Netta Barzilai, Chen Aharoni, Riki Ben Ari and Jonathan Mergui are the four remaining finalists of HaKokhav HaBa, the talent show in Israel to find The Next Star of Eurovision for the contest in 2018.
They will fight for the golden ticket for the Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon this Tuesday, the 13th of February. Eden Meiri and Howie Danao came a long way, but were eventually eliminated in the semi final of HaKokhav HaBa. The semi was broadcast in two parts on the 8th and 11th of February.
In the first part the two contestants who got the highest score by the judges in the quarter-final – Netta Barzilai and Riki Ben Ari – were paired in a duel that determined the first finalist: Netta.
The second part of the semi-final was broadcast on 11 February and consisted of two rounds. In the first round all the remaining five contestants performed. In the end of the first round the contestant with the highest score qualified for the final: Chen.
In the second round the remaining four contestants were paired in two duels and had to perform one more song. The two contestants with the higher scores from each duel qualified for the final, which were Riki and Mergui.
The finalists for Israel in Eurovision 2018
Netta already had a big score in her first audition, and has been scoring extremely well since then. The 25-year old singer often uses a vocal loop machine on stage.
Arguably, Chen is the most experienced artist in the final. In 2007 he took part in Kokhav Nolad, the Israeli version of Starmaker, and got a fourth place. At the Eurovision preselection of Kdam in 2011, he also finished in fourth place. In 2018, he hopes to do better than a fourth place and go for gold.
Riki Ben Ari
Riki is already in her 50’s, but comes out of nowhere with her vocal powers. Despite her lack of experience of the stage, she shows a lot of self-confidence in her performances. Her singing style is something that Israel has went for in the past at Eurovision, which makes it hard to rule her out for victory.
Jonathan is the benjamin of the final, being only 17 years old. He is the son of the Israeli singer named Meital Trabelsi. In the talent show he has proven that he can sing ballads and dance to uptempo songs, so this gives Israel a variety of songs to chose from for Eurovision 2018, should he win on Tuesday.