This Week in Eurovision: Israel’s Rising Star and Lithuania’s Marathon

Happy 2017! Now that we can start saying "this year" when referring to Eurovision 2017, let's see what's happening this week.

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: HaKokhav HaBa

Israel will be kicking off its selection to find this year’s Eurovision Song Contest representative for Kiev. HaKokhav HaBa (known internationally as Rising Star) will begin its fourth series Monday with the first of 10 heats, with the finale expected to air March 6.

The format has proved to lead to Eurovision success for Israel: the country’s four-year qualifying slump ended in 2015 with series two winner Nadav Guedj landing in ninth place with “Golden Boy.” Last year’s champion Hovi Star also reached the Eurovision final with “Made of Stars,” finishing in 14th place.

Lithuania: Eurovizijos 2017

Over in Lithuania, the marathon known as Eurovizijos 2017 will start Saturday. This year, 51 participants have been shortlisted to compete for a ticket to Kiev. Among the participants are Eurovision alumni Vilija Matačiūnaitė (2013) and Sasha Son (2009).

The format has been tweaked this year so that participants won’t have to compete every single week. The first four episodes will feature a quarter of the entrants singing, with only a handful advancing to the second round. The marathon runs until March 11 and can be viewed on LRT’s website or through the LRT app.

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