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!