The winner of Eurovision 2018, Netta, has recently revealed that “Toy” wasn’t her first choice for Eurovision, and instead, the original plan was to send her song “SABABA”, which ended up being released almost one year later as “Basa Sababa”.
Netta has shared a demo version of her song “Sababa” on her Instagram. She mentions that after she won Next Star For Eurovision, she wished to send her own song to Eurovision, but the Israeli delegation were not in favour of this, and she was told by Avshalom Ariel that “Netta, you’re going to be in Eurovision, and the song you’re going to sing will not be your song.”
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For English scroll down זו הסקיצה הראשונה של באסה סבבה, שהייתה אז פשוט ״סבבה״. ליל הזכייה בכוכב הבא, אבשלום שלי הביט בי באימה ואמר ״נטע, את נוסעת לארווזיון, והשיר שתשירי לא יהיה שלך״. לקחנו חדר במלון להתבודד בו, ועשינו שם מחנה עבודה של ארבעה ימים ולילות רצופים של שינה במשמרות עד שהיה לנו את הבייבי הראשון שלנו. צרחנו מאושר כששמענו אותו, התרסקנו כשהוא לא נבחר, אבל אני מאושרת על איך שהדברים והכוכבים הסתדרו. אני מאושרת שדרכינו נתקלו בסתיו בגר, שחבר אלינו אחרי האירוויזיון ועשה יחד איתנו את באסה סבבה מה שהוא היום 🙂 This was the first draft of Bassa Sababa, which back then was simply “SABABA”. The night I realized I’m going to Eurovision, @avshalomariel looked at me with terror in his eyes and said “Netta, you’re going to be in Eurovision, and the song you’re going to sing will not be your song”. We took a hotel room, and worked 4 days and nights non-stop (we slept in shifts), until we had our first baby. We screamed with happiness when we heard it finished, were devastated when it was not picked, but I’m happy with how all the stars aligned in the end. I’m happy we crossed ways with @stavbeger who partnered with us after Eurovision, and helped make Bassa Sababa what it is today.
Together, Netta and Avshalom worked on “Sababa” for over “four days and nights, non-stop.” After hearing the completed version for the first time, Netta mentions “We screamed with happiness when we first heard it finished, then we were devastated when it was not picked.” However, Netta is now “happy with how the all the stars aligned in the end.”
This whole situation eventually led her to team up with “Toy” songwriter Stav Beger, who helped to make “Bassa Sababa” what it is today. The song eventually went on to become Netta’s second number 1 in the Israeli charts in February 2019.
Have you heard “Bassa Sababa”? Do you think it could have won Eurovision 2018? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
Since Israel debuted in Eurovision in 1973 with Ilanit and the song “Ey Sham”, they won the contest four times. They are one of the few countries to have won in two consecutive years, in 1978 and 1979, with “A-Ba-Ni-Bi” and “Hallelujah!”. Furthermore, they also won in 1998 and 2018 with “Diva” and “Toy”. Israel has hosted Eurovision three times, in 1979, 1999 and 2019. Eden Alene was supposed to represent the country in 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the contest got cancelled.