Another four bite the dust! That’s right people: The finalists on “The Next Star for Eurovision 2016” are dropping by the week and we are now down to the final nine, who have advanced to the quarterfinal. Scroll down to find out who is still alive…

This week the head-to-head duels continued. The 16 finalists were divided by the show’s producers into 8 duels, the first four of which we saw last week. The rules remain the same. The first artist sings in front of the judges and the audience, who rate him, thereby setting the bar for his opponent. The opposing artist then sings behind a screen. If the opposing artist manages to beat the score of the first, then the screen rises up, signalling that the second artist has won the duel. If not, the first stays in the game.

Duel 1: Yoni Grayev VS. Oded Sharabi 

Yoni Grayev is a 21-year-old wedding and events singer. He chose to sing “Soref Li Baeinaim” (“My Eyes Are Burning”), but failed to convince the crowd, scoring only 58%. Just two judges voted for him.

Oded Sharabi is 48 years old and stopped about 20 years ago when his partner asked him to choose between her or a career in music. Two decades on she righted her wrong, encouraging him to audition for the show. He sang “Ahava Bat Esrim” (“20-year old love”), delivering killer emotions that convinced all of the judges to vote for him. He won the duel with a score of 81%.

Duel 2: “Shtar” VS. Shvachya Bat Israel & Avi Eilot

“Shtar” (The Hebrew word for “paper money” or “banknote”) is an orthodox group that loves rock music and rap. The band members are from Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States, and they all met at a Yeshiva in Israel. They rocked the studio in their first audition and did it once again in this duel with their special version of “Airplanes” (mixed with “Wonderwall”), getting votes from all four judges and an impressive final score of 86%.

Shvachya Bat Israel & Avi Eilot have been a duo for more than 20 years. They write and perform their own songs and even took part in Kdam Eurovision 1995 (the Israeli national selection contest). They sang “New Day”, an original song that was written for Shvachya’s birthday. Their high score of 82%, with all four judges voting for them, still wasn’t enough to beat “Shtar”.

Duel 3: Naomi Azran VS. Kiara Duple

Naomi Azran is a recent immigrant from France, where she was part of a girl band that split up. Since then she has sung on the streets for money. In her duel she prepared a full-on spectacle of “Drunk In Love”, but failed to deliver it quite right, getting only 47% with just one judge voting for her.

Kiara Duple is a drag queen and part of the group “Holy Wigs”, which really loves Eurovision and Kdam. They even took part as an interval act at Kdam 2013. Her group backed her up in the duel with their version of the song “Tel Aviv” and it was one big party, with three judges voting for her. She earned a score of 66%, which was enough to advance.

Duel 4: Uriel Aharoni VS. Ella Daniel

Uriel Aharoni is 28-years old and comes from a musical family. His mother, a music teacher, suffered a car accident and was left in a coma for several months. In his duel Uriel sang his original song “Accelerate” with his family on stage, including his mother, of course. He managed to get a score of 70% with two judges voting for him.

Ella Daniel was born in Azerbaijan and came to Israel when she was only two years old. She writes her own music and has her own unique style. In her duel she chose to sing “Stolen Dance”. She earned 89%, with all four judges voting for her.

Second Chance

Out of the 8 losers in the duels, the judges decided to save one artist: Gil HadashGil, a 20-year-old soldier, has had no contact with her parents for the past year. She amazed the judges in her first audition and expectations were high. In her duel she sang “Kol Ha’Milim” (“All Of The Words”) and received votes from all four of the judges. Despite earning a massive 91%, she still lost out in that round. Thankfully the judges think she has what it takes and have sent her through. Second chances slay!

The 9 quarter-finalists are:

  •  “Velma”

  • Hovi Star

  • Nofar Salman

  • Ofir Haim

  • Oded Sharabi

  • “Shtar”

  • Kiara Duple

  • Ella Daniel

  • Gil Hadash

 You can watch the full episodes from this week here:
Episode 19, Episode 20.

The next phase is the quarter-final where the 9 artists will perform, but only 6 will make it to the semi-final.

Do you have a favourite yet? Who do you think would be the best choice for Israel at Eurovision 2016?


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6 years ago

Velma’s “Enjoy the pain” is really good. I hope they pick this one 😉