Twelve artists have made it through to the next round of The Next Star 2018.
In total, twelve artists have made it through to the next round of the Next Star 2018, after battling it out against each other in pairs. On the judging panel were Harel Skaat, Keren Peles, Assaf Amdursky and the duo Static & Ben El Tavori.
The twelve finalists are as follows:
- Riki Ben Ari
- Jonathan Mergui
- Netta Barzilai
- Ravit Batashvili
- Chen Aharoni
- Sarit Hativa
- The Yamanz
- Eden Meiri
- José Steinberg
- Howie Danao
- Rinit Bar
- Adva Omer
Rinit Bar and Adva Omer were chosen as wildcard acts, who got a second chance in the competition.
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.
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.