The Next Star for Eurovision 2018: Yafit Casay and Ravit Batashvili among the latest qualifiers

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Another week, another episode of The Next Star for Eurovision 2018 — Israel’s marathon national selection for its Eurovision Song Contest star. In the most recent episode we met another interesting mix of singers, who played in genres from rock to pop to oriental. As ever we’re going to take a look at the lucky ones who passed their auditions and will continue to the next phase of the show.

You can watch all of the auditions (including the ones from eliminated artists) on this link. And if you need a reminder of the rules, just click here.

EPISODE 4 QUALIFIERS

Ravit Batashvili
Ravit, 25, is currently working double time: she’s completing her debut album while also writing lyrics for other singers. A veteran of televised talent shows, she took part in a similar talent show called Kokhav Nolad (A Star Is Born) back in 2010, but was eliminated after just a few episodes. Her oriental touch rubbed the judges in all the right ways, with Harel Skaat saying he wants exactly this kind of singer to represent Israel at Eurovision. Beauty, poise, strong voice, authenticity — she’s got it all.

Audition score: 86% (votes from four judges) 

“The Choice”
This band overflows with talent. The drummer Gil Koli Plotnik — instantly recognisable from his amazing Rapunzel hair — used to play in a band with Eyal Golan, one of the biggest singers in Israel over the past few decades. Lead singer Alon Sharr is also experienced — he appeared on stage next to IMRI at the most recent Eurovision.

The group impressed most of the judges. But interestingly Assaf Amdursky — the judge most connected to the rock genre — didn’t vote for them. Although they only earned a score of 63%, the hosts — who can save 5 contestants during the auditions phase this year — threw them a lifeline.

Audition score: 63% (votes from three judges) – Saved by the hosts

Yafit Casay
Yafit, 29, wants to stand on her own two feet. And that explains why she didn’t want to reveal her unique last name initially, since she shares it with her rather famous singing sister Cabra Casay.

Despite a few pronunciation issues, she thrilled the judges with her take on Beyonce’s “Listen”, earning the highest score of the season thus far.

 

Audition score: 95% (votes from four judges)

 

Noa Bell
Noa left her home at an early age and served in the Israeli army — both as a part of the band and as a lone soldier. Interestingly, judge Keren Peles and her husband were looking to host a lone soldier for their Passover dinner — and that’s when they met Noa. She became like another daughter for them (they have biological children as well) and they eventually offered her the chance to move in with them in a caravan next to their house.

Naturally Keren — who was very emotional during the audition — was disqualified from judging her darling. Noa’s strong singing and the emotional Hebrew lyrics of the song left almost everyone in tears, except for the notoriously tough judge Assaf Amdursky.

Audition score: 82% (votes from three judges)

 

Yosi Pitusi
Yosi, 40, is a truck driver by day and a DJ by night. But age is not really a factor as we’ve seen in the previous episodes: The judges respect mature voices as much as the “fresh” ones. He sings with great control and emotion, and managed to convince almost all of the judges (with the exception of Assaf Amdursky).

Audition score: 81% (votes from three judges) 

 

Shir Zarfati
Shir, 18, comes from the south of Israel and idolises Shiri Maimon and Eden Ben Zaken. Her sweet and tender audition left the judges divided, but they saw enough to think she can improve in the next phase of the competition.

Audition score: 72% (votes from three judges)

In case you missed any of the previous episodes, you can watch all of the qualifiers in our previous posts.

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