Lights, camera, action, Eurovision - comment

The show might be taking place in Tel Aviv - but the TV broadcast is what really counts.

May 14, 2019 09:18
2 minute read.
Lights, camera, action, Eurovision - comment

The winner of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest, Netta Barzilai of Israel, performs during a dress rehearsal ahead of the first semi-final of 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, Israel May 13, 2019. . (photo credit: RONEN ZVULUN / REUTERS)

The best show in town will be kicking off on Tuesday night in Tel Aviv. The first semifinal of the 2019 Eurovision will be broadcast in dozens of countries, to tens of millions of viewers around the globe.
And, no matter what goes down in the Expo Tel Aviv on Tuesday night, it is the TV broadcast of the show that will be seen by so many people. And what they will see will be a polished, professional broadcast that showcases the absolute best of Israeli talent, creativity and passion.
KAN, Israel’s public broadcaster, is not a concert producer. It’s a television network, and it has spent the past year working on what is annually one of the most watched TV events every year. And the live broadcasts on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nights this week are what will define the 2019 Eurovision.
There’s no denying that the past six months haven’t been the smoothest ride to Israel’s third Eurovision, and its first in 20 years. There have been squabbles over funding, distress over the small number of seats in the venue and then dismay about high ticket prices. There were boycott attempts and political grandstanding, apprehension over host Bar Refaeli’s legal troubles and concern about the expenses of Tel Aviv driving away incoming tourism.
But, come 10 p.m. on Tuesday night, none of that should matter. Television screens around the world will tune in to watch the first 17 competing countries’ contestants take the stage.
And one crucial element of the broadcast is already in the bag: the 40-second postcard videos of each contestant that air before they sing. The 41 video clips feature each of the competitors dancing at picturesque sites across Israel. The videos are stunningly beautiful, and the sneak peeks that have already been revealed have gained near critical acclaim among Eurovision fans.
And at the first technical rehearsal that was held on Monday afternoon, the months of work and thousands of manpower hours that have already gone into the contest were on full display. Crews of people seamlessly shifted the scenery and props between songs – and the camera work, lighting and display screens created a professional, impressive experience.
Yes, KAN has struggled to sell tickets to the two semifinals and to the rehearsal shows, and suffered heavy criticism over the high prices. But the tens of millions of viewers at home won’t see any of that. They’ll see a well-executed, slick and sharp television show that showcases the 41 contestants, as well as the beauty and innovation that Israelis know to be a hallmark of the Jewish state. And, perhaps tens of millions of viewers will soon understand that as well.
That is, as long as there are no unexpected surprises along the way.

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