Following in the footsteps of Netta was always going to be a big ask - however this season of national selection talent show 'HaKokhav HaBa L’Eurovizion' is extra special as following Netta's victory last year in Lisbon, this years winner will get to represent Israel at the home-hosted Eurovision Song Contest which will be held in Tel Aviv in May. After sixteen shows of auditions, 67 (plus one who has withdrawn from the competition) talented singers, performers and groups have made it through the audition stage and will advance to the next stage as the competition heats up.
In each of the audition shows, hopefuls would perform behind a wall to audiences across Israel and a judging panel of Shiri Maimon (Eurovision 2005), Harel Skaat (Eurovision 2010), Keren Peles, Assaf Amdursky and musical duo Static & Ben El Tavori. The format see's interaction with the live television audience, allowing viewers to vote contestants through that they like via an app. Each judge also gets a say - if they like a performer they can press their button to add 8% on to their total. Any auditionee that successfully achieves 70% or above by the time they have finished their performance advances to the next stage.
The second auditions round will commence on January 5th 2019 where the remaining acts will be cut down to 20 ahead of the heats. After the withdrawal of Elkana Marziano (who won The Voice of Israel in 2015), 67 acts are still in the running to become Israel's 2019 Eurovision representative.
The complete list is:
That means one of these lucky hopefuls will be representing Israel in Tel Aviv - automatically qualifying for the final! In a format change new to this year, the song that will be eventually sung on the Eurovision stage will be performed and selected via the show instead of the previous format (2015-2018) of selecting the artist via the show then an internal selection of the song. All audition videos can be viewed here.
Who are you rooting for? We're going to take a look in the coming days at some of the auditions in more detail - so make sure to follow Eurovoxx on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & YouTube for the latest Eurovision news, national selection updates and exclusive video content!