The Shalva Band.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Shalva Band won’t be competing at this year’s Eurovision. But, thanks to the KAN public broadcaster, it will be appearing at the international song contest after all – in a special appearance during the second semi-final.
A spokeswoman for KAN told The Jerusalem Post Wednesday that it invited the band to appear as an interval act during the show, which will be held live on May 16 in Tel Aviv.
On Tuesday, the musical group – made up mostly of young adults with disabilities - informed TV network Keshet that it would be dropping out of Hakochav Haba, the show that selects Israel’s Eurovision contestant.
Though the group had already earned a spot in the show’s finale, which is set to air live on February 12, The Shalva Band dropped out of the competition for religious reasons. The winner of the show is obligated to participate in a live, filmed rehearsal for the Eurovision finale which will take place on Shabbat, and several members of the group are religiously observant.
Though appeals were made to the European Broadcasting Union to bend its rules, the EBU would not promise any concessions could be made, and The Shalva Band is slated to officially leave Hakochav Haba in an episode airing Thursday evening.
While the Eurovision finale is slated for Saturday night, the competition’s second semi-final held on a Thursday evening, and there are no rehearsals scheduled for Shabbat.
“The slogan of the Eurovision is ‘Dare to Dream,’” KAN said in a statement Wednesday, “and Shalva dared to dream, and the Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation is happy it can help dreams come true.”
Each year, the Eurovision includes several opening acts and interval acts during the two semi-finals and the final competition. While KAN has yet to publish the list of all the musical performers, some names have leaked out, including 1998 Israeli winner Dana International. Last year’s winner, Netta Barzilai, is also slated to perform during the finale, as per Eurovision custom.
KAN approached Israeli singer Omer Adam about appearing at the finale, but he turned the opportunity down over Shabbat as well. According to reports over the past few weeks, KAN is negotiating with Madonna to potentially appear at the finale, but no final deal has been made.
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