For the past few months Israel has been engaged in selecting their Eurovision artist for 2018. This has taken the form of Israel’s Rising Star, the format that the nation have used for the past three years. Hundreds of participants had been whittled down to just four finalists who did battle earlier this evening.
Of the four finalists, Israel has chosen Netta Barzilai as their winner and representative for the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. The final took place over two rounds. In the first of these Jonathan Mergui was triumphant over Chen Aharoni with 90% to 72%. Riki Ben Ari won the battle against Netta Barziali. The two winners advanced to the second round as did Netta who was also saved.
In the second round the singers sang one final time for the jury and the viewers. The jury was made up of not only the four judges from the show but also judges of an other singing reality show – Gal Uchovsky, Margalit Tzan’ani and Tzedi Tzarfati, the representatives of Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest in the past three years; Nadav Guedj, Hovi Star and IMRI, music experts; Adi Leon, Yaron Ilan and Yossi Gispan and composers of former Israeli Eurovision Song Contest entries; Doron Medalie, Kobi Oshrat and Svika Pick.
The jury scored Netta a total of 104, Jonathan Mergui 88 and Riki Ben Ari 78. These scores were then added to the televote. The televote was topped by Jonathan (117), Netta came second with 106 and Riki was third with 125. When the scores were totalled Netta won by a 5 point margin over Jonathan. The final results are below:
Jonathan Mergui- ‘Get Ugly’ (90%) v Chen Aharoni- ‘Neshima’ (72%)
Riki Ben Ari- ‘Proud Mary’ (81%) v Netta Barzilai- ‘Kzat meshugat’ (74%) Saved
1. Netta Barzilai- ‘Tik Tok’/’Gangnam Style’ (210 points)
2. Jonathan Mergui- ‘When I Was Your Man’ (205 points)3. Riki Ben Ari- ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ (125 points)
The song that Netta will sing at Eurovision has not yet been determined but we can expect to hear the song in the next few weeks.