It’s the time of year when the Post-Eurovision depression is in full swing, but there’s no better cure than to reminisce! Together with ESCDaily Editor, Dennis Van Eersel, we will be discussing each of this year’s competing nations – from their results to how we think they could improve in the future!
Predictions, Personal Scores and Results
Results: 19th place, Final
Did Israel live up to expectations?
D: I must say I expected more from Israel before we arrived in Rotterdam. If I remember correctly, the song was also rated very high in our preview series here at Eurovision Union? Either way, the live performance and vocals were not as good as I expected from Eden, but she still managed to make it to the final and finish in the middle of the pack.
A: I had high hopes for Israel, and prior to the contest, thought of the song as a certain qualifier. We knew Eden could perform live, and Israel can adequately stage an entry, but when it came to rehearsals, my confidence in their qualification dropped significantly. I thought the staging was sub-par, and Eden’s vocals failed to live up to my expectations. By the live shows, I had written Israel off, despite personally loving the song. To my surprise, Israel confidently qualified, but personally I don’t know if it was deserved. So did they live up to expectations? Yes, but also no.
How do you personally feel about the song for Israel at Eurovision 2021?
D: I feel the same way as what Anita writes above. Before the contest I really liked – and still like – Eden’s song. In the studio, it’s really good. The live performance really wasn’t as good as I thought it would be, mainly because of the weak vocals, but also because of the outfit change near the end of the song. It just wasn’t my thing. I think the quality of the composition saved their qualification.
A: The revamp for Set Me Free really improved the song, and I was championing the song prior to the contest – even when others weren’t as sure. I definitely lost that spark with the live performance. Maybe I just set the bar way too high, but I really expected more from Israel and Eden, even though the results weren’t bad.
D: Oh wow, this shows that it was a long season. I completely forgot we have a revamp of this song. It surely was an improvement to the original song, which also wasn’t bad at all. But it completely slipped my mind that they worked on improving their composition that much.
Could Israel have done anything different?
D: When it comes to their live performance, some choices were made that I wish were different. The wardrobe choice and switch was a bit out there, the staging colors were not very inspiring and of course the live vocals were shaky. It obviously still was good enough to qualify, because Israel selected a really good song. It shows this is always the base of everything. But with some alterations I think Israel could have done even better than 17th in the final.
A: I agree with all of that. I didn’t mind the costume at the end and the ‘hair art’, for lack of a better word, but the start costume wasn’t very inspiring. The staging didn’t impress me at all. It all felt very undercooked, which shouldn’t be the case considering they had time to prepare. It also didn’t help that many of the acts this year used the same colours and lights, which meant that Israel didn’t really stand out from the crowd. Again, maybe I’m being too harsh, but I did have high hopes.
What can Israel do to ensure success in future years?
D: I can’t be critical about a nation that recently won Eurovision. Since they changed to their ‘Rising Star’ format after a lot of non-qualifications, they became a steady factor for the Eurovision finals. This is clearly working out great for them and I didn’t see any reason for Israel to change their strategy. Of course, Kobi and Eden didn’t do as well as many other top-10 finishing acts. But with these kinds of talent shows, you always depend on the quality of the applying artists. However, Israel changed their selection method to the X-Factor series, let’s see how that works out for them, starting 2022.
A: Rising Star worked well to find the vocal talents of Israel, although like you said, they will use X Factor to find their next representative. I think either way, using a program such as X Factor will probably yield a similar result, in terms of a vocalist. If they can maintain a high quality of songs, Israel will likely remain a consistent qualifier. My only issue is that I don’t think Israel is great when it comes to staging their entries. Even their winning song from 2018 had a chaotic staging that could have benefited from some fine tuning, although it can be hard to argue since they won!
D: Glad to see we are on the same page here. I agree that even with Netta, there possibly could have been a better staging. Not something I read that often.
Which was better, the live-on-tape performance or the actual performance?
D: Israel is one of the few countries where I thought the back-up tape was better. It was not as messy as in Rotterdam, the vocals were better and the in-your-face outfit change and hairpiece-act was left out. I think it helped the song stand out on its merits more.
A: Interesting you say that, as I am torn between the two performances. The live performance had the benefit of a bigger stage, so the performance felt less static. They also had more capabilities with the LED and light show, and even though it was underwhelming at Eurovision, it was still better than the back-up tape. I do agree about the outfit and vocals in the back-up tape however. Positives and negatives in both, but I do agree that the back-up tape let the song shine more than the live Eurovision performance.