Shalom Israel! The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — has landed in sun-soaked Tel Aviv. We are ready to hit the hot beaches and clubs, but first we have to review Israel’s song for Eurovision 2017 — “I Feel Alive” from IMRI. Does it give us life…or leave us feeling a little dead inside? Read on to find out!
IMRI – “I Feel Alive”
Imri Ziv, 25, is an Israeli singer and voice actor. Over the past two years he’s been just a few feet from stardom, serving as a backing vocalist for the 2015 and 2016 Israeli acts Nadav Guedj and Hovi Star. In February he won the reality singing competition HaKokhav HaBa L’Eurovizion (The Next Star for Eurovision), which has helped him step out of the shadows and into the limelight.
“I Feel Alive” reviews
Deban: “I Feel Alive” struck me on the first spin, but this wasn’t sustained with repeat listens. IMRI sizzles on camera, and his vocals adapt well to the EDM genre. However, this entry doesn’t tug on my heartstrings, nor does it push me to the dance floor. Hopefully, the right staging could sprinkle some much needed magic on it.
Robyn: IMRI’s background is as a backing singer for Nadav and Hovi — and there are times during “I Feel Alive” when it sounds like he’s still singing backing vocals. The song is an undeniably great dance track, but it doesn’t have the same hooks as “Golden Boy” or the emotional heft of “Made of Stars”. If the audience remembers enough to be inspired to vote in the semi-final, it will be a borderline qualifier.
Anthony: As one of Nadav Guedj’s backing vocalists in 2015, this feels like a case of déjà vu — in a good way. Just like “Golden Boy”, “I Feel Alive” is another club banger of a Eurovision tune that will go down well at the Euroclub. The main challenge for Imri is whether he can follow suit, bring that party atmosphere to Kyiv and maybe another top 10 finish for Israel.
Sinan: This type of song should always be included in the contest. The song totally slays — I can dance to it, it’s sung really well plus the ethno sound (oh my gosh!) is unique and super addictive. The track is very modern. I can’t wait to see the stage performance. I wish every success to IMRI and hope he gets a very good place in the finals!
Jordi: Imri’s “I Feel Alive” has come like rain in the desert amongst this year’s plethora of ballads. This dance hit mixes electronic beats with traditional sounds, and the result is truly impressive. An amazing club banger. This song transmits good energy and positive vibes — it’s very “let’s have a good time!” at a time the world could use it. Between the lovely message and the vocals, there’s definitely a place for “I Feel Alive” in the grand final…even if it’s missing that big hook.
William: On stage Imri Ziv reminds me of a mannequin — physically perfect, but somehow stiff. His performances lean toward the wooden and I get the sense he’s not comfortable fully letting go in the public eye. Thankfully his songwriters have delivered a banger of a tune that pulls him out of his shell and masks any vocal shortcomings. The Middle Eastern flair instantly elevates this above so many of the mediocre songs in the competition. It grows monotonous in its own way, but Israel can conceal that with dynamic staging.
Antony: There are multiple songs this year that are trying to break away from the components of a classic Eurovision song. This one does it successfully with its infectious and catchy club banger beat, but maintains a bit of ethnic flavour with Israeli bagpipes flowing with the beat. I cannot wait to see what IMRI and Israel have in store for us on stage in Kiev this year.
Chris: It’s never a good sign when you have to remind yourself of a song’s existence. This is enjoyable when it’s on, but so easily forgotten when it’s finished. IMRI and “I Feel Alive” could have been a top-five contender in some other year, but it feels like many of the other male acts this year have stolen his thunder by going a different route. To counter that IMRI needs a great stage performance and a lot of presence. Whether that can all come together is another question; his qualification may be in doubt.
In our Wiwi Jury, we have 38 jurors but only room for eight reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:
Before calculating the average score, the highest and lowest scores are dropped. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 4 and a high of 10.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 7.17/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!