Chen Aharoni among qualifiers on Episode 2 of Israel’s “The Next Star for Eurovision 2018”

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The search for The Next Star for Eurovision 2018 in Israel continued last night with episode two. And as the voices sounded and the digital screen lifted to the rafters, we met two young stars on the rise and got reacquainted with one familiar contestant from Kdam — Israel’s national selection of yesteryear. Are you ready? Let’s review this…

EPISODE 2 QUALIFIERS

Chen Aharoni
Hardcore Eurovision fans might recognise Chen from the Israeli national selection Kdam Eurovision 2011, where he reached a very respectable fourth place with his song “Or” (Light). But Chen was known to Israelis much earlier: In 2007 he took part in Kokhav Nolad (A Star Is Born), where he also reached fourth place and almost made it to the grand final. (The winner in that year was none other than Boaz Mauda, who represented Israel at Eurovision 2008). That show was one of Israel’s most successful ever and launched many singers toward the Eurovision stage right after the show, including Shiri Maimon, Harel Skaat, Hovi Star and Mei Feingold. Chen also has international experience as he participated in the UK X Factor during 2013 but didn’t manage to pass the Boot Camp. He released two albums in Israel and an international EP named “Crazy”. Can Eurovision be his next international breakthrough? He impressed the judges and the audience during his first audition, while also securing the highest score so far — 94%.

Audition score: 94% (votes from four judges) 

Gal Yakobi
This 18-year-old wonder reminds us of Nadav Guedj. And from the moment he started to sing all the judges heard “The Golden Boy” in his voice. The song that he (or the production team) chose for him to sing happens to be the same song that Nadav sang on the show years earlier — click here and try to spot the differences. Unlike Nadav, Gal is a tad shy and only recently started to sing. Can he gain enough self-confidence to reach the final? It’s still too early to say, but his voice and his amazing similarity to Nadav got him to the next round.

Audition score: 92% (votes from four judges)

Hagar Yefet
Hagar, 17, studies make up and hair design. She may be young but she knows how to create magic with her voice and as stealthily as she does with her curlers and blush. Most of the judges were impressed, except for the notoriously difficult Assaf Amdursky.

Audition score: 78% (votes from three judges)

In case you missed the first episode, you can read and watch all the performances on this link.

The auditions will continue in the coming weeks. This season is reported to have 20 episodes so you can expect the grand final around the end of February or early March.

Which artist do you like the most so far? Who do you think would do well for Israel at Eurovision?

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Photo credits: The Next Star for Eurovision