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The world set free

Israel’s Eurovision entry gets new music video

‘Set me free,’ performed by Eden Alene, will represent the country in the 2021 competition, to be held in Rotterdam in May; last year’s event was canceled due to pandemic

Singer Eden Alene performs Israel's entry for the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest in a new music video, March 26, 2021 (video screenshot)
Singer Eden Alene performs Israel's entry for the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest in a new music video, March 26, 2021 (video screenshot)

Israel’s entry for the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest got a brand new music video and sound mix Friday, some two months before the competition’s first semifinal is held in the Netherlands on May 18.

The more dance club-ready version of the song “Set Me Free” has singer Eden Alene waking up a greyish, slumbering world that gradually fills with color and energy.

The song appears intended as a response to the year-long global coronavirus pandemic and to express the desire to break away from its physical and mental bonds. It includes lyrics such as “Take a look what we’ve become, it’s been so long,” “feeling like in prison” and “feels like no tomorrow, everywhere that I go, babe, I’m gonna lose my mind.”

Alene, 20, the first singer of Ethiopian descent to represent Israel in the annual international extravaganza, will perform the song in the first semifinal in Rotterdam on May 18. If it finishes among the top 10, she will sing it again in the May 22 final.

It is not yet clear whether there will be an audience of some sort at the competition, though if there is one, it will likely be small and dispersed, unlike any in the contest’s history.

“Set me free” was chosen by Israeli audiences, edging out two other options: “La La Love” and “Ue La La.” The song is mostly in English, with a smattering of Hebrew lyrics.

Aline was Israel’s representative for the 2020 contest, which was called off last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The song chosen for her 2020 entry was “Feker Libi,” sung in four languages — English, Hebrew, Amharic and Arabic.

The Eurovision Song Contest has a major following in Israel. Israel hosted the 2019 contest in Tel Aviv after Israeli singer Netta Barzilai carried off the top prize with her spunky pop anthem “Toy” in 2018.

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