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The eighth season of "A Star is Born" - Israel's version of "American Idol" - will take a slightly different format. Just before auditions begin at the Trade Fairs Center in Tel Aviv, the involvement of veteran musical director Louie Lahav is particularly evident.

Lahav, who will also produce the debut album for next season's winner, has produced several outstanding Israeli rock albums, including Tammuz's "Ed of the Orange Season" and Shalom Hanoch's "White Wedding."

In response to a question from Haaretz regarding why he chose to join the production, Lahav said that when someone wins, it's usually exciting.

"I think it will be fun. Thus far, all the program winners have deserved it, so statistically speaking it will be fine," he said.

Also, for the first time, the program will award the winner a cash prize - a monthly stipend of NIS 20,000 for a year. Channel 2 broadcasting franchisee Keshet also announced further collaboration between the program and successful Israeli musicians: The words and the music of the audition song for the coming season, "Now It's My Turn," were written by composer Mosh Ben Ari, and the song will be performed by last season's winner, Roni Dalumi.

The program will once again hold auditions abroad - this time in Brazil. Argentina-born musician Pablo Rosenberg will join the trip.