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.

Video coming soon. Click here to watch on mako.co.il

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%.

Video coming soon. Click here to watch on mako.co.il

Niki Goldstein made the bizarre choice to perform a party version of The Mamas & The Papas’ “California Dreamin'”. He showed vocal control and inventiveness, but only the public votes comprised the percentage at the end of the performance. When the song ended, Goldstein had had 37%, all from the public vote, with three judges left to vote. He only needed two, but only Static & Ben El wanted him through,. His final score was 45%.

Video coming soon. Click here to watch on mako.co.il

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.

Non-qualifiers

  • 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.

Follow all of our Israel Eurovision 2020 news.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
28 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
sam
sam
9 months ago

The 4 finalists are: (confirmed)
Ella Lee Lahav
Orr Amrami-Brockman
Gaia Shaki
Eden Alena

gilpgilp
gilpgilp
9 months ago
Reply to  sam

Thanks for the info! Where did you hear this? The list is not surprising, it’s pretty evident they want a teenager this year.

sam
sam
9 months ago
Reply to  gilpgilp

If you write ‘The Final Four’ in Hebrew on your Facebook search bar, you’ll find it from a source whom I find trustworthy based on past experience. According to that source, Dor’el is eliminated next. Moran Aharoni was the one who lost her voice, but it’s unclear if that was the sole reason for her elimination. This is the 5th time we’re gonna have 3 girls and 1 boy in the final and the boy usually ends up winning in the end. It doesn’t matter which cover songs they choose for the final because people have already made up their… Read more »

gilpgilp
gilpgilp
9 months ago
Reply to  sam

If you’re right, then it will be Orr. I think Orr will be Kobi version 2. He’s just too amateurish. I hope I’m wrong. Eden is the most professional and developed in the bunch and gives the best chance at the most points. This is followed by Ella Lee, who I think is similar to Malta 2019 and can make the final but still a little too amateurish to score high (but far better than Orr). Gaia is talented but not in a way that is best suited for Eurovision (kind of like Ohad).

sam
sam
9 months ago
Reply to  gilpgilp

It seems like the producers want Ella Lee and Orr to face each other TWICE on the decisive final night. They’ll pair them up for the first duel so even if one of them loses, he or she could have another chance later on in the show. It could be similar to what happened with Netta in 2018 when she lost to Riki Ben Ari in the first round. I hope I’m wrong about this but it feels like the kind of outcome they would love to see. It’s ironic because Gaia is actually the most compelling and distinctive artist… Read more »

gilpgilp
gilpgilp
9 months ago
Reply to  sam

@sam I agree with everything you said. Gaia is the most unique. My guess is she’s not fitted for scoring a lot of points at Eurovision but who knows? She’s a wild card. Eden is the most appealing to non-Israelis. She is this year’s Ketreyah who should have been chosen last year. She’s obviously the most mature performer of the group. Orr’s emotional appeal to the Israeli bubble will not be translated to the rest of Europe just like Kobi. Israelis were so convinced about Kobi because of all the domestic hype but the minute he was selected the rest… Read more »

sam
sam
9 months ago
Reply to  gilpgilp

It’s quite easy to make the case for Orr: He reminds some people of Ed Sheeran and also has a compelling background being adopted as an orphan from Ukraine and raised by two dads. Of course none of this will help him if the song he ends up with doesn’t showcase his amazing vocals and passionate delivery, but it’s easy to package him as a ‘child sensation’ from a public relations perspective if Kan and Keshet play their cards right. Unlike Kobi with his musical theater style and flair for melodrama and pathos, Orr is a lot more ‘quirky’ in… Read more »

gilpgilp
gilpgilp
9 months ago
Reply to  sam

The case for Kobi was that he reminds some people of Freddie Mercury and he has a compelling story of overcoming personal obstacles. Of course none of this mattered at all at Eurovision and Kobi ended up scoring among the lowest in the history of Israel’s participation. The Eurovision judges and voting public care nothing about any of that. I can guarantee you that Orr’s background will not score him a single point at Eurovision and nobody will compare him to Ed Sheeran either. These things could help him win in Israel for sure, but not at Eurovision.

sam
sam
9 months ago
Reply to  gilpgilp

Kobi was framed like someone who could follow in Netta’s footsteps and unfortunately the show created a fabricated narrative full of emotional blackmail and over-sentimentality. This year There was some focus on Orr and his two dads but it wasn’t exploited in an excessive way on the show itself unlike other contestants whose personal life became center stage such as Raviv, Dorel, Ohad, Dana Lapidot and Laly (as you’ll see tonight). One’s personal background is relevant if the song is inspired by a personal life experience, but it’s meaningless when it isn’t backed up by a powerful and memorable song… Read more »

Tom
Tom
9 months ago

For me one of these people should represent Israel ! Or maybe some duet, i really like kids duet of Señoritha !

Avihu Pinhasov Rhythm Club
Or Amrami-Brockman
Raviv Kaner

gilpgilp
gilpgilp
9 months ago
Reply to  Tom

None of these have a chance.

gili
gili
9 months ago
Reply to  gilpgilp

agree, its between eden and ella for me

gilpgilp
gilpgilp
9 months ago
Reply to  gili

@gili I think it will come down to these two as well

NoGeoblocks
NoGeoblocks
9 months ago
Reply to  gilpgilp

Ella-lee yes. Eden doesn’t stand a chance. It’ll never happen. Never.

Only Orr can win (if not, Ella is great too, Eden is the worst)

gilpgilp
gilpgilp
9 months ago

The show just put out a video clip preview on Instagram where they are blown away by Eden’s next performance.

NoGeoblocks
NoGeoblocks
9 months ago
Reply to  gilpgilp

It doesn’t matter. She does not stand a chance. Not in a million years.
Only Orr can win this.

Joe
Joe
9 months ago

Ella-Lee, Orr, or both. How exactly is the Rhythm Club still here when the public have made it abundantly clear that they have no desire to have them around?

Tom
Tom
9 months ago
Reply to  Joe

I like them

Sam
Sam
9 months ago
Reply to  Joe

The judges have the power to override the studio audience’s vote. They saved The Rhythm Club for the second time in a row and can theoretically keep on doing so.

gilpgilp
gilpgilp
9 months ago
Reply to  Sam

Looks like they are finally out.

sam
sam
9 months ago
Reply to  gilpgilp

Finally the numbers (percentages) speak for themselves leaving the judges helpless…but at least Avihu left on his own terms like a true circus ringmaster and granny got to do her little cameo on stage.

Loin dici
Loin dici
9 months ago

Okay. Okay. We still have like, 16 episodes left? Gosh.

Tom
Tom
9 months ago
Reply to  Loin dici

Whooo?

sam
sam
9 months ago
Reply to  Tom

It’s kept tightly under wraps, but we can expect at least one major upset. We already know that this season is tagged as ‘the 16 year old prodigies alumni’, but that doesn’t mean you’re gonna see Ella Lee, Orr, Lali and Gaia on the final show just because their duets earned so many accolades or because there is a consensus that they’re the ones to watch. You’re going to have two finalists with prior experience and two other novices.

sam
sam
9 months ago
Reply to  sam

Earlier this Tuesday, live shooting of the semi-final phase of ‘The Next Star’ took place featuring 8 contestants. 4 were eventually eliminated, but the real drama happened behind the scenes. One of the most promising singers this season lost his/her voice and had to get medical treatment. The problem actually started in the earlier rounds but reached its climax on the crucial day. He/She struggled to perform the song and had to succumb to the vocal strain. It’s unknown whether this cost him/her a place in the final. (Reported on ‘Israel Hayom’ daily)

gilpgilp
gilpgilp
9 months ago
Reply to  sam

Thank you for the update!

noGeoblock
noGeoblock
9 months ago

Yes, this show is too long, BUT – There is some talent there!
Ella-lee and Orr together was absolutely magic, Eden and Moran did great too, and Shaki is a super singer.

Was surprised (but happy) to see Nikki go. Hoping Avihu can survive this show…
For me, it is Orr for the win!

Good luck, all!

Gil Dadia
Gil Dadia
9 months ago
Reply to  noGeoblock

Ella will win..if not then eden is the next best option