After endless weeks of auditions and only two rounds of elimination, the first Semi-Final of Israel’s Rising Star for Eurovision has just ended. Six finalists competed for three guaranteed places in the final. The fourth finalist will be decided tomorrow night.
The semifinals are the last shows which are pre-recorded and the rules were similar to previous rounds: The four judges can award 10% of the votes each (a total of 40%), and the remaining 60% are awarded by the audience present in the hall. The six finalists were divided into three head-to-head battles, where the first sets the bar which the second needs to pass. The contestant who gets the higher percentage out of the two wins a spot at the final. The contestant who gets the lower percentage still has a chance to win a spot at the final in the second semi-final.
The three finalists are:
- Ella Daniel
- Hovi Star
- Nofar Salman
Before their performances, each contestant had a chance to sing in front of former Eurovision winner Dana International and her manager Shai Kerem, and received some advice (and some criticism) from the two.
Head to Head Battles
Ella and Gil
The first head-to-head battle was between Ella and Gil.
Ella Daniel went first, wearing a tiara made of flowers and backed by her group (bla bla). She sang Eh La Bas in Creole and got 80%. The judges enjoyed it so much that after all of them voted for her, they got up and started dancing with each other.
Gil Hadash preformed second wearing a leather jacket and standing alone on stage. She sang Sia’s Alive and got 74% including the support of 3 judges: Keren, Harel and Mooky. Assaf said he voted against Gil because he preferred Ella.
Hovi Star and Kiara Suple
The second head-to-head battle was between Hovi Star and Kiara Suple.
Hovi Star went first, wearing a sequence jacket and backed by 4 dancers. He sang Stromae’s Papauotai in French and got 74% including the support of 3 judges: Assaf, Harel and Keren. Mooky voted against him for the third consecutive
Kiara Duple preformed second, wearing a red and black dress and backed by her drag-group Holy Wigs. She sang Eurovision 2013 winning song Euphoria and got 65% including the support of 3 judges: Keren, Harel and Assaf. Mooky was under pressure from the other judges to vote for her, but he voted against her.
The winner was Hovi Star who will go on to appear in the final.
Nofar and Velma
The third head-to-head battle was between Nofar and Velma.
Nofar Salman went first wearing a black jacket and backed b 4 dancers. She sang an oriental rendition of Rihana’s Russian Roulette and got 86% including the support of all 4 judges. Harel and Keren both thought the performance was not the best of the season and waited until after the song ended before voting in favour.
Velma performed second wearing black suits, standing only the two of them on stage. They sang an original song also entitled Russian Roulette. They got 43% including the support of 2 judges: Harel and Mooky. Assaf said the song choice wasn’t good and Keren said it did not speak to her.
The three non-qualifiers who will battle for the fourth spot in the final tomorrow night are:
- Gil Hadash
- Kiara Duple
- Velma duo