Equal Semi Finals in Eurovision 2024 if the EBU does not approve of ‘October Rain’

As we all know, Eden Golan won this year’s edition of the HaKokhav HaBa talent show (Rising Star), and was thus selected to represent Israel in Eurovision 2024. Her song however was not chosen during the show, but it is being selected internally. The selected song titled “October Rain” may not be in line with the Eurovision rules of all entries having to be non-political, and thus whether we will actually see Israel in Malmö or not – remains to be seen.

As a reminder, multiple broadcasters were requested to modify their songs lyrics, song titles, or the entire songs over the years. The last couple of examples include Armenia’s 2015 entry originally titled “Don’t Deny”, later changed to “Face The Shadow”, or the Belarusian entry “Ya nauchu tebya (I’ll Teach You)” in 2021 rightout disqualified for breaking the rules. However, here we are facing a similar scenario to the one from 2009 where the Georgian broadcaster was requested to either change the lyrics to their selected song “We Don’t Wanna Put In” by Stefane & 3G, or selecting a different song – something that GPB refused at the time, and instead withdrew from competing in Moscow.

All competing national broadcasters have set deadlines they need to meet with the EBU, and they must all submit their selected entries by the time the Heads of Delegations meeting takes place. The Huffington Post reached out to the EBU regarding the situation with Israel and their selected song “October Rain”, and the EBU made the following statement:

The EBU is currently in the process of scrutinising the lyrics, a process which is confidential between the EBU and the broadcaster until a final decision has been taken. All broadcasters have until 11 March to formally submit their entries. If a song is deemed unacceptable for any reason, broadcasters are then given the opportunity to submit a new song or new lyrics, as per the rules of the Contest.

A spokesperson in front of the Israeli broadcaster KAN stated:

It should be noted that as far as the Israel Broadcasting Corporation is concerned, there is no intention to replace the song. Meaning, if it is not approved by the European Broadcasting Union – Israel will not be able to participate in the competition that will be held in Sweden this coming May.

In case Israel is unable to participate in Eurovision 2024, we will end up with equal Semi Finals of 15. Israel is currently drawn to perform in the second half of the second semi final in Malmö, on the 9th of May.

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