Dana International's attempt for a comeback to the Eurovision Song Contest scene was successful. In the Kdam of Tuesday night, the Israeli national final, she won with her self-composed song Ding Dong.
Dana International won the jury voting of the night as well as the special fan voting. In the televote, she finished second after Idit Halevi, performing It's My Time. The final was decided by a combination of televoting (48%), professional jury (40%) and fans (12%).
This was Dana's third attempt to represent her country, and bringing the victory back to her homeland for the fourth time. She won the 1998 Eurovision Song Contest with the song Diva.
Diva was chosen as one of the 14 most popular songs in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest, and was thus one of the entrants in the Congratulations 50th anniversary concert in Copenhagen, Denmark, held in October 2005.
This also isn't the first time that Dana participates in the Eurovision Song Contest as a song writer, as she also wrote the 2008 Israeli entry The Fire In Your Eyes, performed by Boaz Mauda. The song finished 9th in the Final.
Full live show
The national final in Israel took place Tuesday night at the Culture Hall in Rishon LeZion. After a number of years of internally selected artists, the Kdam returned to Channel 1 in Israel with a full live show.
Tonight's final had the following line-up, winner in bold:
- Adi Cohen – Al Ahava
- Knob – Ohev Et Ze
- Chen Aharoni – Or
- Idit Halevi – It's My Time
- Hatikva 6 – Hakol Sababa
- Niki Goldstein – Amri Itach
- Sivan Bahanam – Kach Oti
- Michael Greilsommer – Tu Du Du
- Dana International – Ding Dong
- Carmel Ekman – El Gagoai
Revive public interest
In an attempt to revive the public interest in Israel, the competition for 2011 was completely open to every active singer in Israel. This is a change from the last four years, where the artists were chosen internally by the broadcaster.
Broadcaster IBA made contact with various artists through their representatives in order for them to apply and take part in the competition.
The move was appreciated by many viewers from around the world.
"Congrats to the IBA. I think this year, Kdam is one of the best national selections of the season. Great songs and quality," the viewer Gabriel Vivas from Venezuela comments at Eurovision.tv.
A successful country
Israel have registered three victories in the Eurovision Song Contest. The first one came in 1978, when Izhar Cohen & Alphabeta won with A Ba Ni Bi. A back to back double victory was secured in 1979 when Milk & Honey won on home soil in Jerusalem with Hallelujah.
A wait of almost two decades followed, before Israel's third and most recent victory, in Birmingham in 1998, with Dana International and the up-tempo Diva. The lyrics were written by the current Israeli Head of Delegation, Yoav Ginai.
Threefold winner in 2010
Israel's 2010 entry Millim with Harel Skaat finished 14th in the Grand Final in Oslo, Norway. As the first entry in history, it won all three categories of the Marcel Bezençon Awards – the Press Award, the Artistic Award and the Composer Award.
Israel will take part in the Second Semi-Final of the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest, on Thursday the 12th of May, after gaining prior approval from the European Broadcasting Union due to the fact that the Israeli Memorial Day and Independence day occur on the same date as the First Semi-Final.