The final of Israel’s The Next Star for Eurovision 2017, which unfolds on February 13, is approaching faster than a lightweight singer in front of a heavy-duty wind machine. And following this week’s quarterfinal, six acts remain standing. Let’s review what went down and who fell out…
Producers divided the show’s eight contestants into four duels. In each duel the first artist sang in front of the judges and the audience. Their combined rating set the bar for their opponent. The voting process went as usual: each judge voted yay or nay, with a yay awarding the contestant a score of 10%. The audience in the TV studio voted in a similar way via a special smartphone application and the scores were added together during the performance.
The opposing artist then sang behind a screen. If the opposing artist managed to beat the score of the first artist, then the screen rose up, signalling that the second artist had won the duel. If not, the first artist won. Got it?
Duel 1: Julieta VS. Sapir Nahon
Julieta has been a singer in Israel for more than a decade, but her career has never really taken off. In 2013 she took part in Kdam Eurovision 2013 (Israel’s national selection for Eurovision) but failed to reach the final. During her audition for the show she chose to sing an American ballad, but this time she went back to her musical roots with an Israeli oriental/Mizrahi song. She got everyone clapping and dancing, earning a total score of 87% (including votes from all four judges).
Sapir Nahon currently sings in a military band. She got so emotional during her audition that she barely managed to keep singing while wiping away her tears. This time she brimmed with confidence, performing a ballad that was originally written and performed by one of the show’s judges Assaf Amdursky. Her touching performance had an oriental flair, but it wasn’t enough to overcome her opponent. She only managed a score of 79% (including votes from three judges). Harel Skaat chose not to vote for her.
Duel 2: Imri Ziv VS. The Beatbox Element
Imri Ziv knows Eurovision very well. After serving as a backing singer for the Israeli acts in 2015 and 2016, he’s ready for his moment at centre stage. During his audition the Israeli judges couldn’t help but comment on his amazing look — but also praised his voice and charisma. And perhaps remembering their kind words, he turned up the heat with a tank top and some slick moves. It wasn’t perfect, but he managed to get a score of 71% (including votes from three judges).
The Beatbox Element don’t use any instruments or playback: They create their music through their voices alone. They’re all former members of “The Voca People”, a popular a cappella group. They didn’t impress the judges and the audience this time, as their score was only 49%, included a vote from just one judge — Harel.
Duel 3: Hally Lewis VS. Ta-La-Te
Hally Lewis was born to an Israeli mother and an African-American father. She charmed the judges with her unique swagger even before she started singing in her audition. Her special groove and swag made everyone feel so good leading to comparisons with Nadav Guedj. She still had her groove during her performance, but she lacked the vocals. Her score was just 58% (including votes from two judges).
Ta-La-Te means “three” in Arabic, and it also represents 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.
However, their performance this week lacked movement — even if it still included clapping and dancing. They managed to earn a score of 69% (including votes from three judges), and that was enough to win their duel and advance to the semi final.
Duel 4: Yona Shavin VS. Diana Golbi
Yona Shavin‘s original plan was to study architecture but then she realized she didn’t want to be stuck in an office for the rest of her life. She currently works as a street singer and loves the connection with the people. We’d love it if people threw cash in our hat, too! Unfortunately her jazzy performance didn’t quite work this time (the jazz song she picked might failed her) although her vocals and charisma. Her score was just 38%, included a vote from just one judge — Assaf.
In 2010 Diana Golbi 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. During her quarterfinal performance she wowed the judges with her raw voice, which is very “Mei Feingold” Eurovision 2014. Power, poise, potential — she is the clear favourite to win it all. Her score was 83% (including votes from three judges).
Ready to rise like a phoenix?
Producers held two additional duels among the four losers of the main duels, resulting in two more acts advancing to the final.
Yona Shavin (score: 85%) VS. Sapir Nahon (score:87%)
Hally Lewis (score: 52%) VS. The Beatbox Element (score: 56%)
The 6 semi-finalists
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 AND ALL THE CLIPS ON THIS LINK.
Next week the six semi-finalists will battle for four spots in the final. Which artist do you like the most so far? Who do you think would do the best for Israel at Eurovision?