“I’m travelling to L.A. with a dream in my suitcase and butterflies in my stomach. I’m looking for the end of a string to grab and create an opportunity to conquer the world,” sings Dudu Aharon in the first seconds of the opening sequence for “Chai b’LaLa Land” (“Living in LaLa Land”), a new Israeli reality TV show about six Mizrachi-style Israeli singers trying to make it big in Los Angeles.
The program, set to begin airing on Israeli’s Yes satellite cable network later this month, has been described in an article in Los Angeles’ Jewish Journal as a cross between “American Idol” and “Big Brother,” and is the most expensively produced Israeli reality show to date. Aharon lived in L.A. together with Etti Levy, Avihu Shabat, Julietta Agronov, Zehava Ben and Alon de Loco for six weeks beginning last January, as they vied for a distribution deal with Geffen Records.
“Chai b’LaLa Land” viewers can look forward to seeing how the singers, having left their fame and comfort zones back home in Israel, navigate unknown territory in southern California. Will de Loco’s uniquely Israeli reggaeton, Shabat’s sexy Middle Eastern crooning, or Ben’s tight Mizrachi diva jeans-and-leopard-print fashion sense cross over successfully to American audiences?
And perhaps even more interesting for some viewers will be seeing whether Ben and Levy, long-estranged middle-aged sisters who both rose to fame out of the Beer Sheva slums, can live together for six weeks without serious incident.
However things wind up, it will have at least been fun to have gone along for the ride with the singers as they cruised the Sunset Strip in a classic red convertible — following their dreams in LaLa Lend, as they pronounced it in their Israeli accents.