Last night the first episode of The Next Star 2018 was broadcasted on Keshet.
Israel has officially kicked off their search for their next Eurovision entry as the first episode of The Next Star 2018 was aired last night. A total of six artists took part last night, and only one of the acts didn’t manage to get through to the next round. The acts were judged by both the audience and a jury made up of Harel Skaat, Keren Peles, Assaf Amdursky and the duo Static & Ben El Tavori. Each jury member had a 10% vote, and each artist needed to receive over 70% of the “yes” vote to be able to go through to the next round.
A total of five acts made it through to the next round of the show last night. These acts are:
- Jonathan Margi (88%, “yes” from 4 judges)
- Netta Barzilai (82%, “yes” from 4 judges)
- Jaki Gaforov (76%, “yes” from 4 judges)
- Adva Omer (73%, “yes” from 3 judges)
- Mor Karbasi (59%, “yes” from 2 judges)
Although Mor Karbasi didn’t manage to receive the 70% in order to qualify, the show brought in a new twist in which the two hosts Assi Azar and Rotem Sela saved the artist. The one act that didn’t make it through is Tamir Cohen, who received 4 “no” votes from the judges.
The new edition of the talent show will be broadcast on Keshet 12 at 20.00 CET and will consist of 20 weekly episodes.
The Next Star has been used to select the Israeli Eurovision representative since 2015. This has proven successful for Israel. In 2015, Nadav Guedj gave Israel its first top 10 finish since 2005 and its first qualification since 2010 with “Golden Boy”. Israel has qualified for the final every year since then. Imri finished 23rd in this year’s final with “I Feel Alive”.
IPBC are organising the Israeli entry for the first time this year. Despite not yet achieving full EBU membership, the EBU have allowed Israel to continue participating in Eurovision events.
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Israel debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1973, and were represented by Ilanit who finished in 4th place with the song “Ey Sham”. Their first victory came in 1978 with Izar Cohen and the Alphabeta. Israel won again the following year with Gali Atari & Milk and Honey. Israel’s most recent victory came in 1998 when Dana International performed “Diva” in Birmingham, beating Malta to victory in a tense voting sequence. Israel struggled in the contest during the early-2010s, failing to qualify for the final from 2011-2014. However since the HaKokhav HaBa selection process was introduced in 2015 they have qualified three times, with Nadav Guedj finishing in 9th in 2015, Hovi Star finishing in 14th in 2016 and Imri finishing in 23rd in 2017.