After more than three months of shows and dozens of candidates, the Israeli selection for Tel Aviv 2019 is about to reach to its climax on Tuesday at 20:15 CET. The public will decide who will represent the Eurovision 2019 host nation in the Grand Final on 18 May. So let’s meet meet the four finalists and try to assess who will raise the Israeli flag.
We’re running a 24-hour flash poll below. You can vote for as many acts as you’d like, but you can only vote one time. In our description of the acts below, we reference figures from “Eurovision 2019 — Tel Aviv” — a large Israeli Eurovision fan Facebook group — to help give you a sense of local sentiment.
Who should sing for Israel at Eurovision 2019?
The most famous singer this season is — without question — Maya Buskila. She is 41 and carries more than 15 years of professional experience, including four albums and two massive hits in Israel. When it comes to Eurovision, she’s frequently been reported to have been under consideration in the past. Her background as a singer, alongside her huge vocals and dream of representing Israel, have made her a hot favourite to win The Next Star. But with a very strong line-up this year, it’s hard to predict her chances.
During the season she’s had some unforgettable performances such as “Rise Like A Phoenix” and “A Million Voices” (the latter got her to the final). However, according to a poll among more than 1,200 Israeli Eurovision fans, she’s currently ranked last (4/4) to win the ticket for Tel Aviv. We will have to wait until tomorrow and to see whether the general public agrees or disagrees with the fans.
Watch Maya’s cover for “A Million Voices” (originally performed by Polina Gagarina, Russia’s representative at Eurovision 2015).
Kobi’s first audition drew both the public and the media’s attention. So much so that he was crowned the next Freddie Mercury. Kobi is perhaps the most interesting performer this season and one who — according to Israeli media — can secure Israel a top 5 placing. Curiously, he had been eliminated during the quarter-final but then won “a second chance” thanks to a stunning performance of “Knocking on Heaven’s Door”. Looks like God answered!
Kobi is currently ranked first to win The Next Star 2019 among Israeli fans with almost 500 votes.
She’s only 22 and she’s got it all! Voice, appearance, dancing skills and style. She belongs to a very small community in Israel which is called “The Black Hebrew Israelites” or simply the “Black Hebrews” or “Black Israelites”. These are groups of African-Americans who believe that they are descendants of the ancient Israelites. Ketreyah has been one of the most stable artists this season with very high scores throughout. She’s also a native English speaker and when she sings, it sounds international. Ketreyah is currently ranked third to win The Next Star 2019 among Israeli fans.
Rotem Shefi, 27, is the dark horse of the season. She performs as a special character whom she created aka “Shefita” — an exaggerated Arab Diva from a land Dumbai (with an M) who “got stuck” in Israel. She deploys a heavy accent and a funny, even vulgar, attitude. Shefita is quite the mix of great actress and impressive singer, and she is so convincing that you can’t really tell she’s a character. Some see her as a joke, while others think she is perfect for Eurovision. As we mentioned previously, it is not easy to relate to her art and there was also criticism about it. In fact, at the beginning of the season she had been eliminated and was only able to proceed because the hosts saved her. But as the season progressed, she’s become one of the most liked candidates and is now considered a front-runner to win the contest. One of the most common comments about her in social media is that this year Israel must send an outstanding artist because host nations rarely succeed on the table. With Shefita it’s a risk that can either entitle Israel to a first or last place ranking.
The following candidates were eliminated in recent weeks:
– Danielle Mazuz
– Ofri Calfon
– Daniel Barzilay
– Shalva Band (withdrew due to Shabbat)
– Avraham De Carvalho
The final of the Next Star will take place on Tuesday at 20:15 CET, after which we will know who will represent Israel and join the other 18 countries which have already announced their candidates. The song will be chosen later.
Who do you think has the best chance to win tomorrow? Do you think that this year’s host country will enjoy a better ranking than the last couple of years? Tell us what you think in the comments section below!
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