Israel: Imri Ziv wins “The Next Star for Eurovision 2017”

It was a short selection process, but one filled with over-the-top auditions, dramatic duels, emotional eliminations and plenty of sob stories. But on Monday we finally reached the grand final of Israel’s The Next Star for Eurovision 2017 . Four acts sang, and in the end Imri Ziv emerged as the winner, earning the right to sing for Israel at Eurovision 2017.

Imri — no doubt a contender to win our annual search for Eurovision’s Next Top Male Model — will stand out at Eurovision for reasons beyond his good looks. In a sea of screaming female soloists at Eurovision, he’s a man with a plan (and pecs) and plenty of Eurovision experience: He served as a backing vocalist for the Israeli artists Nadav Guedj and Hovi Star in 2015 and 2016.

But there’s more to him than standing in the shadows. He studies media at university — expect him to charm the socks off the ESC press —and he works as a singer in a special group called “Caliente”, which performs at private events. As you probably know, caliente means hot.

The judges couldn’t help but comment on his amazing look during his audition — but they also praised his voice and charisma. He can sing, he can dance and Israeli fans are hoping that he will find the right song that will make it to the final. We don’t yet know the style he’ll pursue at Eurovision, but we do know that he’s versatile. Just check out his renditions of “Rude Boy” and “The Edge of Glory” below.

The full results

Producers divided the show’s contestants into two 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 follows: each judge voted yay or nay, with a yay awarding the contestant a score of 3%. The TV viewers voted in a similar way via a special smartphone application and the scores were added together during each 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.

Duel 1: Imri Ziv VS. The Beatbox Element

  • Imri Ziv – “Halo” – Score: 78% (four judge votes)
  • The Beatbox Element – “Hey Mama” – Score: 55% (two judge votes)

Duel 2: Julieta VS. Diana Golbi

  • Julieta – “My Number One” – Score: 53% (one judge vote)
  • Diana Golbi “Euphoria” – Score: 84% (four judge votes)

The judges were then asked to pick one of the losers to continue in the next round. Three out of the four judges picked Julieta, meaning The Beatbox Element were eliminated.

The super final

In the last round, the artists performed in a similar way as the preceding duels, but only the TV viewers could vote and the judges could not influence the scores. The results were as follows:

  1. Julieta – “Shikorim MeAhava” – 58%
  2. Imri Ziv – “Because Of You” – 74%
  3. Diana Golbi – “Purple Rain” – 67%

The Israeli song for Eurovision 2017

Unlike in 2016, this year’s selection process only picked the singer and not the song. That means that just like in 2015, a special committee will now pick a song from a field of songs submitted to producers. We’ll let you know just as soon as they are selected

Can Israel make it to the grand final of Eurovision 2017 in Kyiv? Maybe even win? Let us know in the comments box below!