It’s the process for selecting the Israeli representative for Eurovision 2019. And now The Next Star has entered the next stage – the gladiator battle.
In a succession of duels on January 20-21, Israel’s eleven remaining gladiators duelled to the death.
Now the dust has settled and ten remain in the race to represent Israel in May. But first here’s a recap of what went down during those duels.
1. Daniel V Maya
Daniel was picked by the judges as the first candidate to battle and he chose Maya, despite the fact that she’s a hot favourite to win.
His performance of “Grenade” by Bruno Mars was very confident and he achieved 73%.
Maya sang “Warrior” by Demi Lovato and wasn’t at her best. For the first time in the season, the judges had to criticise her. It’s slightly awkward, as she’s a well-known artist in the Israeli music industry, but she accepted it positively. She received 64% of the votes.
2. Maya v Shefita
Because Maya lost to Daniel, she had to duel again and chose Shefita, aka the Arabic Diva. Shefita, who is becoming more popular in the show as it goes on (with some commentators and judges rooting for her), performed an original song that she’d written and was again quite extravagant. She also achieved a higher result than Maya – 69% – and proceeded to the next stage.
3. Maya v Danielle
Danielle, who was one of Netta’s backing singers in Lisbon, came next. Although her debut at the show was very promising, she’s been struggling lately. She performed “Toxic” by Britney Spears but as judge Shiri Maimon rightly noticed, something with her voice was not quite working. She only received 59% of the votes, which saved Maya and meant Danielle had to duel again.
4. Danielle v Avraham
Next came Avraham. As opposed to Danielle, his debut at the show had been quite weak and no one thought that he would survive this very strong season. But not only has he managed to succeed, he has become one of the frontrunners. He performed “Back to Black” by Amy Winehouse whilst playing on his piano. Avraham received the highest mark of the episodes – 88% – and easily passed to the next stage, leaving Danielle in the danger seat.
5. Daninelle v Osher
Next came Osher who has been crowned as the best Mizrahi singer in this season (and there were many of them). Judge Harel Skaat has said that Israel should send a Mizrahi song in Hebrew for Tel Aviv and that Osher would be a good choice to sing it since the beginning of the show. Osher sang “Harbe Nishar Miemeh” (“There Is A Lot From You Left”) but unlike his previous performances in this season, he failed to impress the audience and achieved 48%. Danielle was saved again and he had to occupy the impeachment chair.
6. Osher v Shalva (band)
For the first time since the beginning of the season, Shalva received feedback that their performance lacked the spark it normally has. They performed “Hallelujah” and despite the fact that they beat Osher with 76%, they weren’t at their best.
7. Osher v Ofri
Ofri was very emotional at this show and so her performance was a bit shaky. She also confessed that she’s not confident enough to sing in English and therefore she performed a song in Hebrew (Ahava Kazo – “Such Love”). Some wonder whether she’s strong enough to perform on a huge stage such as Eurovision because of her age and her lack of experience. However she was still able to proceed and leave Osher on the impeachment chair, having achieved 54% of the votes.
8. Osher v Kobi
Kobi had literally begged Osher to give him a fight next and fight he did. It is not a secret that Kobi’s been tipped as one of the favourites. He performed the “Circle Of Life” which was not his best choice. But he’s so unique that even when he misses the mark, he still stands out from most of the other candidates. He achieved 70% of the votes, his lowest mark, but enough to proceed to the next stage.
9. Osher v Tay
Osher was left with two strong candidates at this point – Tay and Ketreyah. Tay was next and she performed “Love On The Brain” by Rihanna. She’s the dark horse and although this wasn’t her best performance, she received 64% which was enough to advance in the competition.
10. Osehr v Ketreyah
For the first time, Ketreyah, who is a native English speaker, performed a song in Hebrew (called Kshehalev Boche, originally performed by Sarit Hadad, Israel’s representative in Tallinn 2002) and as usual nailed it! After Avraham, she received the best result in this show – 86%.
Having received the lowest score, Osher was eliminated.
These are the ten finalists of the Next Star (ranked by highest to lowest score):
Avraham – 88%
Ketreyah – 86%
Shalva (band) – 76%
Daniel – 73%
Kobi – 70%
Shefita – 69%
Maya – 64%
Tay – 64%
Danielle – 59%
Ofri – 54%
Osher – 48% (eliminated).
Who do you want to see win The Next Star? Let us know in the comments below!