israel calling

Eurovision pre-party season is in full swing, and on Tuesday 19 acts gathered in Tel Aviv in the first edition of Israel Calling. Awesome vocals, fierce dance routines, drama and spontaneity mixed up on the Israeli stage and gave us a taste of what those 19 performances will look like on the big stage in Stockholm. But of all them, who do you think came out on top?

wiwibloggs was on-the-scene watching and broadcasting, but we can’t make up our minds. So we want to know your opinion. Did Michal nail it as much as he did in Amsterdam? What about Sanja‘s theatrical realness? Did you even notice Poli had performed on Bulgaria’s Your Face Sounds Familiar 24 hours earlier?

Here you have a playlist, with all the 19 performances (plus some special guests including Kids.il, Izhar Cohen and “Diva” composer Svika Pick), and below you have the poll. You can vote for as many acts as you want, but you can only vote once — so be sure to click the box next to each performer you want to support before pressing submit.

Israel Calling: Artists presentation

Israel calling: all the live performances

Highlights and debuts

In a sea of stars, some acts shined just a little bit brighter. And one of them was, of course, Sergey Lazarev with “You Are The Only One”.

During his first performance at a Eurovision party outside of Russia, Sergey brought his signature king of pop realness, wearing a fierce black-leather look and delivering a killer vocal performance with slick choreography.

We were standing in the VIP area shortly before he went on, and his dancers were on the floor doing push-ups. Pump it up!

France’s Amir proved why he is hanging close with Sergey in the betting odds. The French-Israeli performer seemed natural and spontaneous in his second home country and the audience responded so, so well. He even gave an a capella reprise!

Finland’s Sandhja was one of the pre-party debutants and she made up for her earlier absences. The Finn got the party started by werking zebra print jumpsuit. She went barefoot, showing off her perfect feet.

There were some sound issues with her mic and earpiece — that’s pretty clear early in the performance. But she pushed through with her amazing energy. It makes total sense why producers have her opening Semi-Final 1 of Eurovision.

Donny Montell, who previously wowed at Eurovision 2012, was the opening act in Tel Aviv.

The Lithuanian singer did what he does best: He sang while popping and locking and making the crowd get up and dance.

Love how he drops to the stage with those thrusts. The wait was worth it!

Our host in Tel Aviv, Hovi Star, is a true star for Israeli Eurofans. He gave the event its ‘lift up your lighters’ moment, letting the audience sing along with him as he reminded them of their self-worth. He also delivered an impeccable performance of “Made of Stars” to the delight of his compatriots.

Israel Calling Production

And we have to shout out to the production team. The event looked amazing and the contestants seemed to enjoy every moment, as seen in this group celebration on stage afterwards. They danced to the Israeli hit “Tel Aviv” — and so did we!

Who are your favourites?

Interviews and behind-the-scenes

Who are your favourites? Once you’ve voted, share your thoughts below.

VOTE IN THE REST OF OUR POLLS HERE

FOLLOW ALL OUR ISRAEL NEWS HERE

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Mia
Guest

Michal Szpak has the best vockal and I just love his song(HiT). Poland should win for sure

Susan
Guest
Susan

Russia 🙂
Poland 🙂
France 🙂

Sue
Guest
Sue

Samra and Michael- together on first
Ivan and man from Romania- both on the second
Amir and Zoe – guys, for you both my third place

Alex
Guest
Alex

1 st Azerbaijan
2 nd Poland
3 rd Romania
Thanks

Jylia
Guest
Jylia

To those who think there are Sergey’s fans here…no way. The amount of his fans is huge. If they really were here it would be obvious)) They called themselves LazerArmy and his fandom is probably the biggest and most active in Russia. So no way any of them here. Maybe several people, not more)

Maclaren
Guest
Maclaren

The wonderful Ailo Sawyer (whose tops you might have been enjoying this season) has uploaded his #Israelcalling top to the youtube. Same top three as in wiwi’s public opinion (though in a slightly different order). It’s only in Spanish so far but I hope subtitles are coming https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sHkxBBCCcWg

Margaret
Guest
Margaret

Samra disappointed me… She will be like Dilara. Bring back Elnur Hüseynov, he has AMAZING voice!

PhysalisFranchetti
Guest
PhysalisFranchetti

Poland for me this year <3<3<3<3<3 Michal has such an amazing voice and I don't care what y'all say I love that song!
Fingers crossed that after last year's large difference of opinion between the jury vote and the televote, the marking scheme has been altered to award more points to vocals and less to the performance of an expensive CGI backrgound (how is that important in a song contest?)

Maclaren
Guest
Maclaren

Oikotimes published their insight summary which I enjoyed reading. Btw, the editor is Greek before you start jumping to wrong conclusions on ‘ethnic’ biases https://oikotimes.com/2016/04/15/israel-calling-2016-the-party-or-just-another-party/

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

well the polish and russian people on here are promoting their own countries

Michal has got good vocals, maybe the best vocals of eurovision this year, but i don’t like his song, it’s a bit boring

Sergey, well he’s nothing new, I really much more prefer Alexey Vorobyov’s Get You above his song, sergey’s song is cliche and dated

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

@Ron

i’ve listened to it again, and you’re right it was awful and i would honestly score it a 3.5/10

MS
Guest
MS

Amir’s show was true , spontaneous , and he didn’t need dancers to do well!

Andrey (from Russia)
Guest
Andrey (from Russia)

Sergey’s show was the best – uniquely. So no question – who is the winner.

Przemek
Guest
Przemek

Micha? Szpak is just the best! If you say that’s a return to the past I’ll say you: what’s wrong if it’s really good and emotional song? By the way songs of Amir or Sergey are nothing new, songs like these you can hear everyday on the radio.

Tobi
Guest
Tobi

Skandar. I am not polish fan!

Chupacabra
Guest
Chupacabra

Amir better than in A´dam, Zoe not slaying as in A´dam, Freddie very connecting and charismatic, Michal very strong, Sanja from Serbia my fav, well, if Sergey sang that I was is only one for me, I´d get panic and run away…B aware of the control freak! Doing everything perfectly but really cold without soul. Will listen the others too… want to know if Ivan get´s the last tones that had destroyed his gr8 start in A´dam.

Skandar
Guest
Skandar

Polish fans behave like armenians in 2014 and spanish fans every year.

Tobi
Guest
Tobi

Amador.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNtsJT2HC6c
Michal is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!! This is masterpiece! wow wow wow wow

Jowita
Guest
Jowita

I appeal to the jury to Michal Starling Poland is the best, realistically assessed, let’s not count political barriers, geographical, let counts in the end vocals.

Ron
Guest
Ron

@Nicky91 – 9.5/10 for Samra’s live performance? Did we listen to the same performance? She was out of tune the whole time, and that’s with a heavy background vocals

WorldHope
Guest
WorldHope

@Euro16
Don’t be scared. It’s just that there are a lot of polish fans here 😉

Amador
Guest
Amador
Mark
Guest
Mark

POLAND ? RUSSIA ? Are you kidding ?!!!! Back to the past ! Where’s the modern Eurovision?

ESC2016
Guest
ESC2016

Vote for a modern song!
It’s ESC 2016, not 2000 ! Poland and Russia, so KITSCHHHH AND OLD !!!

Susan
Guest
Susan

no comment 🙂
Micha? Szpak – „I`m so excited”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVe02iL3tkU

Euro16
Guest
Euro16

If Eurovision win was the best voice each year, many winners would never win!
Michal with a beautiful voice, but a very old song !!! It can not win, I do not understand the hype around him.!!!

sonic0201
Guest
sonic0201

Poli Genova is starting to sort her things out. Her live is slowly getting better at every event.
Sanja Vucic consistently gives great live performances.
I’m getting tired of Sergey performances. It feels like I have already seen that 1000 of times…
Nice job Freddie involving the audience.

Homer
Guest
Homer

SLAY FRANCE! Amir >>>>>>>> Sergay

tuti
Guest
tuti

Sandhja was off key on the verses, did okay in the chorus but I hate the song’s chorus. Samra has a good song but she was never a good singer, how come she advance that far in The Voice of Azerbaijan, I never know. Donny Montell was permanently off key since the beginning. Bad song performed badly. Amir still needs to improve his head voice but his performance is solid enough and his voice tone is really pleasant to my ear, he’s definitely my favorite this year. Hovi is a great singer but I don’t really like his song. Eneda… Read more »

Anulkaaa
Guest
Anulkaaa

@Loo I think that your comment It is not in place you call me a Polish troll and I feel offended look at you do not answer in the topic do not be political Poland and Polish people are not trolls thank you .

Gugl
Guest
Gugl

Zoë has posted on her facebool page a video of a dozen Israelis singing L’oin d’ici in the streets of Tel Aviv. She and her song seem to have made quite an impression….

jaichechelooking4u
Guest
jaichechelooking4u

I liked lots of artists
Serg, Amir, Hovi, Michal, Poli & strange of all Ovidiu (cant stand his song but he performed very well. Kudos) & Lidia

Daen
Guest
Daen

Amir improved a lot from his first lives. He’ll be ready by May.

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

@Layla

and i choose experience and real performers, we all have our own choices right 🙂

Layla
Guest
Layla

I would choose talent, but I know that Europe wants good show. That is why I preferred to Margaret despite the fact that I don’t like her song (Heartbeat was better). My taste is weak, because I like boring songs. For exaple my fav are: Moldova, Lithuania, Belarus, Hungary, Israel, UK, Norway, Armenia – one half doesn’t even come to the final and the other half will be in the middle of the pack 😀

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

@Anton and @Layla

he has the best vocal of eurovision this year, but his song is so boring

there are other countries, who might have less vocalists but better songs 🙂

Anton
Guest
Anton

Michal’s vocal live is so similar to Konchita )))

Layla
Guest
Layla

I agree. Michal has the best vocal of all. I think Freddie also has an interesting voice. Ivan sometimes not control his voice, but I think he also has a great voice 🙂

Tobi
Guest
Tobi

Michal Szpak best! best! best! best!!!!!! man vocal this ESC

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

@Layla

good point

Layla
Guest
Layla

@Amador I think that Poland will please the judges, but Europe no longer.
Although he can still surprise us.
The song of Austria also was boring, but it won. Besides, this year is much more boring ballads. I think that Poland is located between the 11th-15th

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

@BeataS

thank you i appreciate that 🙂

Jylia
Guest
Jylia

A lot of people say that they don’t like the dance. I am not a huge fan of this dance too. I prefer Sergey on stage alone, when focus is on him & his energy only. But the main point here is to show that he can dance and sing on that level at same time! He is the only one who did this and who’s capable to nail it this year. In Stockholm his performance gonna be completely different I am sure.

Amador
Guest
Amador

Michal Szpak – best man vocal this ESC but boring pop/rock ballad. (0 points jury and 20-22 place final)

BeataS
Guest
BeataS

Nicky91
favourites sorry 😉

YoungsterJoey
Guest
YoungsterJoey

Michal Szpak might surprise many of us in May.

BeataS
Guest
BeataS

Nicky91
Of course! I wish you good luck your favorite 😉

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

@BeataS

can you also wish my favourites Malta and Czech Republic good luck 🙂

BeataS
Guest
BeataS

Nicky91
THANK YOU! 🙂

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

@adriana

and Ira’s interview, i find her so down to earth and kind, also what she said about other songs this year, that other songs are also amazing

and on her instagram a picture of her with Francesca Michielin 🙂