This week’s edition of “The Next Star” (the singing reality show that will choose the Israeli representative for Eurovision 2015) was divided into two shows — one full of dedications and tears, and the other full of Eurovision hits (and of course, some eliminations).
The special dedications show
Tears, tears and more tears… the first show of the week was a dedications special. Each contestant had to choose a song to dedicate to a person close to him (a mother, a friend, a coach, etc.). In the middle of each song, producers played a short video of the person being honoured, which proved to be very emotional for each contestant. The acts had to wipe their tears: They still had to sing later in the show!
Each performance began with the screen down, and the contestants had to get 70% of the voting audience and judging panel behind them in order to raise the screen and advance to the next round.
The Eurovision special show
With the final approaching, the production team has finally decided to give Eurovision some respect and staged a special Eurovision night. Each contestant had to choose a Eurovision or a Kdam song (Kdam is the Israeli national selection contest, for those of you that didn’t know).
Just like last week, we had head-to-head battles, this time in the Eurovision vibe. The first singer received a score from the jury and audience and set the bar. Then the other singer sang behind a screen. If the second singer managed to beat the score of the first, then the screen would rise up, signalling that the second singer had won the battle and would proceed in the contest. If not, the first singer won.
Avia Shoshani Vs. Yefi & Osher Aricha
Avia Shoshani chose to sing “Milim” (“Words”) by Harel Skaat (Israel 2010). She sang it with a lot of emotion and soul and really kicked it in her own way, while Moran Mazor (Avia was her backing singer in Eurovision 2013) supported her from the audience.
Yefi & Osher Aricha chose to sing Boaz Sharabi’s “Halevay” (“I wish”) from Kdam Eurovision 1986 (this song finished in last place, but became a big Israeli hit). They brought joy and fun to the studio, but didn’t manage to win.
Nava Tehila Walker Vs. Sa’ar “Rusty” Davidov
Nava Tehila Walker chose to sing “Od nagia” (We will get there”) from Kdam Eurovision 1985, which was originally sung by Yardena Arazi. She gave it her own interpretation, taking it from a twinkling uptempo eighties hit to a soft and melancholy ballad.
Sa’ar “Rusty” Davidov took the song “Derech hamelech” (“The king’s road”) that was originally sung by Gili & Galit (Israel 1989) and wrote another song inspired by that song, giving it his own style. This time he didn’t get a high score and was almost eliminated. (There’s a problem with the link to that performance on the official website, so you can click this link for the full episode and go to 22:00 to watch it).
Orit Biansay Vs. Nadav Guedj
Orit Biansay chose Boaz Mauda’s “Ke’ilu kan”/”The fire in your eyes” (Israel 2008) – she sings really well, but the judges say that nothing’s coming through to them on the emotional level. Nadav Guedj was the only contestant that picked a non-Israeli song – Switzerland 1988 – Celine Dion – “Ne partez pas sans moi” – bringing his special groove to it, but barely hanging on till the end. The judges said it was the wrong choice for him (although he was born in Paris so he does know French pretty well).
Sari Nachmias Vs. Iki Levy & The Rasta Hebrew Man
Sari Nachmias picked the song “Hasheket shenish’ar” (“The silence that remains”) by Shiri Maimon (Israel 2005), and delivered a dark and fresh rock version of the song, but didn’t manage to get much support from the judges. Iki Levy & The Rasta Hebrew Man took the song “Natati la chaiai” (“I gave her my life”) by Kaveret (Israel 1974) and gave it a twist as a cool reggae song, once again making everyone dance (and vote) – getting 94% of the votes.
At the next round, the judges saved Sa’ar “Rusty” Davidov. The remaining three losers of the first round (Sari Nachmias, Nadav Guedj and Yefi & Osher Aricha) sang a song of their choice (not a Eurovision song). Yefi & Osher Aricha were eliminated.
The final is just around the corner
Next week is the quarter-final, which means that in three weeks we will know who the Israeli representative for Eurovision 2015 is (we don’t have any information about how the song will be picked yet, so stay tuned for updates).
From this week on the show will be aired only on Sundays. You can watch the show live every Sunday at 21:00 Israel time (so 19:00 GMT and 20:00 CET) on this link.
Do you have a favourite yet? Did you like any Eurovision cover more than the original? Who do you think would be the best choice for Israel at Eurovision 2015?
Here you can watch and listen to all of the performances we have had so far to help you make up your mind.
The 7 finalists: