After a long audition process, plenty of broken dreams, and even a catfight among the jurors, Israel now has the 16 finalists for “The Next Star”, the singing reality show that will choose the Israeli representative for Eurovision 2015.
Over the past few weeks the judges have cried and argued as they narrowed the field to these 16, but it was definitely worth it. Now it’s time for you to choose your favourites. You can also watch the shows live every Sunday and Tuesday at 21:00 Israel time (so 19:00 GMT and 20:00 CET) on this link.
Meet “The Next Star” Finalists:
Avia Shoshani (The The soul-touching singer)
Avia is the only contestant who already has experience on the Eurovision stage. She provided backing vocals for Moran Mazor at Eurovision 2013 and now she’s ready to make it as a solo artist (and a very talented one). In addition to her voice, she makes a statement with her style.
1st audition: “Kshe’Ata Kan” (“When you’re here”)
2nd audition: “Lola”
Asif Zilberman (The charmer)
Asif is 18 years old, living in a Moshav located on the Mediterranean coast. He has a babyface and a sweet voice that will make you fall in love with him. You just have to go awww.
1st audition: ” “Ahavat Neurai” (“The Love of My Youth”)
2nd audition: “Tachzeri” (“Come Back”)
Iki Levy & The Rasta Hebrew Men (The reggae band)
Iki, the lead singer, is a 35-year-old teacher. His band sings original songs, full of fun and happiness. That’s one reason they’re already performing in pubs and festivals: they know how to party with the people.
1st audition: “Uri Israel” (“Wake up Israel)”
2nd audition: “Hayu Zmanim” (There were times”)
Lirose Balas (The brave diva)
Lirose’s father hurt her and her family, so she made him leave their home. She’s into diva songs — cue Beyoncé and Mariah — but some say she’s just a good technical singer. She was the 16th qualifier and barely made it. Whew.
1st audition: “If I Ain’t Got You”
2nd audition: “Halo”
Yefi & Osher Aricha (The father, son and holy spirit)
Osher came to the audition with his father, and one of the hosts suggested they audition together, since they’re both so talented. It was very emotional to watch.
1st audition: “Ananim” (“Clouds”)
2nd audition: “Kshe’At Atzuva” (“When You’re Sad”)
Random Dogs (They bark, but they don’t bite)
This group defo has something special. They’re a performance group and they made the audience go wild. There’s a nice singer, but everyone is looking at the drummer. You will too.
1st audition: “Crazy”
2nd audition: “En Li Makom” (“I Have No Place”)
Tzadok Garame (The stud)
Tzadok is the son of the Israeli singer Nisim Garame who took part in Kdam 1989. This guy is hot and charming and the judges just couldn’t resist him. Neither can we.
1st audition: “Kaelu milim” (“Such words”)
2nd audition: “Bediavad” (“On second thought”)
Eva Al Keneresh (The pregnant, Israeli Amy Winehouse)
During the previous round of auditions, Eva got the highest percentage of votes from the audience and jury so far (97%). The judges told her it’s gonna be hard to live up to their high expectations, but she mostly did.
1st audition: “Make You Feel My Love”
2nd audition: “That’s life”
Nadav Guedj (The Israeli Justin Timberlake)
Nadav is the youngest participant on the show: he had his 16th birthday on the first audition day. Qualifying for the next round must have been a great birthday present for him!
Sa’ar “Rusty” Davidov (The sensitive rapper)
Sa’ar has been through a lot in life. He told the judges that he sometimes has anxiety attacks while on stage. Sa’ar performed his original songs and the judges were left in tears.
1st audition: “Yesh bi tikva (I’ve still got hope)”
2nd audition: “Elohay (My god)”
Nava Tehila Walker (The Soft girl)
Nava had the flu when she came to the second audition, and if that wasn’t enough, her boyfriend had left her the same day. The judges were very sympathetic and encouraged her to use the pain to improve her singing.
1st audition: “Not going anywhere“
2nd audition: “Love me tender“
Sari Nachmias (The cool chick)
Sari is only 17 years old, but her voice and singing are mature, rough and unusual. She also writes songs herself. The judges unanimously love her.
1st audition: “Toxic”
2nd audition: “Wicked Games”
Orit Biansay (The Israeli Beyonce)
Orit auditioned in the previous season of the show, but didn’t pass. This time she made it big time and earned the name “the Israeli Beyoncé”.
1st audition: “If I Were a Boy”
2nd audition: “When I Was Your Man”
Evyatar Adir (The rock guy)
In his auditions Evyatar took off his shirt and forgot some of his lyrics, but still managed to pass to the next round.
1st audition: “Always on the Run”
2nd audition: “Ruach Stav (Wind of Autumn)”
David Maman (“The flirter”, a name given to him by judge Harel Skaat)
David was born in Copenhagen to a Danish mother and an Israeli father. He’s been all around the world and moved to Israel two years ago and really charmed the judges in the auditions.
1st audition: “No Diggity”
2nd audition: “Say Something”
Almog Nashawi (The oriental singer)
Almog has a special voice, and she’s young and funny. She said she can’t wake up in the morning, so she doesn’t work, but she did wake up at 6AM in order to get her hair done and came with her personal hairdresser for her audition.
1st audition: “Ani Gitara (I’m a Guitar)”
2nd audition: “Absurd”
The wrong elimination
One guy who almost made the cut but got eliminated is Omer Reuven. Omer is a very talented, sensitive young man, and he got us very excited. The moment he got eliminated came as a big shock to many people. I’m sure he’s got a very promising future ahead of him. Who knows? In this kind of reality shows there are all kind of twists and turns, so he might be back, one way or another. Most of you might don’t understand the Hebrew language, but you sure can understand the language of music and talent. Anyway, judge Harel Skaat knows real talent and he has invited Omer to perform at his concert at the end of the month. How sweet is that?
The real competition begins next week
So, next week we’re back to the live studio to see who will manage to lift the screen up and who will be eliminated. Do you have your own favourite yet? Who do you think would be the best choice for Israel at Eurovision 2015?