(photo credit: PR)
Two of the biggest musical stars in Israel today are teaming up for a new, potentially explosive reality TV show.
The Keshet production company announced Sunday night that Eyal Golan and Aviv Geffen will be collaborating on a new program that will air on Keshet 12 next year. The company presented the show as "the first ever collaboration" between the two artists."
Geffen will be leaving his gig as a judge on the hit show The Voice
to join the currently untitled show. Golan was a judge on the show Hakochav Haba
(The Next Star) until he was suspended in 2013 amid an investigation into sexual improprieties. He was never charged with anything; his father was sentenced to two years for exploitation of minors and forced prostitution related to the same scandal.
Golan is known for his Mizrahi pop hits, while Geffen favors edgier rock. Geffen has long identified with the Israeli left and says he is an atheist. Golan regularly speaks about his faith and was planning to perform at a concert in support of IDF soldier Elor Azaria earlier this year but canceled after backlash.
Aside from their very different styles, the collaboration of Geffen and Golan is intriguing because the two have exchanged very harsh words in the not-too-distant past. In an interview in January, Geffen mocked Golan's legal troubles, and accused him of trading on his ethnic identity.
"Eyal is exactly the type of person who tries to pour fuel on ethnic tensions because it serves them," he said.
In a biting response, Golan said Geffen was ugly, an "enemy of Israel and a hater of the IDF."
Golan added that Geffen's words came from his jealousy, as Mizrahi music is gaining popularity, and he fills stadiums while Geffen "collects people from their houses to see him in places that are smaller than my living room."
Maariv's TMI gossip blog, however, speculated on Monday that the fighting may have been entirely staged to make the TV show announcement more dramatic.
But Yediot Aharonot
's Ran Boker said that the two finally came to a deal last week after a 90-minute negotiation that ended with a handshake. It seems more likely that they agreed to set aside their differences for a sizable paycheck.