First Listen: Israel’s Hovi Star is “Made of Stars” for Stockholm

Israel's Rising Star has brought Hovi Star to the forefront, but will "Made of Stars" make him a star at Eurovision?

Hovi Star represented Israel at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest after winning HaKokhav HaBa. (Photo: mako.co.il) Hovi Star represented Israel at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest after winning HaKokhav HaBa. (Photo: mako.co.il)

Israel’s version of Rising Star was used last year to find their Eurovision Song Contest representative Nadav Guedj and they ended up in the Final for the first time since 2010. It makes sense that the delegation would use the same process to see if lightning will strike twice. Hovi Star won this year’s competition with the song “Made of Stars” and will represent Israel in Stockholm this May. Here’s the song:

Hmmm. This is a complicated one to dissect. Hovi Star has a solid vocal, though the song doesn’t demonstrate a great amount of range or challenge. This is the kind of song that jumps to mind when people talk about Eurovision as a genre, with manufactured melodrama and unearned key changes and light use of metaphor and analogy. There also isn’t anything that is distinctly Israeli about this entry. A song like this could just as easily come out of Denmark, Austria, or Moldova. In other words: good singer choice, bad song choice.

It turns out I’m not the only person who thinks this. A petition effort is underway to swap Hovi Star’s song for one sung by another finalist from Rising Star. I’m not sure if this solves the problem as “Somebody out There” has many of the same problems as “Made of Stars”, though I do think the second song is slightly less bland. My hope is that for whichever song gets used (if a third, better option doesn’t materialize) is that a remix or rewrite to make it stand out as an Israeli song instead of a “Eurovision” song happens.

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