Seventeen artists remained in the Next Star for Eurovision 2020 — Israel’s selection show for Rotterdam — before the January 5 episode. But now we’re down to 14, after a shock triple elimination. The episode saw at least two fan favourites drop out at this early stage of the contest.

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

Duel 5: Avihu Pinhasov’s Rhythm Club (52%) vs Linoy Akala / Linoy & Gil (68%)

Joke band Avihu Pinhasov’s Rhythm Club was drawn against Linoy Akala, who will from now on perform with her husband, as the duo Linoy & Gil. Pinhasov entered the stage on a scooter with four women throwing flower petals at him. After going on stage, he sat in place for an entire minute. The sextet then performed a medley of songs with a group of dancers in minimal clothing. During the performance, Avihu Pinhasov took a kid from the audience for a piggyback ride and shattered plates with his head. After the performance the band got 52% (without Itay Levy and Assaf Amdursky). Pinhasov claimed it’s all a conspiracy.

Then, Linoy Akala and her husband Gil Shapira went on stage and sang Rihanna’s “Diamonds”. They had no trouble passing the 52% threshold even though only Levy and Peles voted for them, and reached 68%. In response to his elimination, Avihu Pinhasov angrily shouted at the jury. Sore loser much?

Duel 6: Ohad Shragai (57%) vs Eden Zohar Sivan (80%)

Ohad Shragai performed “Wake Me Up” by Avicii with some pretty stunning staging and choreography. While the performance was awesome, both the jury and the public were left unimpressed. Levy and Amdursky didn’t vote for Shragai, and he only achieved a score of 57%. Itay Levy said that Shragai is a musical genius, but that the performance didn’t show it.

Eden Zohar Sivan sang “Doo-Wop (That Thing)” by Lauryn Hill. Her impressive rap performance got all the judges voting. Even the crowd gave Sivan more points than Shragai, and she reached 80%. However, Shragai’s path in the Israeli selection was over yet. With the help of Keren Peles, Ohad Shragai qualified as a wildcard.

Duel 7: Dana Lapidot vs Moran Aharoni

This duel, which host Assi Azar named the “Big Voice Duel”, saw the two power ballad divas face off. Since the judges already picked the second wildcard, Dana Lapidot and Moran Aharoni knew one of them would be out. Lapidot performed “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith. Even though the public loved it and gave her 45/60 percent, she had no support from the jury. At the end of the performance, none of the judges voted for her, but eventually, Maimon and Levy decided to. She scored 61%.

Moran Aharoni performed Bishop Briggs’ “River” and her powerful performance won the jury over. If it were up to the public voters, the two would have drawn. However, the jurors had no doubt and voted unanimously for Aharoni’s stunning rock performance. Aharoni scored 85% and sailed through to the final 12 phase.

Duel 8: Raviv Kaner vs Dor’el Sa’adon

Raviv Kaner and Dor’el Sa’adon were the next two to duel. Kaner sang “The Show Must Go On” by Freddie Mercury. His powerful show got the public voting quickly, but the jury didn’t connect with it as much. Peles and Static & Ben El voted for him, and his final score was 55%.


Dor’el Sa’adon had a low threshold to pass, but his performance didn’t go through flawlessly. From the very first second, there was an issue, because Sa’adon accidentally started from the second verse. He then forgot the lyrics, but quickly recovered and slayed with a massive score of 80%. All judges voted for him.

The Next Star for Eurovision: What next?

The next episode, which will air January 9, will see the 14 artists narrowed down to 12. Oneg Israel will be up against Lali Kolishkin and Loai Ali will face Omer Eliyahu. The 12 remaining participants will be eliminated slowly until, eventually, we reach the final four. The final show will take place on February 4.

Who is your favourite to win thus far? Who will qualify in the next episode? Let us know in the comment section!

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gilpgilp
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gilpgilp

Avihu Pinhasov’s Rhythm Club was saved today. Huh??? These judges are a joke.

Sam
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Sam

I knew Dana would be eliminated once she announced the release of her 2 new singles immediately after Sunday’s episode was over. I’m sure she struck a deal much earlier with the production that was beneficial to both parties and never really intended to go on Eurovision to begin with. I knew they wouldn’t let go of Raviv so soon as it didn’t make any sense. Avihu was expected to move on because he ticks the Shefita box this season, but I honestly hoped he would self-destruct someway or another. Do you realize the 6 saved artists are all male??… Read more »

gilpgilp
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gilpgilp

I agree with everything you said Sam. This is obviously more about domestic ratings than finding the best selection for Eurovision. Nobody can argue with a straight face that Avihu is better than Dana or Lihi Toledano for Eurovision. This show needs to go.

NoGeoblocks
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NoGeoblocks

Straight face here: as a show, as a musical number, Avihu is miiiiiiles better than Dana and Lihi. Surprising, original, highly entertaining. Not another power-ballad diva. ‘The spices’ on the other hand are terrible

Personal opinion though. There are no truths here

Sam
Guest
Sam

Avihu is his own ringmaster when he plays in his favorite music venue in front of hundreds. Even in a TV studio he can play the flirty and defiant con-man/show-man that he is. His music belongs in a tavern setting where people want to get delirious and experience a good trip, but he’ll be like a fish out of a water tank if he ever goes to Rotterdam in theory. I mean the guy needs 5 minutes just to make an entrance! How could he possibly squeeze his ego into a 3 minute act? Besides, he is 7 years late… Read more »

Sam
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Sam

Avihu is 7 years late because ‘Kaza Mostra’ brought the chaos into ‘Alcohol is free’ at the peak of the Greek economic crisis. What will Avihu’s excuse be for coming up with a chaotic, extrovert and flirtatious act? Besides, the guy needs at least 5 minutes just for making his foreplay with those grand entrances of his, so how’s he gonna handle 3 minutes? I get that he’s got an entertainment value, but just like Shefita it’s a case of quid pro quo with the producers: A separate side show with immediate and long term gains for both parties.

gilpgilp
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gilpgilp

Watching this video I am convinced Ketreyah was the right choice last year. Let’s hope they don’t make the same mistakes this year. https://www.facebook.com/ketreyahofficial/videos/1534250676734761/

Sam
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Sam

She was my favorite and ‘the whole package’ in both English and Hebrew. She’s a vocal powerhouse. I hope she returns in 2021 under more favorable circumstances, but I won’t be surprised if she tries her luck abroad.

Law Student
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Law Student

The winner is Moran Aharoni.. stop talking nonsense.. Mergui was great but he finished second — so would the young talents like Orr and Ella Lee… this season belongs to Moran and she’s an absolute superstar!

NoGeoblocks
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NoGeoblocks

While Moran is very very talented, and her last performance was rocking, she doesn’t have much chance.
Keshset (producers of Next Star) is always looking for the the next artist that can bring in big money. Moran is already over her peak. Ella-lee and Orr can have long lasting careers once this is done.

Sam
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Sam

Neither Hovi Star nor Imri Ziv brought ‘big money’. They never released any new songs after their participation. Even Netta is struggling these days. Given that it’s Rising Star’s final shot at Eurovision for now, I’m pretty sure producers want to close this chapter with a more established and experienced contestant. It will make life easier for everybody involved.

noGeoblock
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noGeoblock

If it was up to the production Hovi would have lost to Nofar, and Imri to Diana. Netta was the first one to be selected by the production. And Netta is worth a lot on the local stage. Moran might have been singing for a while, but she is in no way an established artist, and there’s probably a reason for that…

Ana
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Ana

Both Imri and Hovi released new songs since Eurovision. Netta is not exactly struggling. She just performed in those chanuka pop shows alongside with all the big names in Israeli music. Those shows bring huge money. So you’re kind of talking out of your ass Sam.

Sam
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Sam

If you consider releasing one or two forgettable singles some time after Eurovision as an indication of a sustained solo career, you’re hallucinating. Netta is struggling financially at the moment and even spoke about it. She said it’s hard to release new music because of various obstacles and her recent collaboration with Omer Adam is one way to gradually overcome those obstacles. Perhaps you understand the word ‘struggling’ in a very limited context. It means that she and her team had to put some projects they had in mind on hold due to lack of sufficient resources, but it doesn’t… Read more »

Ana
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Ana

So you’re saying that after Keshet failed to launch successful careers with mature singers like Hovi and Imri, they will skip all those fresh 16 yo artists they brought and will go with a 30 something singer that already tried and failed to have a musical career? Are you serious? It’s all about the young artists these days. Billie Eilish, Noa Kirel, Stefan and their own Mergie are great examples how teenage artists are the hottest thing right now. Keshet will go with this trend without any doubt.

Sam
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Sam

16 year old talents are not necessarily a hot commodity on Eurovision unless you’re a 17 year old Nicole from Germany and a 14 year old Sandra Kim going incognito for the next 25 years of her life. The likes of Ella Lee and Orr have a golden opportunity to win more hearts on prime time and then go signing a contract with ‘Tedi Productions’ to manage their career. I’m sure this is already in the works whether they win or not. In fact, both ‘Shalva Band’ and Kobi were signed with ‘Tedi’ last year and both Netta and Mergui… Read more »

Sam
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Sam

*Late Thirties and beyond*

gilpgilp
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gilpgilp

I agree with Sam on this point. Most of the Eurovision winners were more professional and experienced than someone like Ella Lee who, while obviously talented, is also obviously amateurish at times. This works great in the format of the Israel selection show because in Israel she is a fresh face but it does not work at Eurovision. The same exact thing happened to Malta last year where they selected the hyped up fresh face. But the rest of Europe didn’t care about that and rejected her as an amateur. That being said, Ella Lee is miles ahead of Orr,… Read more »

NoGeoblocks
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NoGeoblocks

The only thing we will always disagree on – You don’t have to go every year to Eurovision TO WIN IT. (especially a country like Israel).

Ella-Lee is much less experienced than Orr. And stop with the fatalism. No one will die if Israel doesn’t make a final or doesn’t win Eurovision. No disasters. No ‘ONLY’ Ella-Lee.

Ana
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Ana

LOL and you think that Israel is even thinking about winning? Who cares about winning now? At best they are aiming for a “nice result” but nobody wants to win it a year after spending 30m Euros on hosting. Nether Kan or Keshet are looking for the “next ESC winner”

gilpgilp
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gilpgilp

Of course the purpose needs to be to try to win. The purpose of any competition is to win. Israel isn’t required to host if it won again and they probably would pass on hosting.

NoGeoblocks
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NoGeoblocks

We will also disagree on what is Eurovision.

Winning and declining to host (again) would reflect very badly on Israel. There are maybe 3-4 countries that go every year with the purpose of winning. That’s it. The rest want to be a part of the party and send a respectable entry.

if you didn’t win Eurovision, it doesn’ mean you LOST Eurovision.

gilpgilp
Guest
gilpgilp

Ok we’ll agree to disagree. I think every country wants to win but are ultimately ok with a high ranking. Declining to host again would not reflect badly on Israel. Some in Israel would care but nobody outside of Israel would care if it hosts or does not host.

Sam
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Sam

Winning is not just a coincidental chain of events. There’s a lot more planning involved in it. Just ask the people behind 2018 how much money was invested into Netta’s branding and how the song was heavily promoted on web advertising platforms and content discovery platforms. You don’t make a bet against all odds unless there are strong indicators that it’s within your grasp. Victory these days is mostly strategic and doesn’t leave much room for sheer chance. Passing on the hosting duty for financial constraints will not be received favorably especially since it already happened once in 1980, but… Read more »

gilpgilp
Guest
gilpgilp

Did Norway put a lot of money into branding last year when they won the popular vote? Or how about Macedonia last year which won the jury vote? Did Portugal put a lot of money into branding two years ago when they won the contest?

gilpgilp
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gilpgilp

Ella Lee I agree with you but Orr will probably be forgotten.

Sam
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Sam

Ella Lee and Orr are matched to sing a duet on the next episode. One of them will face the prospect of being eliminated, but you can bet he or she will get a wildcard anyway.

gilpgilp
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gilpgilp

Probably right. But Orr is not built for Eurovision. How many times can he grab his shirt in an emotional manner?

NoGeoblocks
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NoGeoblocks

As. Many. Times. As. Needed.

Sam
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Sam

…and Hovi Star was the next big thing back in 2016? not really. Imri Ziv also never released an album after 2017 and surprisingly enough, even Netta is facing some major setbacks. If the production decides to back a 16 year old all the way to the top like it did with Nadav Guedj in 2015, it will only do so if it already guaranteed specific song or songs written for that person in mind. The final takes place less than a month from now and you can bet many of the advanced phases of the show were already recorded… Read more »

Roy Moreno
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Roy Moreno

Ella Lee is fantastic! She would be an incredible choice for us with a great potential for basically everything
A great result with any genre
Orr sounds a bit too flat to me, a bit too basic

gili
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gili

this year i agree with you

Tiiamaria
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Tiiamaria

I’m rooting for Orr Amrami-Brockman to win. He got charisma and is very talented singer.

gili
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gili

only ella lee. or is overrated

NoGeoblocks
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NoGeoblocks

Yesssss! Orr for the win

gilpgilp
Guest
gilpgilp

Or is another Kobi. If you supported Kobi last year and you are now supporting Or, it’s time to think about whether you have a good understanding of what works at Eurovision.

noGeoblock
Guest
noGeoblock

The problem was never Kobi, and i’ll say this over and over – he was the best choice.

The problem is that you spend 5 months searching for a candidate and then two weeks for a song. It is Eurovision SONG contest.

Jajay
Guest
Jajay

No the problem was Kobi. Not the song. The song was the best possible song for Kobi. Kobi was just not eurovision material and an awful choice.

gilpgilp
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gilpgilp

The problem was 100% with Kobi. Kobi himself said the song was his best fit. My non-Israeli friends thought Kobi’s mannerisms and voice were annoying. No song could have fixed that.

NoGeoblocks
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NoGeoblocks

Ok. As well as the problem was a 100% Imri?

gilpgilp
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gilpgilp

Who is talking about Imri?

NoGeoblocks
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NoGeoblocks

You aren’t. Imri is the essence of Eurovision, isn’t he? Yet he was one of the worst. But you’re obsessed with Kobi…

gilpgilp
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gilpgilp

I’m not changing the subject to Imri. The same people who thought Kobi was the best choice last year are picking Or this year for the same wrong reasons. That’s my point.

Kuba
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Kuba

Ella Lee Lahav is my favourite to win this year, love cracks in her voice

gili
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gili

totally the winner

Sam
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Sam

I believe 2 out of the 8 participants who lost their duels will be saved (not counting Ohad and Nicky) in another round of duels. Instead of leaving viewers in suspense, the two saved participants were already announced before Thursday’s scheduled episode, so there has to be another twist in the making…
I can see Orr and Ella Lee is fan favorites for the final, but the production will counterbalance these fresh faces with 2 older and more experienced participants.

gilpgilp
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gilpgilp

If there are more saves one will likely go to Dana.

NoGeoblocks
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NoGeoblocks

And to Avihu. He brings in ratings. (+he can be real fun/exhausting at the same time)

Sam
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Sam

I also thought Dana might be saved, but then I learned that she released 2 new singles immediately after losing her duel. This wouldn’t have happened unless she were still binded by contract with the show’s production. It makes sense that Avihu will be saved, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he makes a scene where he refuses to be part of this charade, so they let him do a long farewell shtick and everyone is happy…perhaps Shefita will join in the fun too and that will be the last time we ever hear from these two for the price… Read more »

daniel kaplan
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daniel kaplan

Can they just please eliminate Ohad Shragai already. he actually hurts my ears. I understand why Raviv lost but man his voice is something

Sam
Guest
Sam

I’m afraid Ohad is here to stay as long as the judges back him up. They think the world of him as a singer-songwriter even if some of them disapproved how he handled ‘Wake Me Up’. The public only gave him 33% out of 60 so he’s treading on dangerous waters if he goes for the more flamboyant and extravagant approach. This is the kind of show where rules are meant to be broken, so you could have a scenario where Raviv finds his way back as a wildcard. It just looks so scripted for him to get exceptionally high… Read more »

pepe
Guest
pepe

The guy at the bottom right is the same one who was dancing behind John Lundvik during the voting in TA?

Ana
Guest
Ana

Yes, with the most ugly outfit the green room ever had to bare. He also the one that wrote that underwhelming entry that brought Israel 23rd place. If I were him at that night I wouldn’t try to get so much attention. But he seems to lack self awareness.

Ana
Guest
Ana

Ohad’s accent is almost as annoying as his looks. It’s like the over the top fashion disaster that Hovi Star was but without the great voice.