Poll results: Jonathan Mergui is your favourite to win The Next Star for Eurovision in Israel


Tonight we will finally know the Israeli act for Eurovision 2018. Israel makes its decision in The Next Star for Eurovision 2018, live from 20:00 CET. Ahead of tonight’s result, we reveal the results of our readers poll.

We didn’t have much time to run this once, since the semi-final was only broadcast on Sunday evening. But we still received 1,388 votes. It was a nail-biter, but in the end our readers have decided that Jonathan Mergui is their favourite to win “The Next Star”.

Hot on his heels — and just 15 votes, or around 1% of the total — behind him is Netta Barzilai.  Chen Aharoni takes third followed by this year’s oldest contestant Riki Ben Ari.


  1. Jonathan Mergui — 34% (469 votes)
  2. Netta Barzilai— 33% (454 votes)
  3. Chen Aharoni— 22% (307 votes)
  4. Riki Ben Ari— 11% (158 votes)

More about the finalists

Jonathan Mergui (aka Mergui)

At only 18 years of age, Jonathan has already adopted a stage name: Mergui. He looks and sounds like a combination of Shawn Mendes and Kristian Kostov — two talents that are currently lighting up the charts.

He charmed everyone right from his first auditions — so young and yet so talented! He is also the son of a well-known Israeli singer named Meital Trabelsi. He can sing, he can dance, he captures your attention. And whether or not he wins, he’s most def a star.

The judges Static & Ben El Tavori took a selfie with him after his first audition and said they will take another selfie with him at the final of the show, as they think he will win it.

Links to more of Jonathan Mergui‘s perfomances: “How Far I’ll Go” | “Mercy”“Locked Out of Heaven”  | “Love Yourself” | “Basof Hakol Holef” (At The End It all Passes) | “Roar”  | “Versace On The Floor”“Wake Me Up”“Against All Odds”

Netta Barzilai

Netta, 25, performs in clubs and weddings in Tel Aviv, and she was one of this season’s 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.

In her first audition, and during most of her performances on the show, she had a special vocal looper on stage. But even with just a one-string guitar during her second audition, she still oozed charisma, style and uniqueness in her special version of the Eurovision 1978 winning song, “A-Ba-Ni-Bi”.

Izhar Cohen, the original performer of the tune, watched her cover and said she’d be fab for Eurovision — and the music scene more generally.

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

Chen Aharoni

Hardcore Eurovision fans will recognize Chen, as he took part in 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.

Chen has international experience as he participated in the UK X Factor during 2013 but didn’t manage to pass Boot Camp. He has released two albums in Israel and an international EP named “Crazy”.

It was not a big surprise to find out that he made it to the live shows after his great auditions: Chen is a veteran singer. But will he be able to beat the other contestants and go to Eurovision this year?

Links to more of Chen Aharoni’s perfomances: “Wrecking Ball” | “Symphony”“Locked Out of Heaven”  | “Sheket” (Quiet) | “Grenade” | “Rokedet” (Dancing) | “Bang Bang”

Riki Ben Ari

Age ain’t nothing but a number and Riki is the perfect example of that. Now in her 50s, she claims she was born a singer, but only sings in the office and while making her children lunch.

The judges and the audience were shocked by her powerful voice and self-confidence during her auditions and during the entire season, as she sounded like a professional singer who had been on stage for many years, though some found her singing style a bit old-fashioned. Will she be Israel’s next Diva in Eurovision?

Links to more of Riki Ben Ari’s perfomances: “Natural Woman” | “Son of a Preacher Man” | “Greatest Love Of All” | “Mehayom Shehalacht” (From The Day That You Left) | “If I Ain’t Got You” | “Ani Chaya Li Miyom Leyom” (I’m Just Living From Day To Day) | “Hei Shketa” (Be Peaceful) | “Set Fire To The Rain” | “Vision of Love”

The final of  The Next Star for Eurovision 2018, Israel’s Eurovision 2018 artist selection, takes place tonight at 20:00 CET. You can watch it on on these links:  option1, option2.

Do you agree with the results? Who is your favourite for tonight’s final in Israel?


Photo credits: Ronen Akerman / The Next Star for Eurovision