The Israeli selection process for Eurovision 2019 continues and today we’ll take a look at the qualifiers from episode 6. We usually cover two episodes in each article due to the length of the show, but last week three episodes were broadcast because of Hannukah. So chapter 6 of this never-ending drama gets its own post. Let’s do this!
But there is another reason why we’ve decided to dedicate an article to episode 6 alone – and his name is Kobi Marimi. Since his audition he has emerged as a “hot” favourite to win the contest and to become the host country’s representative in Tel Aviv 2019.
Assaf, 26, works in a night club in Tel Aviv and he’s also a muscleman. This has definitely given us another incentive to watch. He chose a song in Hebrew called “What do you want from me?”, originally performed by Hanan Ben Ari. As with his look, his voice is very strong and carried a profound depth. But it’s slightly rusty as Shiri rightly said: “You must stop drinking alcohol and work on your voice if you want to work as a singer”. She admitted, however, that he’s very handsome. Assaf achieved 71% maybe because something in the song he’d chosen didn’t work. But he’s got potential and hopefully we will see it in his next audition.
Etty, 29, works as a professional singer and she also writes and composes her own songs. She defines herself as a Mizrahi artist and made Shiri and Harel debate as to whether a Mizrahi choice would be the right one for Tel Aviv 2019. Harel said that he would like this to happen but Shiri disagreed and suggested that it’d be good to show Europe that Israel has got more to offer. Back to Etty. She performed a song in Hebrew called “Rak Le’Ima”, a tribute for her mother. Her performance was quite emotional and the fact that Etty’s mother was also there added to the excitement and made the whole entry sound as if it had been written for her. Some of the lyrics of the song are in Moroccan Arabic and when Etty conveyed this, she did some mawaals which were stunning. She received 83% and will therefore proceed to the next stage.
Roi is 20, and has been performing professionally since he was 13. He has a YouTube channel with many fans. He came to the audition with his mother and sister whom he described as two “strong women”. This was definitely noticed as he sounds much older and experienced than his actual look and age. Roi sang “Yeladim Ka’ale” (“Kids like these”) and although he’s got “star quality”, he didn’t stand out compared to other candidates. However, the crowd liked him and this is what matters — he achieved 80% and will also continue to the next stage.
A few years ago Sara lost her baby boy under very tragic circumstances: he was found dead as a result of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Despite the fact that the Next Star is also a reality show, the way her story was presented looked authentic and with no filters or editor interference (or at least this is how we felt). Putting her own story aside, her audition was amazing and in our opinion she had the second best audition after Kobi Marimi’s (see below). She performed a song in Hebrew as well – “I Don’t Have You” by Eden Ben Zaken, whose songs are realllly loved by this year’s candidates. She achieved 90% and did not leave a single viewer with dry eyes.
He’s 27 and looks a bit like Freddie Mercury. During his interview with Assi and Rotem he said that he suffers from crowd anxiety which made us think that his audition would probably be a flop. But in fact it was OUTSTANDING. Kobi performed Beyoncé’s “Sweet Dreams” and completely turned the song upside, moving it from a pop song to an emotional ballad. We were speechless and so were the judges, hosts and audience. Kobi gained 91% and Shiri said that this was the best audition she’d ever seen. And she’s not exaggerating. We will DEFINITELY see him in the next stages and perhaps even on the Eurovision stage.
What you think about this episode and the hype surrounding Kobi Marim? Did you like his audition? Do you think that he has a chance to bring Israel its fifth victory? Share your ideas below!