Israel has begun the search for its singer at ESC 2020. And it’s sticking with the winning format that resulted in Netta Barzilai’s famous win in 2018. The Next Star for Eurovision is expected to start airing soon. And, as Israel Hayom reports, the first round has already taken place — with the filming of the second round set to begin in November.
If Israel follows the provisional schedule, the audition round should air as this next round is filmed. Judging from last year’s schedule, that means that we should know who the Israeli representative is by early February.
As reported last month, the reality show including some familiar singers including Eden and LUKAH. On Thursday, Israel Hayom confirmed all of its previously rumoured artists, and added a few more names to the list. And they are…
Lion Rosenberg (+ Shmonim VeMashehu Band)
Born in 1973, Lion Rosenberg is an actor and TV host. He performed in the auditions alongside his 80’s-music cover band Shmonim VeMashehu. According to Israel Hayom, they sang a cover of “Big in Japan” by Alphaville, but failed to pass the threshold. That means the TV figure’s band probably won’t represent Israel in Rotterdam, but might be featured on the show. They could still qualify as wildcards if the hosts decide to save them. If they were to be chosen to represent Israel, their act would almost certainly have been a joke entry. Given that, it’s not hard to understand why they didn’t get enough support to move forward.
Shira Gavrielov is a pop singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who you might know from American Idol 12. Her participation in the 2013 reality TV show was perhaps overshadowed by her claims of antisemitism against her. However, she is a very skilled musician and could definitely take this contest by storm. She is also the daughter of Israeli rock-star Miki Gavrielov, which could give her some kind of advantage.
Alongside LUKAH, who will also participate in the contest, Ohad Shragai co-wrote “Home”, Israel’s song in ESC 2019. As a singer, he came third in the reality TV show that preceded Next Star, A Star Is Born, in 2009. The winner of that edition was none other than Diana Golbi, the runner-up of The Next Star for Eurovision 2017. Shragai’s rock band, Ilai Botner VeYaldei HaKhutz, won the Israeli Discovery of the Year award in 2012.
Apart from having the most Israeli name you can think of, Judah Gavra is known to every Israeli ESC enthusiast. The third runner-up of Kdam 2013 participated in the Sammarinese pre-selection last year and even gave a fiery performance at the most recent Wiwi Jam in Tel Aviv. He is known for his good looks — he works as a personal trainer — and his even better falsetto register. Eurovision fans are waiting to see if the Israeli-American will finally participate in Eurovision (and win Eurovision’s Next Top Male Model). Third times the charm, right?
The other revealed acts were Dana Lapidot, Avihu Pinchasov and Lihi Toledano (Avi Toledano’s daughter).
Outside of the actual competitors, we’ve also learned a bit about this year’s interval acts who will perform delight the crowd at some point during the upcoming season.
The 2019 runner-up, Shefita, who you’ll remember as much for her comedy as her voice, will perform a song during the interval of one of the auditions shows. The other announced interval act is the infamous Ukrainian-born business woman Nicol Raidman. She is known for her role in The Real Housewives of Israel, and her connection to the First Lady of Israel.
What do you expect from this edition of The Next Star for Eurovision? Which participant do you like best? Let us know what you think in the comments section.