005 and Boaz Ma’uda in 2008. Both were contestants on “Kokhav Nolad,” Israel’s equivalent of “American Idol.”

Last year, in a process that heavily weighted public voting, 1998 Eurovision champion Dana International received overwhelming viewer support and won the right to represent Israel. Nevertheless, the transsexual singer failed to impress Eurovision voters with her 2011 entry, “Ding Dong.”

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