Israel: Harel Skaat to Oslo29 December 2009 at 20:32 CET
IBA's Head of Entertainment Yoav Ginai, and the CEO Mordechai Shkaler made the statement today during a meeting at the Knesset, Israel's parliament.
Harel Skaat was born in 1981, and shot to fame in the second series of Kokhav Nolad, Israel's A Star Is Born talent contest. Harel eventually finished as runner up in the 2004 edition.
In the summer of 2006 Harel released his debut solo album. This was certified as Gold less than one month after release, and ultimately achieved platinum status in Israel. It was widely reported that the IBA had initially approached Harel to become Israel's representative in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow, however this never came to fruition.
A Tried and Tested Formula
Israeli media source ynetnews.com reported earlier today that Harel Skaat's manager made a statement shortly after the IBA's announcement. He said "We are very happy with the IBA decision, and excited to represent Israel in the 2010 Eurovision [Song Contest] competition. Right now we are embarking on a search for songs and beginning to work on the pre-Eurovision Kdam broadcast. We will do everything we can to bring honour to Israel and Europe."
This is not the first time that the Israeli broadcaster has selected an artist from the Kokhav Nolad show to represent them in Europe's favourite TV-Show. Shiri Maymon and Boaz Mauda in 2005 (4th place Final) and 2008 (9th place Final) respectively also began their careers this way.
Israel finished in 16th Place in the Final of the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow with Noa & Mira Awad and their song There Must Be Another Way.