Israel’s selection process for Eurovision 2019 continues, and today we take a look at the qualifiers from the last two episodes. As usual, we will review the best audition according to the audience and the one we liked the most in each episode. You can also find out a bit about all of the qualifiers below. So let’s start.

Episode 11 – 23/12/2018

Nitay Twito

The audience favourite was Nitay Twito, a young man with a HUGE voice! Just before his audition, he confessed that he’d been “obsessed” with Shiri for many years. He told the panel, which she sits on, that when he was a child he went to one of her concerts and sang her “HaSheket SheNishar” — her entry at Eurovision 2005. She loved it and even gave him a card where she wrote: “Itay, you sing wonderfully”. Apparently she misspelled his name! After the audition she was very emotional (and corrected the card, adding the missing “N” to his name). But to be honest, no one could blame her for being biased in his favour as Nitay has got the look, the charisma and – most importantly – the voice. He sang “Rise Up” from Andra Day and achieved 90% of the votes with the crowd going wild.

Noy Sosover

Our favourite on this episode was Noy Sosover. Noy, 30, sang in the Israeli military choir when she was a soldier. After she completed her service, she traveled to New York where she studied Behavioral Sciences and Performing Arts. She performed “Dangerous Woman” by Ariana Grande and achieved 86%. Despite her classy and timid appearance, her audition revealed that she’s dangerous indeed! With so many candidates this year it’s not easy to stand out but she definitely did.

Other qualifiers in this episode, ranked from highest to lowest:

Ilay Chepman, Ve-ech Sh’at (“As You Are”), originally written by Ilay: 80%. It was young and fresh.

Yagel Yada’i Ein Li Af Echad (“I’ve Got No One”) by Eden Ben Zaken: 77%. Pretty generic to be honest.

Zohar Schechtman “Shir Shel Yom Hulin” (translates as “A Song For Weekdays”) by Ilanit: 55%. An immature performance, but the hosts saved him. Hard to justify that decision.

Ilay

Yagel

Zohar

Episode 12 – 25/12/18

Or Ben Atar

The audience’s favourite was Or Ben Atar who performed a song in Hebrew called: “Achrei Hakol Mitga’agea ” (“I Miss You After All”, by Itay Levy). Or is 29 and he has a very passionate voice. Despite the fact that there are many Mizrachi singers this season, he’s quite unique and even Assaf Amdursky, a member of the panel who is less fond of this style, voted for him. He wowed the audience and achieved 94%. The question is – again – if he will be able to stand out from the many candidates with a similar style.

Ihab Atila

Our favourite was – without doubt – Ihab Atila. Ihab is 25 and he’s Druze –= an Arabic-speaking esoteric ethno-religious community whose third largest centre is in Israel.

We will start by saying that Ihab is very charismatic and once he starts speaking, he draws immediate attention. Curiously, he wanted to sing a song in Hebrew but the hosts (or editors…) convinced him to sing in Arabic, which for those of you who are less familiar, is Israel’s second official language spoken by roughly 20% of its population (app. 1.8 million people). He sang “Lamastek” (which translates as “I Touched You”, originally performed by Amer Mustafa) and the outcome was STUNNING (85%)! In our humble opinion, if Mizrachi is the right style for Israel then Ihab should represent the country in Tel Aviv. We also think that it’s about time that Israel sends a song entirely sung in Arabic which is such a gorgeous language.

Other qualifiers in this episode ranked from highest to lowest:

Avi Assor “Eten Lach” (“I Will Give it All To You”): 79%. It was a controversial audition.

Shira Givoni “If I Were A boy” – Beyonce: 72%. Call her Miniyonce.

Netanel & Yarden Brazilai “Zvaim” (“Colours”) – Gil Wein: 70%. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Avi Assor

Shira Givoni

Do you think that sending a song in Arabic could be an interesting choice for Israel on home turf? What did you think about Ihab’s audition? Did you like any of the other qualifiers? Share your thoughts with us down below.

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Steven
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Steven

Bad news… Ihab Atila did not pass the second audition… In fact, it was apparently so bad, they didn’t even show it in that episode! They just mentioned it as “by the way”… Can’t find that audition anywhere. Shame.
On a more positive news, Kobi Marimi and Shefita are in the top 20! Hoping one of them will win.

Evan
Guest
Evan

Or has a beautiful voice, but boy needs to watch it with the hand movements. It comes off as unprofessional.

And there’s no way the Israeli Culture Ministry (or whatever it’s called) is going to allow them to send an Arabic song.

lolita_2
Guest
lolita_2

Theres more probability of France doing that than Israel. I think arabic sounds beautiful.

La Signora
Guest
La Signora

Since Arabic is Israel’s second official language (and a wonderful language) I think it would be cool to send a song in Arabic

NoGeoblocks
Guest
NoGeoblocks

It is not. English is. Arab has a special status in Israel but it is not an official language.
Until the Arab world learns to accept Israel as the fact that it is, Israel SHOULD NOT send anymore songs in Arabic.
In fact, the Arab world is doing all it can to have Eurovision 2019 canceled…

Idan Cohen
Guest
Idan Cohen

While I generally agree, you phrased your comment in a very black&white perspective. countries like Jordan and Egypt do accept Israel as a legitimate state, and some countries acknowledge it implicitly (for example Saudi Arabia, Bahrain). Some Arabic speakers (like the Druze and the Christian Arabs) here in Israel do accept and love the country. so speaking Arabic doesn’t always mean Israel-hatred. I just think this entire discussion is redundant. If we pick some Arabic-speaking singer because (s)he is good and he stood out – let him sing in Arabic. We **shouldn’t** pick a singer **because** he speaks Arabic. besides,… Read more »

NoGeoblocks
Guest
NoGeoblocks

Jordan and Egypt have very cold peace with Israel, that they use for their benefit when it suits them. I did not say Israel should not pick a singer because he is an Arab. The best singer should win. However, Arabic does not represents modern day Israel, and should not represent Israel in Eurovision.

Anyways, Kobi should win 🙂

Denis
Guest
Denis

Actually English isn’t official language either. It’s widely used but not official.
And Arabic was official until recently when politicians decided to score political points by removing it

Idan Cohen
Guest
Idan Cohen

‘The argument is meaningless, as he won’t get chosen to begin with. with all the talents this season, I can’t see him being chosen. Arabic was the only interesting part of his audition, everything else is pretty forgettable.
Let’s just assume he will get chosen and he will sing in Arabic, well, it doesn’t matter. 90% of the Europeans can’t really tell the difference between Hebrew and Arabic anyway.

Avi Assor should be this year winner. he’s great! Unlike obvious favorites like Kitria, he really brings the vocals without having a neutral-pop-like taste like the rest.

NoGeoblocks
Guest
NoGeoblocks

My top 4 for Hakochav Ha-Ba:
Shefita, Kobi Merimi, Tai and Kitryia. Here’s for hoping!

Gili
Guest
Gili

Exactly my top 4(: not sure if shefita or kobi should win(: will see their next numbers…shefita currently is the underdog which is very weird.. people are still not getting how talented and unique she is

Ogie
Guest
Ogie

1) Druze are brothers. (: (:
2)let see if he advanced to the next round.
He can sing and deliver, that for sure. !
3)I think this year , ther will not be
a song in arabic, but maybe middle- eastern song!
If so, Yes please.!
4)I think (they are aiming) and i hope so for kitria,
to win (she is beautiful and she has an amazing voice. )

Javier
Guest
Javier

I love the Brazilian guy in Episode 2.

Ogie
Guest
Ogie

Me too, we will see in two weeks who will be in the top 10.

Steven
Guest
Steven

Israel already sent Arabic singer before who sang part Arabic Part English and Hebrew in 2009, and the outcome of it was disastrous… Arabic is NOT the official language of Israel and it doesn’t represent the country of Israel. Israel should send a song in Hebrew, their only official language. If you want to hear Arabic, try to invite Lebanon or Morocco back to the contest… LOL

KESC
Guest
KESC

Well, English isn’t Israel’s official language either, than why did they participate and win with an English song?!

Arabic is the second most spoken language of Israel and there are millions of Arab Jews and Muslims living there , how doesn’t Arabic represent the country of Israel??!

Steven
Guest
Steven

KESC: WRONG!!! English is the second most spoken language in Israel after Hebrew! Only 20% Israeli Arabs can speak Arabic fluently, but the rest of the 80% Israeli citizens speak Hebrew and English and not Arabic! “Arab Jews” in Israel DO NOT speak Arabic, but Hebrew, maybe their great-grandparents used to speak Arabic in their origin countries, but not anymore inside Israel today!!!! So please stop misleading people with your lies.

Ann
Guest
Ann

Hahaha, the fact that people can speak English doesn’t mean English is the second most spoken language in a country, lol. You can only count languages people speak as their FIRST languages, not those they understand.

Idan Cohen
Guest
Idan Cohen

Your notion of ‘Arab Jews’ is twisted.

Yssy
Guest
Yssy

I agree Hebrew should be the song’s language.

Azuro
Guest
Azuro

Reality tv shows lose their spark when the producers start obviously influencing and telling people to edit their performances.

So sick on X factor when its like “have you got a 2nd song” oh and that somehow turns out brilliant.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

If he wants to sing in Hebrew why force him to sing in Arabic? For the sake of ~diversity~? No thx. Let the artist decide.

Idan Cohen
Guest
Idan Cohen

I think it’s more about the Eurovision potential than actual diversity. the production of this show (rightly) doesn’t care about anything besides ranking high in the Eurovision table. Arabic has the potential to stand out.

Other countries, this is how you play the Eurovision game. if your representative or his song are lame, nobody cares about diversity when the actual voting starts. It appears to me other NFs care more about image, politically correctness and other “nice” stuff that don’t actually guarantee a good entry.

Jay
Guest
Jay

This is EUROvision, EUROPEAN contest, what right does Arabic have in this contest ?

ESC JOSH
Guest
ESC JOSH

It’s a celebration of culture, and whether you like it or not, there are enough Arabic speakers in Europe to justify it being sung at the contest.

123
Guest
123

ESC JOSH – i don’t care about the language they use but you can’t say that having people who speak Arabic in Europe “justifies” the usage of the language in Eurovision….the ONLY reason the language is allowed is because ALL languages are allowed to be a part of the contest and so is Arabic and NOT because some Arabs live in Europe…also, this is a celebration of EUROPEAN culture and not culture in general…that’s why a lot of people don’t like Australia being a part of Eurovision for example….just to get our facts straight

T.J.
Guest
T.J.

There is no justification to use any language you want to. Remember? The language rule has been abolished years ago. We had even made up languages and winners who basically sang lalala or boom bang bang.
Btw, I wanted to reply to Jay, but smth went wrong.

Hannah
Guest
Hannah

It’s an official language of a participating country and has every right to be part of the contest (even if it wasn’t it would still be welcomed, like when Norway 2011 included some Swahili)

Weßbrot
Guest
Weßbrot

Jeez, Israel could sing in freaking Korean or Hindi and I wouldn’t care. Stop being so close-minded.

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

I’d understand you if the article was about a possible Arabian participation at ESC, but here we are talking about the Arabic language. There are no rules that prevent some languages from being sung: countries could even sing in Chinese, it would be fine. We even had Swahili back in 2011. Plus all the North African countries, which are eligible to participate in the contest, speak Arabic. Morocco participated with a song in Arabic in 1980. So what’s your point?

Denis
Guest
Denis

Just as much right as Hebrew has in a European contest. A lot..
Closed-minded much?

Tom
Guest
Tom

And Europeans are considered the most open-minded people in the whole world. Ridiculous.

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

Whether you like it or not, the European Broadcasting Area includes countries and territories where Arabic is an official language.

And in the end of the day, every country has all the freedom to sent a song in any language they like. Heck, even imaginary languages have been represented in ESC. Why Arabic can’t?

dragvision
Guest
dragvision

in Europe living 30.000.000 of arabs people.

Joe
Guest
Joe

“This is a EUROPEAN contest,” he says, pondering what language the Israeli entry could be in.

James
Guest
James

“Bitaqat Hub” sends their regards.

Ann
Guest
Ann

What right does Hebrew has in this contest, if Israel is NOT a part of the european continent?

Jakub
Guest
Jakub

Yeah, it’s an European contest, so why we have to watch performances of Australia every year? There are a lot of Arabs in Europe, as well as Jews and Israel has closer ties to Europe than Australia. So I don’t see any problem in singing in Arabic