The bootcamp phase of Israel’s Eurovision 2020 selection is behind us. Now, Next Star for Eurovision 2020 has reached the duel round.

The duels will reduce the final 20 to just 12, comprised of ten duel winners and two wildcards. On the 4 January episode, a shock triple elimination took place.

On the other hand, some fan favourites booked their place in the quarter-finals.

Israel: Next Star for Eurovision — Top 20 (Part One)

Duel 1: Eden Alene (86%) vs The Spices (70%)

The Ethiopian-Israeli who won X Factor Israel was drawn against hard rock band The Spices. She sang “Power” by Little Mix and scored 86% with votes from all judges. After the performance, she ran to hug Assaf Amdursky (who voted for her for the first time so far) but only got a handshake.

Since The Spices had to pass a seemingly impossible threshold, you could sense that they had no hope of qualifying. So, the Eilat band performed “Tel Aviv BaLayla” by Eden Ben Zaken and were eliminated. However, it wasn’t without a battle, as their energetic performance won them votes from all judges. Their final score was 70%.

Duel 2: Or Eddie (50%) vs Orr Amrami-Brockman (88%)

Or and Orr were drawn against each other, prompting a bevy of jokes from the hosts. Before the duel, Amrami-Brockman revealed the fear he’s dealing with over having two fathers. Or Eddie sang “Kmo Sinderella” by Sarit Hadad, and got the audience dancing and clapping. Amdursky and Peles voted against, and she scored 50%.

Orr Amrami-Brockman sang Amir Dadon’s rock ballad “Kol Yom Kmo Nes”. Both the jury and the public loved his performance. All judges voted for Orr, and he scored 88%.

Duel 3: Nathan Quatorze (70%) vs Gaya Shaki (92%)

Israeli-French soul singer Nathan Quatorze was drawn against Gaya Shaki. While at first the match-up only seemed slightly intriguing, it got very interesting when the romantic tension between the two came clear. Quatorze performed “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars. The staging was outstandingly Eurovision-esque and even incorporated the crowd singing lines. Quatorze scored 70% with votes from everyone except for Keren Peles.

But, it wasn’t enough compared to Gaya Shaki, who slayed the scoreboard with a round record of 92%. All judges unanimously voted for her piano-accompanied ballad version of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy”.

Duel 4: Ella Lee Lahav (90%) vs Niki Goldstein (73%)

The youngest participant, Ella Lee Lahav (16), was drawn against the oldest one, Niki Goldstein (42). Goldstein, acknowledging that Lahav is currently the biggest favourite to win, sarcastically thanked the production for placing them in one duel. Lahav was first on stage, performing “Hey Mama” by David Guetta and Nicki Minaj. After she received votes from all judges and scored no less than 90%, Niki Goldstein had to accept his fate.

The Kdam veteran was next up and performed “Creep” by Radiohead. As the performance came to an end, Goldstein gave the final line “I don’t belong here” a new meaning. His score stood at 73% with votes from all but Amdursky, and he started to believe his road to Rotterdam was cut short. However, with the help of Shiri Maimon and the support of his rival Ella Lee Lahav, Goldstein qualified as a wildcard.

The Next Star for Eurovision: What next?

For The Spices, Or Eddie and Nathan Quatorze, the dream is over. The four qualifiers from the show progress to the final 12, where we can expect additional duels.

The participants that haven’t sung in the duel round yet will be divided into six duels. During this round, six artists will qualify directly to the final 12, while five will be eliminated. One will qualify as a wildcard.

The next episode airs on 5 January (tonight).

Follow all of our Israel Eurovision 2020 news.

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hugo
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hugo

great

Geo
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Geo

There are too many shows, too long and too boring. Not all the best ones get in the final phases, for example last year’s Borat, who got a boring and outdated song even for the ’90’s…. Wasn’t a shame for Israel, as a host country, to be represented by such a lame and dated ballad?

Sam
Guest
Sam

He got a boring and outdated song because he didn’t inspire any serious songwriters of high caliber to write for him and so ended up being force-fed with the least worst song around. He put his trust entirely in the hands of the show’s production and it took advantage of his gullibility. History tends to repeat itself when the public is fixated on an inexperienced singer who never performed an original song before. We get too carried away watching contestants doing cover songs and conveniently forget that original songs hardly ever measure up to the most played international hits chosen… Read more »

gilpgilp
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gilpgilp

@Sam I think the song was not the issue for Kobi. It was the best song to fit his style. They shouldn’t have tinkered with it, which made the song worse than the original version, but that wasn’t the ultimate issue either. People outside of Israel did not share in his personal journey and did not like his style or voice. It was obvious outside of Israel that he was simply not Eurovision material, but somehow within Israel they got swept up in the hype. It will be the same result this year if they choose Or.

Sam
Guest
Sam

Many factors played into last year’s result, but I believe the song itself is crucial in undermining or uplifting a contestant. In this case the songwriters fell into the same sentimental trap the show was hyping. They trained him like a seal in a tuxedo and although he did everything by the book, it felt like a eulogy at a funeral service. It was so out of context, so out of touch and so old fashioned that it’s no wonder the juries were unanimous about its irrelevancy. If you read this next piece you’ll realize the committee selecting the song… Read more »

gilpgilp
Guest
gilpgilp

@Sam we can agree to disagree. I think the song was actually good choice for Kobi. But Kobi was not a good choice for Eurovision. The “blame the song” crew are the ones that were responsible for choosing Kobi and want someone else to blame.

Sam
Guest
Sam

I totally agree with you that it was a miscalculated choice: the so-called professionals should have put the brakes on before Kobi made it into the final, but they already knew what the public sentiment was and didn’t want to risk a backlash. They ultimately cared more about the viewing figures than anything else, but even if the choice was disappointing and posed a challenge in terms of tailoring an adequate song for him, we should never get to a point where 99.9% of the submitted songs are part of an already existing ‘song database’ that has nothing to do… Read more »

NoGeoblocks
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NoGeoblocks

Kobi was the best choice for Eurovision out of the final 4. No doubt. The song and staging were just bad. Kobi showed versatility in his amazing Fuego rendition and the single he released after the contest. He’s participation in the contest was just as good/bad as Imri’s and Hovi’s.

So. Give. It. A. Rest. Already.

Sam
Guest
Sam

We shall not rest till the end of time !

Jajay
Guest
Jajay

Yes NoGeo keep telling yourself that the one who almost came in last was the best choice. LOL

Idan Cohen
Guest
Idan Cohen

Eden Alene should represent us.
I admit she shouldn’t do upbeat songs, her power is in ballads and power song.

All the rest are meh.

gili
Guest
gili

all the songs she did until now were meh although she has amazing vocals. something is not working currently.
on the other hand each number of ella lee is amazing…ella lee to eurovision

gilpgilp
Guest
gilpgilp

I totally agree Eden is the best bet of the remaining bunch. Israelis like Ella Lee because she is fresh, but she’s not as professional as Eden even though she is very talented. The problem with this selection format is that Israelis vote based on background story, fresh faces, and other considerations that have nothing to do with Eurovision. People in Europe do not care about a person’s background. This is what led to last year’s disaster.

Sam
Guest
Sam

It’s interesting to note that there are 3 Ethiopian contestants among the 12 finalists (Eden Alene, Eden Zohar and Linoy Akala), so just in terms of representation for the Ethiopian community, this has never happened before on this show or on any other musical reality show in this country. We did have the Butlers from the Hebrew Israelite community representing us back in 1999 and 2006, but there’s never been anything like what we have now.

Gil Dadia
Guest
Gil Dadia

Eden performances so far werent so great, it has nothing to do with new faces. It just wasnt good enough. Before the contest started i was sure no one can give her fight, but i was wrong and eden so far surprises me in a bad way unfortunately

Logical Person
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Logical Person

Correction: They are not eliminated, there is another saving round

Sam
Guest
Sam

That’s right. It turns out that in addition to Ohad and Nicky who were saved earlier this Saturday and Sunday, there will be at least one if not two more ‘saves’. We’ll have to wait till Thursday’s episode to find out how everything unfolded, but what it means for now (at least in theory) is that the 3 ‘losers’ from this episode are not yet officially eliminated for good.

gilpgilp
Guest
gilpgilp

Who was saved in the episode today? I can’t find it online.

Sam
Guest
Sam

Ohad Shragai…so obvious.

Ana
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Ana

Him and Nicky Goldshtein. Both were bad. I find something extremely annoying about Ohads appearence and way of singing, and his ”wake me up” version was simply horrible. Nicky chose to sing ”creep” that is one of the more overused songs on this planet and his sort of dramatic gay version of it wasn’t good.

Sam
Guest
Sam

Nicky was vocally better than Ohad, but it still felt like a parody and an imitation because it’s hard to take him as a serious contender. Ohad is much more versatile and multifaceted but he looked pretty ridiculous with his movements on stage. It exposed his weaknesses and made him sound lost as the song progressed. They have to be very careful with their next song choice . I’m not surprised Shiri and Keren saved someone from their own age group and milieu: I’m not convinced at all that if the ‘Save’ button was placed in the hands of Itay… Read more »

gilpgilp
Guest
gilpgilp

Ohad is a modern Svika Pik, who tried something like 5 times to enter Eurovision.

Sam
Guest
Sam

So far it’s only his first attempt as a soloist. Just because he co-wrote last year’s song doesn’t make him the next Svika Pik. He still got a long way to go before he becomes as prolific as Pik.

Ana
Guest
Ana

I think he’s Tzvika Pik in his appearance. Tzvika used to be mocked for his flashy and pretty ugly fashion choices and a general lack of self awarness. Ohad looks like he tried to tick all the boxes in the ”annoying gay hypster look” category. He really looks awful most of the time. Check him in the green room of Eurovision 2019. You’ll never see such fashion victim like the look he went for in there.

Sam
Guest
Sam

Oh I remember that all too well…but he feels comfortable under his own skin and doesn’t give a damn about the critics. Some people are just not meant to be in front of the camera, but they probably need to learn it the hard way. Pik was more ridiculed as he was ageing, especially when he couldn’t let go of his Kdam ambitions back in 2005 and 2006, but when he was in his early 30’s he was the first artist to bring some glam rock over here with his heavy make up, diamond suits and exhibitionist fashion sense and… Read more »

Sam
Guest
Sam

I’d like to see an experienced heavyweight performer win this contest because only someone who knows how to stand his ground and speak his mind can make sure that nobody takes a ride on his expense. As much as I believe Ella Lee brings freshness, sweetness, precociousness and teen idol star quality, her inexperience could be manipulated into choosing a song or a couple of songs which are beneath her full potential. The Israeli song selection guidelines stipulate that only members of the Israeli association of composers, authors and music publishers can take part in submitting songs and in all… Read more »

gilpgilp
Guest
gilpgilp

Explain how Niki Goldstein is still in the competition but Lihi Toledano is not?

Sal
Guest
Sal

I’m rooting for Eden

Gil Dadia
Guest
Gil Dadia

Amazing singer but somehow ella lee is more exciting…maybe because she is more unique

Joe
Guest
Joe

Lots of good choices here! Israel is in for a great entrant this year if all goes well.

NoGeoblocks
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NoGeoblocks

Orr, Ella-Lee and Shaki are incredibly talented! Great performances.

This will be a fight for the crown

dragvision
Guest
dragvision

Orr Amrami-Brockman go to rotterdam

gili
Guest
gili

naaa….he is overrated

dragvision
Guest
dragvision

i love his personal story

gili
Guest
gili

its not relevant for the contest imo. he is talented but i dont think he deserves to win

gilpgilp
Guest
gilpgilp

How will his personal story help in Eurovision? This is the flaw of the show that caused last year’s disaster.

Aran
Guest
Aran

This is clear from the first episode.

Erasmus
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Erasmus

Go Ella everything about her is impressive

KESC
Guest
KESC

That girl at the bottom right kinda reminds me of Camila.

gili
Guest
gili

much more beautiful(:

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

if that means her eurovision song will be a havana-sized anthem, i’m here for her

ImFromRomania
Guest
ImFromRomania

Ella Lee is the best by far , i hope she will win.

gili
Guest
gili

im with you totally

gili
Guest
gili

omg ella lee is just amazing. eden elena might have more singing skills but ella
lee is so fresh, touching and hypnotizing…and her beayty is out of this world…
it is between these two this year..i rout for Ella, i think she can win eurovision

ImFromRomania
Guest
ImFromRomania

Im agree with u 100%