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It's IMRI for Israel!

13 February 2017 at 23:20 CET
Imri Ziv Ronen Akerman
IMRI has won Israel's national selection, The Next Star for Eurovision, and will represent the country in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv. The show saw four acts compete for the chance to represent Israel in 2017 in front of a panel of expert judges, which included Harel Skaat, who represented Israel in the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest in Oslo. The entry that IMRI will perform will be unveiled in the coming weeks.

The acts that competed for the chance to represent Israel in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest were: 

  • Julieta
  • Beatbox Element
  • Diana Golbi
  • IMRI

The format

The live show featured two duels, where each singer battled for a place in the final. The winner of each duel in the first round automatically qualified to the next. The judges then decided who among the two remaining non-qualifiers would proceed to the next stage. The songs performed in the first round were:

  • Julieta: My Number One (Helena Paparizou)
  • Beatbox Element: Hey Mama (David Guetta)
  • Diana Golbi: Euphoria (Loreen)
  • IMRI: Halo (Beyoncé)

The three qualifiers were:

  • Julieta (jury choice)
  • Diana Golbi
  • IMRI

In the second round the artists then performed the following songs: 

  • Julieta: Shikorim me’ahava (Eden Ben-Zaken)
  • Diana Golbi: Purple Rain (Prince)
  • IMRI: Because of You (Kelly Clarkson)

IMRI and Diana Golbi got through to the final round. IMRI received the highest percentage of the viewers' vote becoming Israel's 43rd representative at the Eurovision Song Contest. The singer was very emotional as the result was announced.

IMRI is no stranger to the Eurovision Song Contest and was a backing singer for both Nadav Guedj in 2015 and Hovi Star last year in Stockholm. Before the live final IMRI looked relaxed and posed for a photograph with his dancers:

Israel has qualified for the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest for the last two years. The first winner of The Next Star for Eurovision, Nadav Guedj, has enjoyed a successful career since he participated in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest with Golden Boy. He won both Singer of the Year and Song of Year and is currently working on his second album. 

Hovi Star, last year's winner, represented Israel in Stockholm with Made of Stars. Hovi is also working on a new album, performing all over Israel and recently he took part in the successful musical The Little Mermaid.

IMRI's song for Kyiv will be announced in the coming weeks.