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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.