The quarterfinal of The Next Star for Eurovision 2017 airs tomorrow — that’s Monday January 30. Twenty-one lucky acts survived their auditions in Israel, but the judges only had space for eight acts in the next round. They met in private to debate the merits of each — and we imagine tears were shed amid plenty of arguments. But in the end the cull had to happen and today producers have announced the eight acts still in the race.
In 2010 Diana won Kokhav Nolad (A Star Is Born), one of the most popular shows in the country. She’s subsequently released two albums and taken part in a series of musicals while studying acting. The judges were surprised to see her, but she explained that she’s determined to win another competition in order to get to the Eurovision stage. The judges were impressed by the raw quality of her voice, which is very “Mei Feingold” Eurovision 2014. Power, poise, potential — she is a real threat to win it all.
Audition score: 95% (votes from four judges)
Imri knows Eurovision very well. In 2015 and 2016 he served as a backing singer for the Israeli acts. He wants to return in 2017, but this time as the lead singer. The Israeli Adonis studies media at university and works as a singer in a special group called “Caliente”, which performs at private events. The name, of course, means hot and well…we aren’t arguing with that! The judges couldn’t help but comment on his amazing look — but also praised his voice and charisma. Total package with a package? Amen!
Audition score: 93% (votes from four judges)
Hally (Hallelujah) Lewis
Born to an Israeli mother and an African-American father, Hally charmed the judges with her unique swagger even before she started singing. She might not have the best vocals in the show, but her special groove and performance made us feel so good. Is she the female version of Nadav Guedj? Yassss! She’s our golden girl!
Audition score: 87% (votes from four judges)
Talate means “three” in Arabic, which is also the number of members in this group. They sing in the Oriental/Mizrahi style (which is very popular in Israel) and know how to keep the energy up and the blood flowing — most of the judges wanted this party to keep on rocking and voted them through. The lead singer has a particularly strong look, which is only going to help him as the contest proceeds.
Audition score: 75% (votes from three judges)
The Beatbox Element
As the name suggests, this group doesn’t use any instruments or playback: They create their music through their voices alone. They’re all former members of “The Voca People” and managed to impress the judges with their polish and cohesiveness. With so many people on stage, it’s likely every Israeli can find someone to relate to here.
Audition score: 91% (votes from four judges)
Sapir currently sings in a military band. Her little brother reached the final of a famous kids’ talent show in Israel, where he met the judge of The Next Star for Eurovision 2017, Keren Peles. Sapir got the judges so excited they all voted for her quite quickly, but then she got so emotional she barely managed to keep on singing while wiping away her tears. Awww. Thankfully she held it together and made it through. Now dry those tears and get ready to do it all again.
Audition score: 88% (votes from four judges)
Julieta has been a singer in Israel for more than a decade and she’s had a string of hits along the way. But she’s consistently faced obstacles and has never managed to cement her place in the industry, putting her on the brink of quitting music several times.
Over the last couple of years she’s worked as a sales manager, but Eurovision and music remain her biggest passions. In her audition she didn’t totally convince the judges, but she still managed to pass to the next round. Will her fantasy finally come true in 2017?
Audition score: 72% (votes from two judges)
Yona’s original plan was to study architecture but then she realized she didn’t want to be in an office for the rest of her life. She is currently working as a street singer, and loves the connection with the people. Eurovision would expand her audience from dozens to millions. The judges weren’t that sure of her audition, but they believe that she has real potential, so they let her pass with the hope that she will slay next time.
Audition score: 79% (votes from three judges)
30 January – Quarterfinal – part 1
31 January – Quarterfinal – part 2
6 February – Semi-final
13 February – The Grand Final
YOU CAN WATCH ALL THE EPISODES OF THE NEXT STAR FOR EUROVISION 2017 ON THIS LINK OR ALL THE CLIPS ON THIS LINK.
Which artist do you like the most so far? Who do you think would do the best for Israel at Eurovision?