Israel’s representative to the Eurovision song contest, electro-pop band Izabo, was ejected from the competition at the semi-finals stage, Tuesday evening. Its song “Time” was one of eight that failed to make it to the next stage of the colorful event hosted this year in Baku, Azerbaijan.
The next semi-final, in which 10 contestant countries advance from a group of 18, will take place on Thursday, before the grand final on Saturday.
Band members said they were disappointed not to have advanced to the next stage of the contest. In a phone interview they said they received good reactions to their performance and hoped their Israeli fans felt they represented them with dignity, Ynet reported. The band members thanked the fans for their support.
Israel has produced two top 10 finishers in the past eight years: Shiri Maimon in 2005 and Boaz Ma’uda in 2008. Both were contestants on “Kokhav Nolad,” Israel’s equivalent of “American Idol.”
Last year, in a process that heavily weighted public voting, 1998 Eurovision champion Dana International received overwhelming viewer support and won the right to represent Israel. Nevertheless, the transsexual singer failed to impress Eurovision voters with her 2011 entry, “Ding Dong.”