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Dana International: "I had many loves in my life and it didn't work out. So I decided to give up" - Voila! culture


The diva launched the docu-reality "Dana Kama", and told how the corona pushed her to participate in the series, about the belief in the strength of the LGBT community and also about the big mistakes

Interview with Dana International (Walla)

25 years after winning the Eurovision Song Contest with the song "Diva", exactly half a year after the death of the song's composer Tzvika Pick, the singer Dana International presented today (Tuesday) the intriguing docu-reality series "Dana Kama", in which she will soon star on yes and STINGTV .

"Dana Kama" is yes's answer to competitor HOT's "connected", and in it Dana International will provide an intimate glimpse into her life.

At its center is the relationship between the singer and her manager Shai Kerem, who is the closest person to her, and together after two years of Corona they set out to conquer the stages and the world together.

We will also see intimate moments with her mother, who has been hiding from the spotlight until now, meals with her siblings and conversations with close friends.

"Teddy Productions" is behind the series, edited by Yonatan Konyak and directed by Ilan Aboudi.

On the occasion of the event, the cultural icon, our ambassador to the world and who is a symbol of the Israeli LGBT community, held a round of interviews for media outlets in Israel and around the world,

"What made me agree this time to participate in a reality series is the corona virus. Sitting at home for two years, doing nothing," says Dana in an interview with Walla!


"I decided that I had obligations to go out and do a big project."

Once a diva, always a diva.

Dana International (Photo: Pini Silock)

Is doing the reality show about your life just out of a desire to do it or also out of a feeling that you need to do it to "maintain your career"?

"I didn't do it because 'you need to maintain your career'. I don't see reality series as maintaining a career. On the contrary, I saw it as something foreign to a career, which might not be worthwhile. But they convinced me that it was a new format. Shai Kerem, my manager, explained to me What is going to happen and it bought my heart."

In the series, your family will be revealed for the first time, among other things in the part documenting the tribute show held for you on Iggy's 30th birthday last year.

There, your mother, Bat Galim, saw you for the first time on stage in public, and was also exposed for the first time in the media, voila!


How excited was that to you?

And why did it take so long for her to watch you for the first time on a public stage?

"It moved me on a level you can't imagine, because for me she is my mother and I don't expect her to come to events or to be present or to do things of this kind. This is not what our relationship is measured by. At home, with Jahannon, on Shabbat, the laughs, the debates, the arguments The political ones, where I love my mother."

At what point did your mother accept you for who you are?

And how excited were you when she first called you "Binty"?

"It seems to me that she accepted me very quickly. She first called me 'Binty' many years ago. Parents know from a young age. They don't talk about it or mention it, but it is something that is visible to the eye. And they simply choose not to talk about it, not to mention That. I shouldn't have really come out of the closet. Why didn't she come to my public performance until recently? Because I didn't invite. I wasn't interested. I don't know, I don't have an answer to that."

not falling in love

Dana International (Photo: Walla! System, Walla)

We are having this interview on Valentine's Day.

You say in the series: "I gave up love, I enjoy my life of sexual permissiveness, I sleep at night with my dogs."

Are you 100% okay with that?

"The dogs are my lovers. I'm 100 percent at peace with that. When I look left and right, at relationships that go awry, at couples that don't work out, at divorces, then I'm happy for my part. Except that I've loved a lot. I've had a lot of loves in my life. And it's not It worked out every time for a different reason. So I decided that I was giving up. But it's not that I'm giving up and telling myself that I won't fall in love anymore. If it happens - it happens. It just didn't happen. I haven't found the man to do it for me yet, to be the click that causes to fall in love. I don't fall in love."

Dana's manager, Shai Kerem, who has accompanied her for decades, is very present in the series.

"For me it's a privilege, this journey of life, that Dana and I go through together," Kerem tells us.

"It's really something that's unusual. Both in a relationship and in friendship, it's a long time. At the beginning, we wouldn't have imagined where it would take us. I have two daughters and Dana is my third daughter. In the series, you experience a bit of this relationship, although naturally in series of this type The routine is not interesting, but the extremity is interesting. And they brought us to boiling points where we reached situations we had never been in before with a lot of passions, tensions, shouting at a very high volume."

Dana: "There were violent fights between us. About nonsense."

Shai: "Nothing. We were nervous and under pressure. The whole situation during the filming of the series was very stressful. I think that Dana and I are used to our relationship being one. And suddenly we were in situations with many people who played us. They really played us like dolls. In this type of genre, you are subject By the grace of those who make the series. They build you some kind of character and accordingly program you to behave that way. And I noticed out of the corner of my eye that the more fights and shouting there were between us, the more they were upset."

Dana: "We realized that they were looking for the fights and yelling, so I also initiated some fights and yelling, so that they would be interested."

Dana International at the tribute evening held for her, August 2022 (Photo: Hagar Bader)

What makes the relationship between you successful for so many years, compared to Dana's relationship with Ofer Nissim, who was the manager in the first years and you had a complex relationship?

Shay: "Come on, now mention things from 30 years ago? It's not related to each other. Mami, we're talking about 4 years that happened 30 years ago. Leave it. It will only interest old people, not any of the young people. It's really irrelevant. You can ask : What works in our relationship that doesn't work between Sarit Haddad and Abi Guetta?".

So what works in your relationship that didn't work between Sarit Haddad and Abi Guetta?

"I don't know, sometimes I think that maybe the opposites between us complement each other very much. And I have to say that Dana of the media is not Dana who is my partner. This is really such a smart, generous and listening man."

Dana: "The simple truth is that we didn't find a reason to break up."

Shay: "Still".

It's been many years since you had a new hit, with the exception of the song "Achla Gavr" that you sang with Statik and Ben El.

How do you explain that?

Shai: "That's a stupid question. Hits naturally belong to the young singers, the beginners. How many years did Shalom Hanoch not have a hit? How many years did Eric Einstein not have a hit in his last years? Judith Ravitz. Chava Elberstein. Shall we continue? Careers have processes. Very few survive each Like that for many years, and then you are no longer built on this or that hit, but on a repertoire, on your place in the culture and on everything you've done."

Dana, what were the biggest mistakes you made in your career?

"Impatience towards people. I'm short-tempered. I'm sometimes unbearable. I sometimes behave badly to people. I don't think about the future. I don't think about what will happen tomorrow."

You won the Eurovision Song Contest with "Diva", but in the next incarnation of the Eurovision Song Contest with "Ding Dong" you didn't even make it to the finals.

Do you regret the second participation?

And would you like to compete in Eurovision again?

"Ah, I will never participate again. That's it, enough. Once up, once down, enough. But if I regret "Ding Dong"? Absolutely not. One of the most beautiful televisions I've had."

In hindsight, why do you think you couldn't replicate the success with "Ding Dong"?

"It was a punishment. You got so much, brazen, what do you deserve? It was karma."

Dana International with her mother, Bat-Galim Cohen, and director Shai Kerem at the tribute event, August 2022 (Photo: Hagar Bader)

After "Diva" was chosen to represent Israel in Eurovision 25 years ago, the ultra-Orthodox parties objected to a transgender representing Israel, and a deputy minister named Shlomo Benizri who called you an "abomination".

How do you look at that storm after half a year has passed?

"Today I laugh at him. I also once laughed at him, because it helped me in international public relations. Maz came out sweet. The whole attack by the ultra-Orthodox caused more interest in me in the world and made action. Benizri found himself in prison in the end. And I am free."

Compared to extremist and homophobic elements in the government today - Benizri the dark is a small cat.

Are you bothered by the threats and persecution from members of a coalition to harm the LGBT community?

"I'm really not bothered and I'm not afraid.

I think the LGBT community has strength and will and we have reached a place where it will be very difficult to turn us back. The LGBT community is strong enough to defend itself.

And we also have a court."

We have a court that protects human rights - but only for now.

Yesterday there was a huge demonstration of about a quarter of a million people worried about the governmental coup.

How much does it bother you?

"I don't know if it bothers me so much because I think Bibi will take the reins, he cares what people think of us in the world, and the global coverage we receive is terrible and terrible, that we are going to be a dictatorial country and not a democracy. I think Bibi will eventually come down from the tree, And will force the more extreme people to come down from the tree."

More in Walla!

Harassments, misses and regev shootings: Dana International opens the heart

To the full article

Today we also mark exactly half a year since the death of Zvika Pick.

You had a complicated relationship.

What is the meaning of this complexity, the tension between you?

"I was never Tzvika's girlfriend. We had a professional relationship, during the 'I can't do without you' period and after 'Diva', and that's it. It's all a fabrication of the media, about cats that passed by and stuff like that. I wasn't his girlfriend, we wouldn't pick up the phone to each other I love Zvika very much. He used to make me laugh. I miss him. But we never had a relationship. So there was nothing to spoil, there wasn't even a cat."

The networks stormed after it became clear that Pick's family did not write a single word about him on his tombstone.

What will be written on your tombstone?

"If I have a grave, I will take the sentence from Frank Sinatra: 'I did it my way'".

  • culture

  • music

  • Israeli music


  • Dana International

  • Shai Kerem

  • diva

  • Zvika Pick

Source: walla

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