Israeli Talent Show 'A Star Is Born’ Is Reborn as 'Rising Star'

Singers Rita and Eyal Golan will join the panel of judges; public will now have the majority vote thanks to new mobile application.

Channel 2 franchisee Keshet Broadcasting launches a new Israeli music talent show called 'Rising Star', which will replace the long running talent show “A Star is Born”. The new show will be a far more interactive experience for viewers thanks to a new mobile application, said Keshet.

'Rising Star' attempts to reinvent the now-jaded format, based on the integration of television and viewers’ activity through a mobile phone app in which viewers vote on whether a contestant can move to the next stage. The program will be broadcast entirely live, including the auditions process.

In parallel, the voting application is to be developed. The contestant will sing facing a giant screen, on which he will see photos of web surfers on social networks who voted for him in real time. Only when he receives 66% of the votes will the screen be lifted so he can see the entire audience. Judges will decide on 5 percent to 8 percent of the vote.

“Rising Star” will also have new judges: Zvika Hadar, formerly the host of 'A Star is Born', will become a judge, alongside Mizrahi singer Eyal Golan, Rita and PR giant Rani Rahav, who has no background in music. Viewers will not be able to vote through text messages – previously a significant source of profits for Keshet.


According to data presented at the launch of the series, Israel leads the world in the use of mobile applications, with the public using them for 80 minutes per day. Various studies also show that 77 percent to 85 percent of television viewers simultaneously look at their smartphones.

Keshet itself reported that 900 downloads of its mako TV application have already been registered, and it expects to reach one million downloads by the time the show begins in September.

The new format will also enable Keshet to expand its advertising scope through the app. Whereas on television Keshet is bound by tough regulation laws related to advertising time and marketing content, on the phone Keshet will be able to initiate greater cooperation with advertisers – both during the program and during commercial breaks.

“Rising Star” will compete with “X Factor Israel,” hosted by supermodel Bar Refaeli and produced by the other Channel 2 franchisee, Reshet. The two talent programs will be competing for advertising time and bragging rights at the water cooler.

Ronen Akerman