Last year, the world watched Israeli singer Netta Barzilai win the biggest live singing competition in the world. This year, the U.S. might not have the chance to watch the spectacle.
Eurovision Song Contest, the annual spectacle that made megastars out of the likes of ABBA and Celine Dion, may not air in the U.S. this year, Deadline reports. The reason: the channel Logo, owned by media company Viacom, won’t be broadcasting it, even though the channel has been bringing the competition to American audiences since 2016.
For fans of Israel especially, this is disappointing — after the surprise win by Barzilai last year for her song “Toy,” the country is deep in preparations to host the competition, which will take place starting May 14 in Tel Aviv.
A gaudy televised song competition dating in its 64th year, Eurovision has slowly been gaining a following in the United States. Late night talk show host Stephen Colbert parodied the singing event in 2016 on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” (eventually going viral with almost 1.8 million YouTube views), and Netflix is producing an upcoming comedy co-written by and starring Will Ferrell, bearing the same name as the popular competition.
Last year’s production crowned Netta Barzilai its winner and her song “Toy” became one of the biggest songs of 2018, with the song’s music video having over 112 million views on YouTube. This year’s competition will take in Tel Aviv starting on May 14. Madonna will be a primetime performer with two songs - one a Madge classic, while the other being a brand new composition.
Let’s hope that the U.S. finds another platform to broadcast Eurovision. The world could use a little Israeli joy and sparkle.
Adrianna Chaviva Freedman is the Social Media Intern for the Forward. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ac_freedman