Next Star for Eurovision — the Israeli selection for Eurovision 2020 — is reaching the final straight before the final-20 phase. After two very promising bootcamp episodes, only ten spots in the top 20 remained. On Saturday, five more artists booked their spot in the next round.
Dor’el Sa’adon, who suffers from arthritis and scored 95% in the first audition, was first in line. After his audition booked his place as a fan favourite, he had a reputation to live up to. He sang “Heaven” by Bryan Adams and all judges voted him through. So, he qualified directly to the final 20.
The Ethiopian X Factor Israel winner who scored 55/60 from the public was next in line. Holding the leading victory contender, Eden Alene had to convince all the judges. She then performed “Fallin'” by Alicia Keys, and made the judges fall in love all over again. All the judges voted her in and she sailed to the final 20.
Next up was Yuval Beider-Peretz, the stunning singer/actor/model who qualified as a wildcard. She performed Ivri Lider’s “VeUlay” and once again made Keren Peles compare her to coriander — you either like her or dislike her. The judges didn’t know what to think, but eventually the result was clear. Since only Peles voted for her, and because there are no wildcards this time, Beider-Peretz was eliminated.
Nadav Guedj doppelgänger Omer Eliyahu was next on stage. He sang “Shuvi LeVeytekh” with a unique Middle-Eastern touch and had the judges parted. As a result, his soulful performance brought him to the Second Chance round.
Despite withdrawing after qualifying from the audition round, Shefita came back. She came dressed up as a frumpy American and said her name was Sara Hoffman. “Sara” performed “Womanizer” by Britney Spears but stopped halfway through, did a costume change and wowed the judges with the rest of her performance. The judges voted her through, but Shefita/Sara withdrew from the contest… So we fully expect her to keep participating in the contest.
Niki Goldstein blew the public voters away on his first audition. But this time, he had to rely on the judges’ critiques alone. So, he performed “Million Reasons” by Lady Gaga, and made sure to spice it up with his own unique touch. He didn’t get a vote from the stricter judges Levy and Amdursky, but the rest of the jury voted him into the Second Chance round.
The French-Israeli Yohai Tsarfati who Assaf Amdursky criticised for his diction was next in line. He sang “Shmama” by Uri Ben Ari with better diction and hit high notes that seemed to convince the jury at first. Later on, however, it appears that the jury was undecided. Tsarfati eventually got scores from all but Levy and Peles.
Bar Furman was in the audience when Assi Azar took her to prepare an audition and go on stage. She nailed her audition, but the standards one needs to meet to pass the bootcamp are much higher. Furman showed her skill in her performance of “Skyfall” by Adele, but didn’t impress all judges. Since three judges (Levy, Peles, Maimon) wanted her in, she qualified for Second Chance.
Dana Lapidot was next to perform. She’s a famous singer-songwriter in Israel, and her participation in Next Star for Eurovision came as a surprise to many. For her bootcamp audition, she chose to sing a song she had previously written for Eden Ben Zaken. Dana’s amazing vocal control convinced all judges to vote her through. So, she qualified directly to the final 20.
Second Chance / final decisions
Yohai Tsarfati was announced first, and host Assi Azar said that he didn’t pass, but that it didn’t owe to a bad performance. The next name announced was Omer Eliyahu, who (apparently with the help of Itay Levy) made it to the final 20. Niki Goldstein was eventually chosen over Bar Furman and made the final 20.
Goldstein and Eliyahu joined the 13 qualifiers to the final 20, with five spots left for the 31 artists who are yet to learn their fate.
Who was your favourite participant of Day 3? Will Shefita come back to the Next Star for Eurovision? Let us know in the comments below!