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.

 THE FINALISTS

Diana Golbi

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 Ziv
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)

Ta-La-Te
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 Nahon
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
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.

In 2013 she took part in Kdam Eurovision 2013 (Israel’s national selection for Eurovision) but failed to reach the final. She sang “Fantasia”, which was written by Israeli hit-maker Doron Medalie.

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 Shavin
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)

UPCOMING EPISODES

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?

FOLLOW ALL OF OUR ISRAEL EUROVISION NEWS HERE

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Lasse
Guest
Lasse

so Erin is the Grand Conspirator…well, there you go – she figured it all out.

I understand writing it once, but to chew our ears with that **3** times surely makes it the real and absolute truth! you go girl!!!

an esc fan
Guest
an esc fan

I don’t understand the language, but the only woman in the jury laughs so loud and fake, everytime the male presenter makes a joke, and he does not seem talented.
Diana or Imri will win, not that I want to be so.

Hebbuzz
Guest
Hebbuzz

Imri sings so easily. I think he is the best of the bunch. I don;t get the hype around Diana. This jury to me just seems fake. Yoni is a good singer too, but she needs the perfect song to stand out. Beat Box Element is my thrid option for the final. OK add the Group of three just for fun and we have a line-up.

sieczka
Guest
sieczka

Are you serious? Boring acts like Imri Liv and Ta-La-Te go through while Judy Layne Bernstein and Helen Kalandadze are left behind? Take a risk, Israel. You’re beginning to play it safe since 2015 and I don’t like it.

AzeriBoy96
Guest
AzeriBoy96

I support Imri Ziv. Good luck, Israel!

Erin
Guest
Erin

Hang on to your seats because we already know the 4 finalists.
The two quarter final shows were recorded last week and since we all now this is a fixed game tailor-made for the production’s home-grown talents, the finalists are:
Diana Golbi
Imri Ziv
Julietta
The Beatbox Element
The first two names are Teddy Productions’ proteges so you bet they already know how to make one of them win while making us believe the choice is in our hands. The other three will probably be offered a contract on the show’s network.

BenjaminMZ
Guest
BenjaminMZ

Sad that Beta Zinq didn’t go through…

AngieP
Guest
AngieP

Diana Golbi is amazing!! Love her!
Imri Ziv wasn’t among my favourites but he has a really good voice. With the appropriate song, he can do well (if he’s the winner).
I don’t know how Hally qualified. She’s not good vocally. Sorry.
I also like Ta-La-Te and The Beatbox Element. It would be interesting to see something like “The beatbox element” at ESC. However, I don’t know if they can produce the music by themselves cause the music should be recorded.
Sapir Nahon has a beautiful voice. Like her!
Not excited for the other two.
Good luck Israel!

an esc fan
Guest
an esc fan

Hally Lewis can’t sing. Where is Osher Biton?
It is so clear that Diana Golbi is wanted to win, so the path is paved for her.
This year Israel will stay in semifinal.

Erin
Guest
Erin

so much talent and so much baloney… Doesn’t it strike you quite strange that 5 out of the 8 qualifiers are from the first audition show?? doesn’t it suggest that the other edited audition shows were intended as fodder for the production so it could figure out how to make the rules and come up with 4 original songs for the final show on February 13?? Rest assured you’ll never get to see the judges’ shortlisting deliberations from 21 to 8 because those never actually took place…it’s the narrative the production wants us to believe and most of us are… Read more »

Tom
Guest
Tom

Its should be Imri or Julieta! each of them will guarantee us a place in the top 5 ,hopefully we will do good job in the song area, like Golden Boy in 2015.

Colin
Guest
Colin

I join the crowd here, having an 80-year-old contestant would be refreshing.

danielvarga
Guest
danielvarga

GO DIANA!!!

Vanessa
Guest
Vanessa

Imri for the win then!

Erin
Guest
Erin

Judy was the token ‘old lady’ candidate on a show that only worships youth, hotties and brand name ‘Teddy Productions’ talents. Did you really expect seeing a performer from a foreign country or from a minority group in Israel? It’s OK if you have an Israeli mother and an African father or if your group’s name is Arabic, but Heaven forbid if you’re 100% Georgian like Helen Kalandadze or you happened to actually sing in Arabic because it’s your mother tongue.
The boundaries are very clear: so are the underlying agendas which control every aspect of this show.

Aaran
Guest
Aaran

*sorry meant that I don’t just like them because of their looks 😉

Aaran
Guest
Aaran

I’m liking Ta-Le-Te (and not just because of the lyrics). They would do well at Eurovision with an upbeat Hebrew song as in their audition.

Ddraven4
Guest
Ddraven4

Where is Judy. These 8 acts are great, but she was great and adorably lovable. All hype is gone. :'(

Kylie
Guest
Kylie

I’m sad the old woman didn’t make it 🙁