In Israel, 12 out of the top 16 participants still in the running to represent Israel at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm, was revealed last night. Among the judges who will now narrow down the field we find former participant Harel Skaat.
Last night marked the last auditions show on Israel’s “Rising Star for Eurovision 2016” and the beginning of the narrowing down process. A three hour show was dedicated to deciding which 16 participants move on to the “head to head” stage. Each participant performed a song of their choice, this time with no audience and backed only by a piano. The decision was made solely by the four judges:
Harel Skaat (Israeli representative in Eurovision 2010), Mooky (A prominent hip-hop and indie singer songwriter), Keren Peles (Singer songwriter who has written songs for former participants like Harel Skaat, Boaz Mauda (Israel 2008) and Shiri Maymon (Israel 2005) and Assaf Atedgi (Manager of local artist Omer Adam, who covered Giorgos Alkaios’s Opa! (Greece 2010)
So far the top 16 include:
- Kiara Duple: A well-known Israeli drag queen. Sang Hesheket Shenishar (Israel 2005).
- Uriel Aharoni: 28 years old male singer songwriter. Sang an original song.
- Shevahya Bat Israel: African-Hebrew female backing vocalist. Sang One by U2 and True Colors by Cyndi Lauper.
- Hovi Star: Male singer. Participated in season 7 of “A Star is Born“. Sang Shackles by Mary Mary.
- Ellah Daniel: 27 year old female singer from Azerbaijan. Sang Shney Shoshanim by Shoshana Damari.
- Ofir Haim: 20 year old male soldier. Sang an original song.
- Naomi Azran: Former member of a French girl-band Every. Sang Falling by Alicia Keys.
- Velma: Indie duo who competed last season under the title Agenda. Sang an original song.
- Sharon Partuk: 17 years old female from France. Sang an original song in French.
- Gil Hadash: A female soldier. Sang The A Team by Ed Sheeran.
- Oded Sharabi: 48 Year old male singer. Sang Kshe’at Atzuvah by Amir Benayoun.
- Nofar Salamn: 17 years old female. Sang Yechefa by Ninet Tayeb and Crazy in Love by Beyonce.
By next week, the rest of the top 16 will be revealed. The next stage is called “head to head”, in which artists will compete in sing-offs to determine who will carry on to the next stage.
This is the second year in a row that Rising a Star is being used to choose the Israeli participant for the Eurovision Song Contest. The winner of the 2015 season was Nadav Guedj who went on to represent Israel with Golden Boy and landed in 9th place in the Grand Final. A video of that can be watched below.
Israel has taken part in the Eurovision Song Contest since 1973 and has participated 38 times. Israel won the contest in 1977, 1978 and 1998 and hosted the contest in Jerusalem in 1978 and 1999.