This year Junior Eurovision is filled mostly with solo female performers.
But Israel — the 15th country to reveal — is mixing things up with a girl-boy duet, the first and only one of the year, in the form of the duo Shir & Tim.
The duo — comprised of 13-year-olds Shira Frieman and TimoTi Sannikov — have a surprising amount of experience, which helped them emerge victorious following a truly nation-wide search for talent, led by Mrs. Aliza Dayan-Hamama, the head of the Israeli delegation to Junior Eurovision and the Department of Children and Youth. She worked closely with renown producer Tali Eshkoli — one of the geniuses behind the Israel Calling event held in Tel-Aviv last April.
The Duo Shir & Tim, also known as Shira Frieman and TimoTi Sannikov, will sing for Israel at #jesc2016! Shir is 13 years old and comes from Atzmon-Segev. She's played the saxophone for three years and loves to dance to jazz. She also dubbed the Hebrew version of the Disney film Finding Dory. Tim is 13 and hails from Bat Yam. He attends an Israeli-French school and can sing in EIGHT languages! He's currently competing on The Voice Kids Ukraine. #JESC #junioreurovision #junioreurovision2016
Children from across the country attended auditions, held in the beginning of October. The children were selected by a professional committee composed of representatives from Israel’s Federation of Community Centers, the Culture Managers Association, the Ministry of Education, IBA, artists and composers including Liron Lev, Dor Daniel, Omer Zimri and others.
Their song is yet-to-be revealed. But surely the boy-girl nature of this will help it stand out. And we know Israel is taking this very seriously, having consulted with some of the country’s top composers to work with their children.
They ultimately went with proclaimed song writer Mr. Noam Horev (who also wrote the lyrics for Israel’s Eurovision 2010 entry) and the composer Dor Daniel, who will also be in charge of musical production.
Their song is called “Follow My Heart” and an official promo video clip is being planned and filmed as we write.
About Shir & Tim
Shir hails from Atzmon-Segev and attends school in Galilee. She’s played the saxophone for three years and enjoys dancing to jazz, so perhaps we’ll see her fancy footwork on stage in Malta.
She’s already a known figure, as she participated in the third season of Music School — Israel’s prime time TV singing competition for children. The show exposed her to some of the country’s top musicians and artists.
“While participating in the show I learned I am able to face even difficult challenges, and always stick to what I think is true,” she says.
And if her face isn’t familiar, her voice surely will be. She has done extensive dubbing work for films including the Hebrew version of Disney’s Finding Dory.
Multi-talented and ready to slay, she knows the world is her oyster and is keeping her options open: “I actually don’t know what I’ll do when I grow up, but I’m sure music will always be part of me.”
Tim hails from Bat Yam and studies at the Israeli-French school Mikve Israel. In addition to Hebrew and French, he speaks Russian and English and can sing in EIGHT different languages.
A student of both the piano and organ, he also writes and composes songs, takes professional voice lessons and dances across several genres including breakdance, classic, freestyle and tap dancing. Whew!
He’s also a veteran of music festivals and televised singing contests, including Being A Star and Family Performance on Channel 24 and international competitions such New Wave Junior and the Slavic Bazaar. He’s currently competing on Ukraine’s The Voice Kids.
As of June 2016, TimoTi is part of the cast of the Israeli production of the musical Billy Elliot. He plays the character of Billy’s best friend, Michael. The rehearsals took about 10 months, and the show is a huge commercial hit in Israel.
Besides the performing arts, TimoTi enjoys playing soccer, swimming, climbing walls and going on family trips. “But most of all I love to sing and dance, be on stage and entertain the crowd in front of me.”
Shir &Tim’s Offical Social media accounts: