Dana International will represent Israel in the 2011 Eurovision song contest, after winning a preliminary singing contest on Tuesday. For the first time in six years, audience members chose the Israeli representative to the Eurovision, instead of the Israel Broadcasting Authority.
The singer won the competition by a landslide with her song "Ding Dong," written by famed musician and composer Tzvika Pik, who had also collaborated with International the last time she took part in the Eurovision competition – when she won with the song "Diva" in 1998.
Respected artists such as Yehuda Poliker, Dani Dotan and Eli Abramov have also written songs for her in the past.
Idit Halevi, with her song "It's My Time," came in second at the contest geared to select Israel's Eurovision representative which took place at Rishon Letzion's concert hall. Vladi Blayberg, the first runner-up in the 2009 season of "A Star is Born" (Israel's version of "American Idol" ) was another contestant.
The Eurovision Song Contest will be held in Dusseldorf, Germany on May 14 and will also be broadcast locally by Channel 1.
During the 1990s, the state broadcasting channel had refused to air her songs, on the grounds that a transsexual sent the wrong message to the nation's youth. But they reversed their attitude towards her in 1998, choosing her to represent Israel in the Eurovision song contest.
Later, the Foreign Ministry treated her as a public relations asset, someone who could show the world what an enlightened, open and liberal country Israel can be.
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