The celebrated Israeli Shalva Band performed as guest artists at the Eurovision Semifinals, bringing the international audience to their feet with roaring applause and not a dry eye left in the theater. The band was introduced as, “One of the most beloved musical acts in Israel,” due to their inspiring messages of inclusion, their exemplary representation of the human spirit, and mostly because of their talented music.
The Shalva Band is comprised of eight talented musicians and vocalists with disabilities who began their journey at the Shalva National Center in Jerusalem. Rising to national stardom through the “Rising Star” television show and favorites to win the competition, the Shalva Band gave up their potential spot to represent Israel as a competitor at the Eurovision Song Competition due to the performance taking place on the Sabbath. Due to their popularity and talent, they were granted their well-deserved spot on the Eurovision stage as guest artists instead. “We dreamt together and here we are on the biggest stage we could imagine. Don’t stop dreaming, no matter what people say,” Dina Samteh, Shalva Band vocalist, addressed the audience in her message prior to the band’s rendition of “A Million Dreams” from The Greatest Showman.
The band’s performance was followed by a media buzz that rapidly spread across the globe, with Eurovision fans and media networks around the world sharing their praise of the band.
The BBC Eurovision shared a clip of the performance, which was viewed by over 500,000 people, and wrote, “Shalva Band. Just one of a million reasons why Eurovision is THE GREATEST SHOW!”