The Shalva Band were favourites to represent host country Israel at Eurovision but pulled out when the dress rehearsal was scheduled for Friday – the Jewish holy day of rest.
The group of eight musicians, who all have disabilities, had been voted through on a national TV programme.
Their popularity rose at the same time research revealed 90% of parents in Israel didn’t want their offspring to attend after-school clubs with disabled children.
The band released a campaign song called Open The Door in response to the research. It went viral and they say it’s changing attitudes to disability.
Vocalists Anael and Dina told BBC Ouch they are now stopped for selfies wherever they go.
Despite opting out of Eurovision, The Shalva Band will perform A Million Dreams, from The Greatest Showman, during the 2nd Eurovision semi-final on Thursday.
With apologies for the occasional sound difficulty on the line from Jerusalem.