Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018

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Eurovision Song Contest 2018
Country Israel
National selection
Selection processArtist: HaKokhav HaBa L'Eurovizion
Song: Internal Selection
Selection date(s)Artist: 13 February 2018
Song: 11 March 2018
Selected entrantNetta Barzilai
Selected song"Toy"
Selected songwriter(s)Doron Medalie
Stav Beger
Finals performance
Semi-final resultQualified (1st, 283 points)
Final result1st, 529 points
Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest
◄2017 2018 2019►

Israel participated in and won the Eurovision Song Contest 2018. The Israeli broadcaster Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation (IPBC) collaborated with the commercial broadcaster Keshet and Tedy Productions, which organised the reality singing competition HaKokhav HaBa L'Eurovizion ("The Next Star For Eurovision") to select the singer. The winner of the Israeli national selection was Netta Barzilai and a committee of the Israeli broadcaster internally selected the song "Toy" for her.

Background[edit]

Prior to the 2018 Contest, Israel had participated in the Eurovision Song Contest forty times since its first entry in 1973.[1] Israel has won the contest on three occasions: in 1978 with the song "A-Ba-Ni-Bi" performed by Izhar Cohen and the Alphabeta, in 1979 with the song "Hallelujah" performed by Milk and Honey and in 1998 with the song "Diva" performed by Dana International. Since the introduction of semi-finals to the format of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2004, Israel has, to this point, managed to qualify to the final seven times, including three top ten results in 2005 with Shiri Maimon and "Hasheket Shenish'ar" placing fourth, in 2008 with Boaz and "The Fire In Your Eyes" placing ninth, and in 2015 with Nadav Guedj and "Golden Boy" placing ninth. Israel had failed to qualify to the final for four consecutive years between 2011 and 2014 prior to their qualification in 2015. In 2017, Imri Ziv represented Israel in Kyiv, Ukraine with the song "I Feel Alive". It ended 23rd out of 26 entries in the final.

The Israeli entry for the 2018 Contest in Lisbon, Portugal was selected through the reality singing competition HaKokhav HaBa L'Eirovizion ("The Next Star for Eurovision"), which was organised by Keshet and Tedy Productions. This was the fourth time that the Israeli entry was selected through a collaboration with Keshet and Tedy Productions.

Before Eurovision[edit]

HaKokhav HaBa L'Eurovizion[edit]

The singer who performed the Israeli entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 was selected through the reality singing competition HaKokhav HaBa L'Eurovizion ("The Next Star for Eurovision"), the original version of the international format Rising Star, produced by Tedy Productions and Keshet Media Group. HaKokhav HaBa has been used since 2015 to select the Israeli artist for Eurovision. The shows was hosted by Assi Azar and Rotem Sela and featured a judging panel composed of Asaf Amdursky, Keren Peles, Harel Skaat (2010 Israeli Eurovision entrant) and Static & Ben-El Tavori. The competition consisted of twenty shows, which commenced on 29 October 2017 and concluded on 13 February 2018. All shows in the competition were broadcast on Channel 2 and Keshet 12 as well as online via mako.co.il.

Out of the selected 120 contestants ninety-nine were shown in the televised auditions where performers were required to achieve 70% of the votes during their performance in order to advance; each member of the judging panel could boost a performer's score by 10%. Following a change in the rules of the competition, the hosts of the shows could also save performers who did not manage to achieve 70% of the votes during the audition phase, thus the selected performers would also advance, regardless to their scores during the auditions. In the end, seventy contestants advanced to the next round instead of the original seventy-one, following one contestant's withdrawal from the competition.

In the shortlisting round the remaining seventy contestants were required to perform in front of the jury. The jury then selected twenty performers who qualified for the next stage of the competition.

The twenty performers were reduced to twelve in heat 1 and 2, and then from twelve to ten in heat 3 and 4.

Shows[edit]

Audition 1 (29 and 31 October 2017)[edit]

The first audition was broadcast in two parts on 29 and 31 October 2017. Seven of the nine contestants advanced to the next phase following achieving at least 70% of the votes while one contestant who did not get enough votes to qualify was saved by the hosts.

Among the contestants was Chen Aharoni who previously participated in the 2011 national final where he placed fourth with the song "Or".[2][3]

Draw Performer Song Judges' vote Presenters' vote Score Result
Amdursky Peles Skaat Static & Tavori Sela Azar
1 Jaki Gaforov "Feeling Good" Yes Yes Yes Yes 76% Advanced
2 Adva Omer "Ratsiti ledaber itcha" No Yes Yes Yes 73% Advanced
3 Tamir Cohen "Kol boker" No No No No 6% Eliminated
4 Jonathan Mergui "How Far I'll Go" Yes Yes Yes Yes 88% Advanced
5 Mor Karbasi "Im ha'ita ro'eh" No Yes No Yes Save Save 59% Saved
6 Netta Barzilai "Rude Boy" Yes Yes Yes Yes 82% Advanced
7 Gal Yaakobi "When I Was Your Man" Yes Yes Yes Yes 92% Advanced
8 Hagar Yefet "Ahava ka'zo (A Love Like This)" No Yes Yes Yes 78% Advanced
9 Chen Aharoni "Wrecking Ball" Yes Yes Yes Yes 94% Advanced

Audition 2 (5 November 2017)[edit]

The second audition was broadcast on 5 November 2017. Six of the eight contestants advanced to the next phase following achieving at least 70% of the votes.

Among the contestants was Rinat Bar who previously participated in the 2005 national final where she placed seventh with the song "Kmo chalom".[4]

Draw Artist Song Judges' vote Presenters' vote Score Result
Amdursky Peles Skaat Static & Tavori Sela Azar
1 Riki Ben Ari "A Natural Woman" Yes Yes Yes Yes 93% Advanced
2 Yissachar Hofi "Kedey she elech" Yes No No No 50% Eliminated
3 José Steinberg "Despacito" Yes Yes Yes Yes 93% Advanced
4 Eden Meiri "Tachzeri" Yes Yes No Yes 76% Advanced
5 Tslil Goldman "Arms" Yes Yes Yes Yes 88% Advanced
6 Amit Shekel "Na'ara bemishkafaim" Yes No Yes Yes 67% Eliminated
7 Rinat Bar "Neshika (Kiss Kiss)" Yes Yes Yes Yes 79% Advanced
8 Shir Baruch "Hakol over" No Yes Did not vote Yes 72% Advanced

Audition 3 (12 November 2017)[edit]

The third audition was broadcast on 12 November 2017. Five of the eight contestants advanced to the next phase following achieving at least 70% of the votes while one contestant who did not get enough votes to qualify was saved by the hosts.

Among the contestants was Alon Sharr, the lead singer of the band The Choice who previously took part in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 as a backing vocalist behind IMRI. While Noa Bell is the adopted daughter of Keren Peles, therefore Peles was not able to vote during her audition. Her vote was cast by Ben-El Tavori.[5]

Draw Artist Song Judges' vote Presenters' vote Score Result
Amdursky Peles Skaat Static & Tavori Sela Azar
1 Yafit Casay "Listen" Yes Yes Yes Yes 95% Advanced
2 Yossi Fitoussi "Im at adain ohevet oti" No Yes Yes Yes 81% Advanced
3 Hagai Atari "Sheheriot meatzmi" No Yes Yes No 67% Eliminated
4 Ravit Batashvili "Island" Yes Yes Yes Yes 86% Advanced
5 Shir Tzarfati "Ein li otcha" Yes Yes Yes No 72% Advanced
6 The Choice "Yesh zman" No Yes Yes Yes Save Save 63% Saved
7 Joey Bar "Made of Stars" No No No No 4% Eliminated
8 Noa Bell "Yafa kalevana" No Yes Yes Yes 82% Advanced

Audition 4 (19 and 20 November 2017)[edit]

The fourth audition was broadcast in two parts on 19 and 20 November 2017. Eight of the eleven contestants advanced to the next phase following achieving at least 70% of the votes while one contestant who did not get enough votes to qualify was saved by the hosts. However, on 26 November 2017 it was confirmed that Liat Banai, who has originally qualified to the next phase, has withdrawn from the competition.

Dori Halevi is a close friend of Ben-El Tavori, therefore Tavori was not able to vote during his audition.[6]

Draw Artist Song Judges' vote Presenters' vote Score Result
Amdursky Peles Skaat Static & Tavori Sela Azar
1 Ofir Harush "Yesh makom" Yes Yes Yes Yes 84% Advanced
2 Yanir Shmiel "Billie Jean" No Yes Yes Yes 76% Advanced
3 O-Men "It Ain't Me"1 No No No No 38% Eliminated
4 Orel Gilad "Nigmar" No Yes Yes Yes 71% Advanced
5 Tal Mizrahi "American Idiot" Yes Yes Yes Yes 85% Advanced
6 Hezi Katri "Prachim bamidbar" Yes Yes Yes Yes 86% Advanced
7 Regina Fedorenko "Mango" No Yes No No 20% Eliminated
8 Liat Banai "Benadik" Yes Yes Yes Yes 86% Withdrew
9 Shir Gadasi "Elaich" Yes Yes Yes Yes 87% Advanced
10 Eden Newman Hyatt "I'm Stuck" Yes Yes Yes Yes 94% Advanced
11 Dori Halevi "Derech HaShalom" No Yes No Yes Save Save 56% Saved
1. ^ The group performed their own Hebrew language cover of the song.

Audition 5 (26 and 27 November 2017)[edit]

The fifth audition was broadcast in two parts on 26 and 27 November 2017. Eight of the eleven contestants advanced to the next phase following achieving at least 70% of the votes while one contestant who did not get enough votes to qualify was saved by the hosts.

Among the contestants was Keshet Ben Ze'ev, the nephew of Izhar Cohen who (together with Alphabeta) won the Eurovision Song Contest 1978 with the song "A-Ba-Ni-Bi" and who finished fifth in the Eurovision Song Contest 1985 with the song "Olé, Olé".[7]

Draw Artist Song Judges' vote Presenters' vote Score Result
Amdursky Peles Skaat Static & Tavori Sela Azar
1 Osher Bachta "Tocho ratsuf ahava" No Yes Yes Yes 83% Advanced
2 Lior Chen "Ein li otcha" Yes Yes Yes Yes 89% Advanced
3 Lidor Ovadia "Eifo at" No No No No 40% Eliminated
4 Shay & Gilad "Bli lehitkaven" No Yes Yes Yes 78% Advanced
5 Sama Jabour "Hallelujah" Yes Yes No Yes 74% Advanced
6 Bar Grotsky "Parparim" No Yes Yes Yes 78% Advanced
7 Roy Ivgy "Rak mitgagea" No No No Yes 61% Eliminated
8 Keshet Ben Ze'ev "Cold Water" Yes Yes Yes Yes 75% Advanced
9 Howie Danao "Don't" Yes Yes No Yes 81% Advanced
10 Amit Moshe Oren "Mevakesh slicha" Yes Yes Yes Yes 75% Advanced
11 Or Abramov "Shir achare milchama" No Yes No Yes Save Save 52% Saved

Audition 6 (3 and 4 December 2017)[edit]

The sixth audition was broadcast in two parts on 3 and 4 December 2017. Six of the eleven contestants advanced to the next phase following achieving at least 70% of the votes while one contestant who did not get enough votes to qualify was saved by jury members Static and Ben-El Tavori instead of the hosts following a temporary switch in the roles during the contestants's audition.

Among the contestants was Joseph Guedj, a relative of Nadav Guedj who represented Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 where he placed ninth with the song "Golden Boy".[8]

Draw Artist Song Judges' vote Presenters' vote Score Result
Amdursky Peles Skaat Static & Tavori Sela Azar
1 Jordan Uzan "I Wish" No Yes Yes Yes 77% Advanced
2 Rivka Siyum "Take a Bow" Did not vote Yes Yes Yes 76% Advanced
3 Or Sela "'Ashir lach kol yom" No No No Yes 37% Eliminated
4 Stav Vaknin "Ve'im preda" Yes Yes No Yes 81% Advanced
5 Joseph Guedj "Simanei hazman" No No No No 41% Eliminated
6 Oded & Tzachi "Thinking Out Loud" Yes Yes No Yes 77% Advanced
7 Selfish Shepherd "Run" No No Yes No 47% Eliminated
8 Karin Mary Suliman "Mazal moznaim" No No No Yes Save Save 50% Saved
9 May Tor "I'm Not the Only One" Save Save Save Save 89% Advanced
10 Eliran Elias "Yesh ein sof" No Yes No Yes 71% Advanced
11 Amit Ben Dahan "Hagoral haze" No Did not vote No Did not vote 34% Eliminated

Audition 7 (10 and 11 December 2017)[edit]

The seventh audition was broadcast in two parts on 10 and 11 December 2017. Six of the eleven contestants advanced to the next phase following achieving at least 70% of the votes while one contestant who did not get enough votes to qualify was saved by the hosts.

Among the contestants was Almog Kapach who previously took part in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 and 2017 as a backing vocalist behind Hovi Star and IMRI and also participated in the previous edition of the competition as a member of the band Beatbox Element, finishing fourth.[9]

Draw Artist Song Judges' vote Presenters' vote Score Result
Amdursky Peles Skaat Static & Tavori Sela Azar
1 Ella Rubal "Ulai ha'pa'am" No Yes Yes Yes 70% Advanced
2 Haostri "Tavi ta'chevre" No Yes Yes Yes 73% Advanced
3 Yam Peretz "Everything for Free" No No No No Save 34% Eliminated
4 Sarit Hativa "Ratsiti ledaber itcha" No Yes Yes Yes Save Save 61% Saved
5 Shelly Mogilevski "Orot" No No Yes Yes 73% Advanced
6 David Cohen "Basof hakol holef" No No No No 36% Eliminated
7 David Zamudio "Rehab" Yes No No No 36% Eliminated
8 Nissim "Fly Away" Yes Yes Yes Yes 73% Advanced
9 Almog Kapach "Crazy" / "Crazy in Love" No Yes Yes Yes 82% Advanced
10 Roni Brachel "Sheva ba'erev" No No No No 44% Eliminated
11 Axum "Arnevet" Yes No Yes Yes 71% Advanced

Audition 8 (17 and 18 December 2017)[edit]

The eighth audition was broadcast in two parts on 17 and 18 December 2017. Seven of the thirteen contestants advanced to the next phase following achieving at least 70% of the votes while two contestants who did not get enough votes to qualify were saved by the hosts.

Zohar Raziel would have originally got eliminated, however the judges exceptionally gave her a second chance to perform another song where she eventually advanced to the next stage of the competition.

Among the contestants was MISHÉLL who previously participated as Irina Rosenfeld in the 2006 Ukrainian national final where she placed second with the song "You Give Me Your Love".[10][11]

Draw Artist Song Judges' vote Presenters' vote Score Result
Amdursky Peles Skaat Static & Tavori Sela Azar
1 Mike Uzan "Earth Song" Yes No No Yes 72% Advanced
2 Orian Rafael "Bishvilech notzarti" No Yes Yes Did not vote 71% Advanced
3 Jenny Polotsky "When We Were Young" Yes Yes No Yes 81% Advanced
4 Shir Mizrachi "Luach vegir" No Yes Yes No Save Save 58% Saved
5 Shay Gal "Tskhovreba mshvenieria" No No No No 43% Eliminated
6 Lior Halevi "Kol yom k'mo nes" Yes Yes Yes No 79% Advanced
7 Johnny Koren "Let It Go" No Yes No No 29% Eliminated
8 Zohar Raziel "Empty Heart" Yes Yes No No 62% Advanced
9 "Back to Black" Yes Yes Yes Yes 97%
10 Barak Mizrahi "Aramam" Yes Yes Yes Yes 76% Advanced
11 Cedrick Kanyinda "African Boy" Yes Yes Did not vote No 45% Eliminated
12 MISHÉLL "I Got You (I Feel Good)" No Yes Yes Yes 79% Advanced
13 Nathaniel Sabag "Shir la'ima" No Yes No No 46% Eliminated
14 Vicky Kleichman "Into You" No Yes No No Save Save 43% Saved

Audition 9 (21 December 2017)[edit]

The ninth audition was broadcast on 21 December 2017. Four of the eight contestants advanced to the next phase following achieving at least 70% of the votes while one contestant who did not get enough votes to qualify was saved by the hosts.[12][13]

Draw Artist Song Judges' vote Presenters' vote Score Result
Amdursky Peles Skaat Static & Tavori Sela Azar
1 Asael Tzanani "Homot" No No Yes No Save Save 52% Saved
2 Yakir Itzkovich Cohen "Ve'im preda" No Yes Yes No 71% Advanced
3 Inbal Raz "Shape of You" No No No No 36% Eliminated
4 Priel Yoshua Fitoussi "Od yihye li" Yes Yes Yes No 76% Advanced
5 Maya Banai "Love on the Brain" No Yes No Yes 73% Advanced
6 Yossi Mark "Versace on the Floor" Yes Yes Yes Yes 85% Advanced
7 Yisrael Shalom "Hi limda oti et hayodel" No Yes Yes Yes 69% Eliminated
8 Niso Siman Tov "Mami" No No Did not vote Did not vote 37% Eliminated

Audition 10 (24 and 25 December 2017)[edit]

The tenth audition was broadcast in two parts on 24 and 25 December 2017. Three of the nine contestants advanced to the next phase following achieving at least 70% of the votes while two contestants who did not get enough votes to qualify were saved by the hosts.[14]

Draw Artist Song Judges' vote Presenters' vote Score Result
Amdursky Peles Skaat Static & Tavori Sela Azar
1 Tangier "Mehayom shehalacht" / "Ya Rayah" No No Did not vote Yes Save Save 49% Saved
2 Dudi Atar "Bati elaich" No No No Yes 53% Eliminated
3 Michael Kobrin "Human" Yes Yes Yes Yes 88% Advanced
4 Benjamin Tappesa "Im haya li" No No Did not vote No 13% Eliminated
5 Nofar Haber "When We Were Young" No Yes No Yes 72% Advanced
6 Shusha Mansour "Aba" Yes Yes Yes Yes Save Save 68% Saved
7 Sher Rahmani "Lost on You" No No No No 35% Eliminated
8 Amaya "Ba li m'siba" No No Yes No 38% Eliminated
9 Michael Dahan "Tocho ratsuf ahava" No Yes Yes Yes 71% Advanced

Shortlisting round (28 and 31 December 2017)[edit]

The shortlisting round was broadcast in two parts on 28 and 31 December 2017. The remaining seventy contestants performed in front of the jury. Following the performances, the four-member jury selected twenty contestants to go through to the heats.[15]

Heat 1 (4 January 2018)[edit]

The first heat was broadcast on 4 January 2018. Eight of the twenty qualified contestants were paired in four duels. From each duel, the performer with the higher score advanced to the next round while one contestant was saved by the jury at the end of the second part of the second heat.

For the first time in the history of the competition, a guest judge also voted for the performances: Ninet Tayeb, singer-songwriter, composer, DJ, model and actress. Therefore, each judge could boost each performance by 8% instead of the original 10.[16]

Duel Draw Artist Song Judges' vote Score Result
Amdursky Peles Tayeb Skaat Static & Tavori
I 1 Rinat Bar "Ya Habibi" Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 77% Saved
2 Riki Ben Ari "Greatest Love of All" Yes Yes Yes Yes No 82% Advanced
II 3 Jonathan Mergui "Talk Dirty" Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 88% Advanced
4 Axum "Ba lashchuna bachur hadash" Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 74% Eliminated
III 5 Tal Mizrahi "Basket Case" Yes No No Yes Yes 49% Eliminated
6 Netta Barzilai "Hey Mama" Yes Yes Yes Yes Did not vote 79% Advanced
IV 7 Ravit Batashvili "Harbe mimech nishar" Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 82% Advanced
8 Ofir Harush "Mangina" Yes Yes No No Yes 68% Eliminated

Heat 2 (7 and 8 January 2018)[edit]

The second heat was broadcast in two parts on 7 and 8 January 2018. The remaining twelve of the twenty contestants were paired in six duels. From each duel, the performer with the higher score advanced to the next round while one contestant was saved by the jury at the end of the second part of the second heat.[17]

Duel Draw Artist Song Judges' vote Score Result
Amdursky Peles Tayeb Skaat Static & Tavori
I 1 Chen Aharoni "Can't Feel My Face" Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 80% Advanced
2 Shir Baruch "Shuvi leveitech" No No No No No 30% Eliminated
II 3 The Choice "Omed al tzuk" Yes No No No Yes 56% Eliminated
4 Sarit Hativa "Shav" No No Yes Yes Yes 60% Advanced
III 5 Eden Meiri "Nagen" No Yes No Yes Yes 63% Advanced
6 Shir Gadasi "Bayamim she'yaavru aleinu" No No No Did not vote No 26% Eliminated
IV 7 Shay & Gilad "Yarok udvash" Yes Yes Yes No Yes 71% Advanced
8 Adva Omer "Aba" No Yes No No Yes 49% Saved
V 9 Jaki Gaforov "That's What I Like" Yes No No Yes No 52% Eliminated
10 José Steinberg "El Perdón" No Yes Yes No Yes 63% Advanced
VI 11 Howie Danao "Take Me to Church" No No No No Yes 56% Advanced
12 Gal Yaakobi "Mashehu mimeni" No No No No No 36% Eliminated

Heat 3 (14 January 2018)[edit]

The third heat was broadcast on 14 January 2018 and consisted of two rounds: in the first round six of the remaining twelve contestants were paired in three duels. From each duel, the performer with the higher score advanced to the next stage of the competition. In the second round the remaining three contestants would have had to perform one more song and the contestant with the lowest score would have got eliminated. However, following her performance Rinat Bar announced her withdrawal from the competition. Therefore the remaining two contestants – Shay & Gilad and Riki Ben Ari – automatically qualified for the next stage without Riki Ben Ari performing.[18]

Duel Draw Artist Song Judges' vote Score Result
Amdursky Peles Skaat Static & Tavori
First round
I 1 Rinat Bar "Hi" Yes No No No 50% Second round
2 Howie Danao "Od nagia" No Yes Yes Yes 82% Advanced
II 3 José Steinberg2 "Como el agua" Yes Yes Yes Yes 82% Advanced
4 Shay & Gilad2 "El ha'olam shelach" No No No No 36% Second round
III 5 Ravit Batashvili "At" Yes Yes Yes No 76% Advanced
6 Riki Ben Ari "Ya mama / Mehayom shehalacht" Yes No No No 56% Second round
Second round
IV 7 Shay & Gilad "Al tishali" Yes No No Yes 50% Advanced
8 Rinat Bar "Betelem ohavim" Yes No Did not vote No 49% Withdrew
9 Riki Ben Ari Advanced
2. ^ In the first round both José Steinberg and Shay & Gilad performed together with the Israeli singer Rotem Cohen.

Heat 4 (21 January 2018)[edit]

The fourth heat was broadcast on 21 January 2018 and consisted of two rounds: in the first round six of the remaining twelve contestants were paired in three duels. From each duel, the performer with the higher score advanced to the next stage of the competition. In the second round the remaining three contestants had to perform one more song and the contestant with the lowest score got eliminated.

For personal reasons one of the judges, Asaf Amdursky did not attend the fourth heat. To complement the jury panel, the winner of the second season and representative of Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015, Nadav Guedj was invited to vote.[19]

Duel Draw Artist Song Judges' vote Score Result
Skaat Peles Guedj Static & Tavori
First round
I 1 Sarit Hativa3 "Hagoral haze" Yes No Yes No 53% Second round
2 Adva Omer3 "Hashir shelach" Yes Yes Yes Yes 83% Advanced
II 3 Eden Meiri "Enatzel" Yes Yes No No 56% Second round
4 Netta Barzilai "Papi chulo" / "Sing Hallelujah" / "Hachaiyim shelanu tutim" Yes Yes Yes Yes 73% Advanced
III 5 Chen Aharoni "Sheket" No Yes Yes Yes 71% Advanced
6 Jonathan Mergui "Basof hakol holef" No No Yes Yes 62% Second round
Second round
IV 7 Sarit Hativa "Malkat halevavot" Yes No No No 30% Eliminated
8 Eden Meiri "Elohay" Yes Yes Yes No 80% Advanced
9 Jonathan Mergui "Love Yourself" Yes Yes Yes Yes 89% Advanced
3. ^ In the first round both Sarit Hativa and Adva Omer performed together with the Israeli singer Dudu Aharon.

Heat 5 (22 January 2018)[edit]

The fifth heat was broadcast on 22 January 2018 and consisted of two rounds. In the first round the remaining ten contestants were paired in four thematical duels: in the first duel two duets were formed from four contestants. In the second duel the two contestants performed songs of their idols. In the third duel the contestants who have sung ballads before performed uptempo songs for the first time and in the fourth duel the two contestants performed in front of their relatives. From each duel the contestant or contestants with the higher score advanced to the next stage of the competition. In the end of the first round three contestants were saved by the judges and the remaining two contestants had to perform one more song in the second round. In the end the contestant with the lowest score got eliminated.[20]

Duel Draw Artist Song Judges' vote Score Result
Amdursky Peles Skaat Static & Tavori
First Round
I 1 Chen Aharoni & Jonathan Mergui "Locked Out of Heaven" Yes Yes Yes Yes 92% Advanced
2 Adva Omer & Eden Meiri "Yesh bi ahava" Yes Yes Yes No 66% Saved
II 3 José Steinberg "Thinking Out Loud" No No No Yes 53% Second round
4 Riki Ben Ari "The Best" No Yes Yes Yes 64% Advanced
III 5 Ravit Batashvili "Tel Aviv" Yes Yes Yes No 74% Advanced
6 Shay & Gilad "Kos shel yain" No No Did not vote No 36% Second round
IV 7 Howie Danao "Hero" No No Yes Yes 69% Saved
8 Netta Barzilai "What Is Love" Yes Yes Yes Yes 79% Advanced
Second Round
V 9 Shay & Gilad "Nahon lehayom" No No Did not vote No 28% Eliminated
10 José Steinberg "Algo especial" Yes Yes No Yes 82% Advanced

Heat 6 (28 and 29 January 2018)[edit]

The sixth heat was broadcast in two parts on 28 and 29 January 2018. All the contestants performed behind the wall except for the first contestant Adva Omer who performed in front of the judges and the audience. In the end the contestant with the lowest score got eliminated.[21]

Draw Artist Song Judges' vote Score Result
Amdursky Peles Skaat Static & Tavori
1 Adva Omer "Alabina" No Yes Yes Yes 63% Advanced
2 Riki Ben Ari "If I Ain't Got You" Yes Yes Yes Yes 88% Advanced
3 Chen Aharoni "Grenade" Yes Yes Yes Yes 86% Advanced
4 Jonathan Mergui "Roar" Yes Yes Yes Yes 89% Advanced
5 José Steinberg "Smooth" Yes Yes Yes No 62% Eliminated
6 Howie Danao "Troublemaker" Yes No Yes Yes 75% Advanced
7 Netta Barzilai "Barbie Girl" Yes Yes Yes No 70% Advanced
8 Ravit Batashvili4 "Elaich" Yes Yes Yes No 79% Advanced
9 Eden Meiri "Haperach begani" Yes Yes Yes Yes 79% Advanced
4. ^ During her performance Ravit Batashvili was joined by the Israeli singer Idan Amedi.

Quarter-final (4 and 7 February 2018)[edit]

The quarter-final was broadcast in two parts on 4 and 7 February 2018 and consisted of two rounds: in the first round the remaining eight contestants were paired in four duels. From each duel, the performer with the higher score advanced to the next stage of the competition. 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 lower scores from each duel got eliminated.

In the end of the first round the judges selected two contestants from the four first round qualifiers – Netta Barzilai and Riki Ben Ari – who got paired in a duel that determined the first finalist in the first part of the semi-final.

In addition to the performances the winner of the previous season and representative of Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017, IMRI performed the 2017 Israeli entry "I Feel Alive".[22]

Duel Draw Artist Song Judges' vote Score Result
Amdursky Peles Skaat Static & Tavori
First Round
I 1 Eden Meiri "Lipol" No Yes Yes Yes 71% Second round
2 Netta Barzilai "Wannabe" Yes Yes Yes Yes 90% Selected by the judges
II 3 Chen Aharoni "Rokedet" No Yes Yes Yes 71% Advanced
4 Adva Omer "Lomedet lalechet" No Yes No No 44% Second round
III 5 Ravit Batashvili "Al tidag" No Yes Yes No 56% Second round
6 Riki Ben Ari "Ani haya li mi'yom le'yom" Yes Yes No Yes 76% Selected by the judges
IV 7 Jonathan Mergui "Versace on the Floor" Yes Yes Yes No 78% Advanced
8 Howie Danao "Habachor habayshan al psanter" No No Yes Yes 61% Second round
Second Round
V 9 Howie Danao "Believer" Yes Yes Yes Yes 85% Advanced
10 Adva Omer "Ad matai elohay" No Yes Yes Yes 58% Eliminated
VI 11 Ravit Batashvili "El ha'olam shelach" Yes Yes Yes Yes 77% Eliminated
12 Eden Meiri "Va'ani kore lach" Yes Yes Yes Yes 84% Advanced

Semi-final (8 and 11 February 2018)[edit]

The semi-final was broadcast in two parts on 8 and 11 February 2018.

In the first part on 8 February the two contestants who were selected by the judges in the quarter-final – Netta Barzilai and Riki Ben Ari – were paired in a duel that determined the first finalist. In addition to their performances Barzilai and Ben Ari performed "Na'im achshav" by and together with Elai Botner & The Outside Kids before the duel.

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 behind the wall except for the first contestant Chen Aharoni who performed in front of the judges and the audience. In the end of the first round the contestant with the highest score qualified for the final.

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.[23]

Duel Draw Artist Song Judges' vote Score Result
Amdursky Peles Skaat Static & Tavori
First Part – 8 February 2018
I 1 Riki Ben Ari "Hei shketa" No No No No 42% Second part
2 Netta Barzilai "Beautiful" No Yes Yes Yes 67% Finalist
Second Part – 11 February 2018 – First Round
1 Chen Aharoni "Bang Bang" Yes Yes Yes Yes 86% Finalist
2 Eden Meiri "Yareach" No Yes Yes Yes 71% Second round
3 Riki Ben Ari "Set Fire to the Rain" Yes Yes No Yes 75% Second round
4 Howie Danao "I'm Not the Only One" No No No Yes 52% Second round
5 Jonathan Mergui "Wake Me Up" Yes Yes No No 63% Second round
Second Part – 11 February 2018 – Second Round
I 6 Riki Ben Ari "Vision of Love" Yes Yes Yes Yes 82% Finalist
7 Eden Meiri "Kvar avru hashanim" Yes Yes Yes Yes 76% Eliminated
II 8 Howie Danao "Lately" No Yes No Yes 52% Eliminated
9 Jonathan Mergui "Against All Odds" Yes Yes Yes Yes 88% Finalist

Final (13 February 2018)[edit]

The final took place on 13 February 2018 and consisted of two rounds.[24]

First round[edit]

In the first round the four finalists were paired in two duels. From each duel the contestant with the higher score advanced to the second round. After the last performance each jury member (with the exception of Harel Skaat) named one of the remaining two contestants. The contestant with the most votes advanced to the second round.

In addition to the performances the four finalists performed a medley of the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 winning song "Euphoria" by Loreen and "Can't Hold Us" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton.

Duel Draw Artist Song Judges' vote Score Result
Amdursky Peles Skaat Static & Tavori
I 1 Jonathan Mergui "Get Ugly" Yes Yes Yes Yes 90% Second round
2 Chen Aharoni "Neshima" Yes Yes Yes Yes 72% 4th
II 3 Riki Ben Ari "Proud Mary" Yes Yes Yes Yes 81% Second round
4 Netta Barzilai "Kzat meshugat" Yes Yes Yes Yes 74% Saved

The votes of the judges to save:

  • Assaf Amdursky – Netta Barzilai
  • Keren Peles – Netta Barzilai
  • Harel Skaat – did not vote
  • Static – Netta Barzilai
  • Ben El Tavori – Chen Aharoni

Harel Skaat did not have to vote since it was already decided that Netta Barzilai would be saved from elimination.

Second round[edit]

In the second round the remaining three contestants performed in front of the judges and the audience. During each performance the votes were cast only by the viewers through the official mobile application, without the scores appearing on screen. After the last performance each judge cast its votes by giving 8, 10 and 12 points to the three remaining contestants; 8 points to their third favourite and 12 points to their favourite. Additionally, four thematical jury groups were asked to vote by the same method. The members of the four jury groups were:

In addition to the performances the second round included guest performances of "Namaste" by the judges Static & Ben El Tavori and "Ulay nedaber" by the 2015 Israeli representative Nadav Guedj.

Draw Artist Song Jury Viewers Total Place
1 Riki Ben Ari "Total Eclipse of the Heart" 78 47 125 3
2 Jonathan Mergui "When I Was Your Man" 88 117 205 2
3 Netta Barzilai "Tik Tok" / "Gangnam Style" 104 106 210 1
Artist Peles Static Amdursky Skaat Tavori Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4 Total
Riki Ben Ari 8 8 8 8 8 8 10 10 10 78
Jonathan Mergui 10 12 10 10 12 10 8 8 8 88
Netta Barzilai 12 10 12 12 10 12 12 12 12 104

Promotion[edit]

At Eurovision[edit]

According to Eurovision rules, all nations with the exceptions of the host country and the "Big 5" (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) are required to qualify from one of two semi-finals in order to compete for the final; the top ten countries from each semi-final progress to the final. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) split up the competing countries into six different pots based on voting patterns from previous contests, with countries with favourable voting histories put into the same pot. On 29 January 2018, a special allocation draw was held which placed each country into one of the two semi-finals, as well as which half of the show they would perform in. Israel was placed into the first semi-final, to be held on 8 May 2018, and was scheduled to perform in the first half of the show.[25]

Once all the competing songs for the 2018 contest had been released, the running order for the semi-finals was decided by the shows' producers rather than through another draw, so that similar songs were not placed next to each other. Israel was set to perform in position 7, following the entry from Lithuania and preceding the entry from Belarus.[26]

Semi-final[edit]

Israel was an early favorite with the bookies, sitting in second place to win on the day of the first semi-final. Israel performed seventh in the first semi-final, following the entry from Lithuania and preceding the entry from Belarus. At the end of the night, Israel was one of the ten countries announced as qualifying for the grand final, their fourth qualification in a row since 2015. Following the semi-final, Netta joined the other new finalists in a press conference and a draw to see which half of the final she would perform in. Ultimately, Israel was drawn to perform in the second half of the final. It was later revealed that Israel won the first semi-final, scoring 283 points.

Final[edit]

Israel performed twenty-second in the grand final, following Hungary and preceding the Netherlands. Following the jury vote, Israel was in third place behind Sweden in second and Austria first. However, neither Sweden nor Austria made it to the viewers' top ten, allowing Israel to both win the televote and the contest overall with a total of 529 points (Israel's highest-ever score). This marked Israel's fourth victory (after 1978, 1979, and 1998), tying them with the Netherlands as the 4th-most successful country in contest history (following France, Luxembourg, and the United Kingdom, with five wins; Sweden, with six wins; and Ireland, with seven wins). It was the twentieth time Israel finished in the top ten (the last occasion being Nadav Guedj and "Golden Boy," which finished 9th in 2015) and the eleventh they made the top five (the first time since 2005, when Shiri Maimon came 4th with "HaSheket SheNish'ar"). This meant Israel would host the 2019 contest and automatically qualify for the following year's final. Among these points were five top marks from the jury vote (awarded by Austria, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, and San Marino) and eight top marks from the televote (awarded by Australia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Spain, Ukraine, and once again France and San Marino).

Under the hybrid jury-televote system, Israel would have received twelve points from Australia, Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Iceland, Moldova, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.

Voting[edit]

Voting during the three shows involved each country awarding two sets of points from 1-8, 10 and 12: one from their professional jury and the other from televoting. Each nation's jury consisted of five music industry professionals who are citizens of the country they represent, with their names published before the contest to ensure transparency. This jury judged each entry based on: vocal capacity; the stage performance; the song's composition and originality; and the overall impression by the act. In addition, no member of a national jury was permitted to be related in any way to any of the competing acts in such a way that they cannot vote impartially and independently. The individual rankings of each jury member as well as the nation's televoting results were released shortly after the grand final.

Points awarded to Israel[edit]

Points awarded to Israel (Semi-Final 1)
Televote
12 points 10 points 8 points 7 points 6 points
5 points 4 points 3 points 2 points 1 point
Jury
12 points 10 points 8 points 7 points 6 points
5 points 4 points 3 points 2 points 1 point
Points awarded to Israel (Final)
Televote
12 points 10 points 8 points 7 points 6 points
5 points 4 points 3 points 2 points 1 point
Jury
12 points 10 points 8 points 7 points 6 points
5 points 4 points 3 points 2 points 1 point

Points awarded by Israel[edit]

Split voting results[edit]

The following five members comprised the Israeli jury: [27]

  • Aya Korem – Chairperson – singer, songwriter
  • Eli Cohen (Eliko) – radio DJ
  • Dafna Lustig – music journalist, radio DJ, TV host
  • Yaakov Lamai – musical producer, arranger
  • Gal Uchovsky – music journalist

References[edit]

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