After taking one step forward and two steps back last week, The Next Star for Eurovision 2020 — Israel’s Eurovision casting show — eliminated three participants. That leaves a field of 13.
Episodes 23 and 24, aired on the 11 and 13 January, saw a shock elimination and an all-time record being broken.
The Next Star for Eurovision: Episodes 23 and 24
Duet Duel: Eden Alene and Moran Aharoni vs Eden Zohar Sivan and Dor’el Sa’adon
The Eden vs Eden motif is getting a little tiresome, but it’s here to stay. In the duet duel, Eden A. and Moran were up against Eden Z. and Dor’el Sa’adon. The first duo performed “Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin. Their on-stage harmonising convinced the public and the judges, getting the power couple an astronomical score of 92%.
Eden and Dor’el were up next, but their odds of winning the duel at this point were approaching zero. They performed Ben E. King’s 1961 track “Stand By Me”. They focused less on tandem singing and harmony, and more on showing each singer’s unique abilities. The jury connected with it, but the public had a clear favourite. All jurors bar Itay Levy voted for them, and they only scored 75%.
Storyline Duel: The Spices vs Ohad Shragai
The storyline duet shows the artists telling a story with their song. Hard rock band The Spices were up against “Home” songwriter Ohad Shragai. They sang Mizrahi pop song “Shnei Meshugaim” in a surprising fusion of hard rock and dubstep. All judges except for Amdursky voted for them, but the public scored them significantly lower. They reached 60%.
Ohad Shragai performed “Hey” by Ilay Bother VeYaldei HaKhuts, Shragai’s band. The touching ballad bought back the public voters’ support. It was a shift back for Shragai, who went for a more Netta-ish performance in the last two shows, and it proved to be a good choice. Even without a vote from Amdursky, he scored 77%.
Mediterranean Duel: Avihu Pinhasov’s Rhythm Club vs Loai Ali
Avihu from Avihu Pinhasov’s Rhythm Club and Loai Ali battled each other for the Mediterranean duel. In this duel, the participants had to perform a song with Mediterranean influences. Avihu’s performance of “Einayim Sheli”, which he dedicated to his late mother, showed a different side of him. He got votes from all jurors except for Levy and Maimon, but the public let him down. His final score was 45%.
Loai Ali’s responded with a soulful performance of Nasrine Qadri’s power ballad “Ratziti Ledaber Itkha”. From the moment the Druze vocalist reached the chorus, it was not long until he passed the low threshold. So, with Shiri Maimon promising him a spot in the grand final and all jurors but Amdursky voting for him, he scored 78%.
Israeli Classics Duet: Linoy & Gil vs Raviv Kaner
The duo that formed during the bootcamp round, Linoy & Gil went up against Raviv Kaner. Linoy & Gil performed “Eretz Ktana Im Safam” by Corinne Allal. The performance was fierce and passionate, but also uncertain and shifting in style, which the judges criticised. Levy and Peles voted for them, but a season-low public vote score of 19% saw them finish with 35%.
Raviv Kaner was next to perform, with “Aba” by Evyatar Banai. With an extremely low threshold to beat, Kaner had no worries coming into this performance. So, he passed even before the first refrain. The powerful presentation of the track split the judges, but the public had no doubt. He scored 67%.
Under-18 Duet Duel: Ella Lee Lahav and Orr Amrami-Brockman vs Gaya Shaki and Lali Kolishkin
Another duet duel closed the episode, with a nice gimmick added on. The first duo was Ella Lee and Orr, the two 17-year-olds who said they’ve had great chemistry since day one. The other duo was Lali Kolishkin and Gaya Shaki, aged 16 and 17, both of which got mononyms throughout the season (Lali and Shaki respectively). Ella Lee and Or performed “Señorita” by Camilla Cabello and Shawn Mendes and absolutely slayed. The two teenage fan favourites received 95% with votes from all judges.
The response to this impressive performance only came on Monday, two days after. Shaki and Kolishkin went on stage and described how much they’ve already bonded (they had a slumber party at Gaya’s!). They performed a moving duet of “Umbrella” by Rihanna. Despite the initial hype, the strong performance didn’t get enough support from the public voters to win the duel. With votes from all judges, they scored 88%, making this the duel with the highest average score ever. The judges said it’s “absurd” that they will be nominated for elimination, reassuring the two of their spot in the final 13.
Party duel: Omer Eliyahu vs Niki Goldstein
Omer Eliyahu and Niki Goldstein battled each other with the mission to get the audience on their feet. Eliyahu performed first, singing Omer Adam’s Mizrahi pop tune “Namess Mimekh”. He fulfilled the mission to get the audience dancing, but the jury was unimpressed. After missing a few notes, rushing a bit too much and tripping off stage, only Itay Levy voted for Eliyahu. He scored 50%.
The Next Star for Eurovision — Triple elimination
Avihu Pinhasov, Niki Goldstein, Noy & Gil, Shaki, Lali, Dor’el Sa’adon, Eden Zohar Sivan and The Spices were candidates for elimination. They all went on stage to hear their respective fates.
Shiri Maimon first told Gaya and Lali, who performed together and scored 88%, that they’re (obviously) safe. Dor’el Sa’adon and Eden Zohar Sivan also made it through, meaning all the duet singers qualified.
- The Spices
- Linoy & Gil
- Niki Goldstein
Remaining Acts — Final 13
- Avihu Pinhasov Rhythm Club
- Dorel Saadon
- Eden Alene
- Eden Zohar Sivan
- Ella-Lee Lahav
- Gaya Shaki
- Lali Kolishkin
- Loai Ali
- Moran Aharoni
- Ohad Shragai
- Omer Eliyahu
- Or Amrami-Brockman
- Raviv Kaner
What do you think of the results? Does your favourite remain? Let us know below.