We’re only one week away from the grand final of Israel’s The Next Star for Eurovision 2017, which unfolds on February 13. Following this week’s semi-final, four acts remain standing and will sing it out in the final. They are: Julieta, Imri Ziv, Diana Golbi, and The Beatbox Element.
Producers divided the show’s six contestants into three duels. During each duel the first artist sang in front of the judges and the audience. Their combined rating set the bar for their opponent. The voting process went as usual: each judge voted yay or nay, with a yay awarding the contestant a score of 10%. The audience in the TV studio voted in a similar way via a special smartphone application and the scores were added together during the performance.
The opposing artist then sang behind a screen. If the opposing artist managed to beat the score of the first artist, then the screen rose up, signalling that the second artist had won the duel. If not, the first artist won. Got it?
Duel 1: Imri Ziv VS. Sapir Nahon
Imri Ziv knows Eurovision very well. After serving as a backing singer for the Israeli acts in 2015 and 2016, he’s ready for his moment at centre stage. During his audition the Israeli judges couldn’t help but comment on his amazing look — but also praised his voice and charisma. This time he impressed with his vocal abilities and earned a score of 95% (including votes from all four judges).
Sapir Nahon currently sings in a military band. She got so emotional during her audition that she barely managed to keep singing while wiping away her tears. This time she brimmed with confidence, performing a ballad (again) with her great voice, but it wasn’t enough to overcome her opponent. She only managed a score of 73% (including votes from two judges).
Duel 2: The Beatbox Element VS. Julieta
The Beatbox Element don’t use any instruments or playback: They create their music through their voices alone. They’re all former members of “The Voca People”, a popular a cappella group. They really impressed the judges and the audience with their vocal tricks and the way they worked their tongues, with a total score of 83% (including votes from all four judges).
Julieta has been a singer in Israel for more than a decade, but her career has never really taken off. In 2013 she took part in Kdam Eurovision 2013 (Israel’s national selection for Eurovision) but failed to reach the final. She really impressed this time with a ballad, showing off her touching voice, earning a total score of 76% (including votes from all four judges), but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to get a ticket for the final.
Duel 3: Ta-La-Te VS. Diana Golbi
Ta-La-Te means “three” in Arabic, and it also represents the number of members in this group. They sing in the Oriental/Mizrahi style (which is very popular in Israel) and know how to keep the energy up and the blood flowing.
However, their ballad didn’t quite impress this week. They managed to earn a score of 59% (including votes from three judges), and that was not enough to win their duel.
In 2010 Diana Golbi won Kokhav Nolad (A Star Is Born), one of the most popular shows in the country. She’s subsequently released two albums and taken part in a series of musicals while studying acting. During her semi-final performance she wowed the judges with her raw voice, which is very “Mei Feingold” Eurovision 2014. Power, poise, potential — she is the clear favourite to win it all. Her score was 87% (including votes from three judges).
The last ticket to the final
The three losers then competed in a final duel to determine the final finalist.
Julieta (score: 85%) VS. Ta-La-Te (score: 26%) VS. Sapir Nahon (Score: 75%)
Photographer: Ronen Akerman
YOU CAN WATCH ALL THE EPISODES OF THE NEXT STAR FOR EUROVISION 2017 ON THIS LINK AND ALL THE CLIPS ON THIS LINK.
Who do you think would do the best for Israel at Eurovision?