Israel is getting close to the finish line. While the semi-final of The Next Star for Eurovision 2018 will only be broadcast on Sunday, we already know the first finalist who has earned a direct ticket to the final — Netta Barzilai. Five other lucky artists have advanced to the semi-final. Scroll down to find out who is still in the race to represent Israel at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in Lisbon.

Netta Barzilai won the direct ticket to the final during the quarterfinal in a special new round. In the semi-final on Sunday three more artists will snatch the final spots in the final (which will be broadcast live on Tuesday).

After the quarterfinal duels the judges were asked to pick their favourite two contestants among the four winners. After a long discussion, Netta Barzilai and Riki Ben Ari were chosen and had the chance to compete in a musical head-to-head for an automatic spot in the final. 

Riki Ben Ari – “Hei Shketa” (Be Peaceful) – Score: 42% (votes from 0 judges)

Netta Barzilai – “Beautiful” – Score: 67% (votes from 3 judges)

The first finalist – Netta Barzilai

Netta, 25, performs in clubs and weddings in Tel Aviv and was one of this season’s big favourites right from her first audition.

She has a unique look, which reflects her unique musical style: She’s a one-woman show that you have to watch in order to understand.

Her uniqueness is not only her look and style, but also her special vocal looper. Oozing charisma, style and beats that she threw down herself while singing, she had the audience in the palm of her hands. JOWST laid down his own DJ flair at Eurovision last year. Maybe Netta is the next big thing? We’d have to see if the Eurovision rules would allow this kind of performance though.

Links to Netta’s perfomances:  “Rude Boy” | “A-Ba-Ni-Bi” | “Hey Mama” | Mashup | “What Is Love” | “Barbie Girl” |  “Wannabe” 

The quarterfinal

Producers divided the six contestants into four duels. In each duel the first artist sang in front of the judges and the audience and their combined rating set the bar for the 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.

Duel 1: Eden Meiri VS. Netta Barzilai


Eden Meiri – “Lipol” (To Fall) – Score: 71% (votes from three judges)

Netta Barzilai – “Wannabe” – Score: 90% (votes from four judges)

Duel 2: Chen Aharoni VS. Adva Omer

Chen Aharoni – “Rokedet” (Dancing) – Score: 71% (votes from three judges)

Adva Omer – “Lomedet Lalechet” (Learning How To Walk) – Score: 44% (votes from one judge)

Duel 3: Ravit Batashvili VS. Riki Ben Ari

Ravit Batashvili – “Al Tidag” (Don’t Worry) – Score: 56% (votes from two judges)

Riki Ben Ari – “Ani Chaya Li Miyom Leyom” (I’m Just Living From Day To Day) – Score: 76% (votes from three judges)

Duel 4: Jonathan Mergui VS. Howie Danao

Jonathan Mergui – “Versace On The Floor” – Score: 78% (votes from three judges)

Howie Danao – “Habachur Habayshan Al Hapsanter” (The Shy Guy Playing The Piano) – Score: 61% (votes from two judges)

Second Chance

The four losers of the main duels battled each other in the second chance duels in order to get the ticket to the semi-final:

Howie Danao – “Believer” (Score: 85%) VS. Adva Omer – “Ad Matay Elohai” (score: 58%)

Ravit Batashvili – “El Haolam Shelach” (score: 77%) VS. Eden Meiri – “Va’ani Kore Lach” (score: 84%)

Howie Danao and Eden Meiri got the tickets to the semi-final, as Adva Omer and Ravit Batashvili were eliminated.

As we mentioned at the beginning of the post, Netta Barzilai got a direct ticket to the final.

The 5 semi-finalists are:

UPCOMING EPISODES

11 February – Semi-final 
13 February – The Grand Final

The Grand Final

The Grand final will be broadcast live on Tuesday, 13 February at 20:00 CET. We’re not sure if the live feed will be available to watch from abroad but here are the links: option1, option2.

Four lucky artists will make it to the final where they will battle in musical duels in order to become Israel’s representative for Eurovision 2018 in Lisbon.

The Israeli song will not be picked during the final, as the contestants will sing covers. Details regarding the song will be published in due course.

Unlike previous years, the voting will consist of a 50/50 split between the judges and cities’ juries and the app televotes by the viewers.

What’s your opinion about Netta? Which artist do you like the most? Who do you think would do well for Israel at Eurovision?

READ MORE ISRAEL EUROVISION NEWS

Photo credits: Ronen Akerman / The Next Star for Eurovision

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Roy MorenogiliMaya GPolegend GodgarinaTJ Recent comment authors
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gili
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gili

The final will be between neta and mergui, mergui is kind if safe bet and predictable (dont get me wrong he is still good choice but neta can actually realky win eurivision)…she is much more talented and unique..a real muscian…im affraid from the screaming young girls that will vote for mergui…hope that neta will still win it…

Maya G
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Maya G

I really hope Netta wins. not because she’s female, just because she’s fresh and unique, not to mention her vocal abilities. She’s very memorable and that’s a big plus in Eurovision, she is like nothing else and will definitely stand out.
fingaz crossed.

TJ
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TJ

Chen deserves to win. He was robbed back then!

Weißbrot
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Weißbrot

What’s with the comments that Israel should ”finally send a woman”? I really don’t care. If the best song Comes from a woman… Choose the woman. If the best song Comes from a male singer, choose him then. Why should that matter? I honestly don’t care wether my Country (Germany) sends a guy after 5 Girls in a row or if they send a woman again. It’s not a gender contest lol.

Zolipop
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Zolipop

Little correction here, I think it’s the voice and performance are what really matter here as the they’re not competing with songs for Eurovision. But other than that, I think you’re right. Netta is my favourite because she’s cool, original and a good vocalist.

Weißbrot
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Weißbrot

Yeah, I know they’re competeing with covers. I was meaning that in General. In this case the voice Counts not the song, of Course ^^ And if an Artist is your favourite because he/she is the best, I’m fine with it. But wanting her to win just because ”she’s a woman” sounds kinda dumb to me.

Polegend Godgarina
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Polegend Godgarina

Because if you want to make the hunties bop like they tried to do last year, then send a pop girl right away.

Zolipop
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Zolipop

Netta is so cool! I want her to Eurovision so much! <3

Michal
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Michal

Its time for Israel to send a woman.. NETA could win the all Eurovision!

MrBrightside
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MrBrightside

I’m sorry, but Chen is not a woman. :<

Polegend Godgarina
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Polegend Godgarina

Well then it’s clearly not his year!

beccaboo1212
Guest

I have therapy that day, so I won’t be able to watch the grand final! 🙁

eyal
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eyal

Netta rocks!
Unique, talent and real musician not just a pretty face. Netta for the win!

AzeriChico
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AzeriChico

They will probably choose her in the end. I wasn’t following this show as there’s nothing about Eurovision in it. It’s just a talent show. So I don’t really know which one is the best choice for Israel. But I expect a good song from them. I liked the last three entries of Israel in Eurovision. Good luck

Roy Moreno
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Roy Moreno

You are so right about that (I’m from Israel and have watched all episodes) Israel doesn’t actually care about Eurovision, especially not the the audience… Most of them don’t really vote with sense… I don’t trust us when it comes to sending a good song because, well, 2015 and 2017 weren’t special enough for me In my opinion, after hearing the competitors for a few months now, Netta is the only one who is still both very interesting, talented enough and never gets old Even Mergui, with his great look, voice, charisma and dancing skills, bores me now (he does… Read more »

Polegend Godgarina
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Polegend Godgarina

Israel should do something to make their selection exciting for the international fans. Also, it’s time they send a girl!

454
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454

Hope Jonathan Mergui won’t quality,he’s so overrated…

Darius
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Darius

Netta is overrated, clearly favored by the jury….
Chen Aharoni to Lisbon!!!!

Mony
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Mony

Chen Aharoni is the best of them all!

Geo
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Geo

Does the jury vote too in the final? They desperately want a girl to represent Israel, after 3 males (2015, 2016, 2017), but I’m sure the public will vote for either Chen or Mergui as the Next Star winner and the Israeli representative!

Jordan
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Jordan

Why should the gender of the performer matter? If a male act is the best, he deserves it. I personally want Jonathan Mergui, he’s brilliant!