Since November, the auditions stage of Israel's national selection process 'HaKokhav HaBa L’Eurovizion' have been taking place - showing us a huge range of top Israeli talent! The auditions drew to a close in the latest episode and we've had a little dig to see which of the auditions we felt were the best! Judging panel Shiri Maimon (Eurovision 2005), Harel Skaat (Eurovision 2010), singers Keren Peles, Assaf Amdursky and musical duo Static & Ben El Tavori all were impressed by these singers so definitely make sure to check them out too as we countdown our Top 10 auditions from this series.
10. Ayala Eligula
Ayala appeared to audiences for the first time 10 years ago in 'Kokhav Nolad' - the predecessor or 'Hakohkhav Haba' - however soon after her appearance she suffered from postpartum depression following the birth of her child and has struggled to find the confidence to perform in public since ... until now! Her huge cover of Adele's beautiful ballad 'All I Ask'. Her voice is massive and we've fallen in love with her story - we are rooting for Ayala!
9. Nave Madmon
Young Nave surprised us all when he took on Shawn Mendes' single 'Stitches' - he came on stage looking shy and then out of nowhere came this incredible performance. Full of stage presence and personal style, Nave stated he was influenced by Shawn Mendes and Beyonce. The judges and public audiences were amazed by the performance, securing himself a huge vote of 88%!
8. Ofri Kalfon
Ofri is a shy young girl from the South of Israel. Similarly to Nave, when Ofri arrived on stage people were not sure of what to expect however as soon as she begun to sing everybody was blown away. Her cover of 'Le'esof' originally by Yuval Dayan impressed us all a huge amount - and the judges/viewers as all the way back in November when her audition aired she received a whopping 93 out of 100% - which remains one of the highest audition scores of the year!
7. Daniel Mazuz
Another possible familiar face ... much like Imri Ziv who appeared on the Eurovision stage back in 2015 before winning the competition himself in 2017, Daniel was a backing dancer for Eurovision 2018 winner Netta on the Lisbon Eurovision stage. This time, the talented dancer is showing us that she's also a pretty incredible singer! All-round performer Daniel took on catchy pop song 'Happy' by Pharrell Williams and kicked off the shows auditions in spectacular fashion! Could it Daniel's year to do an Imri?
6. Eliyah Gabai
It's not often that somebody who forgets the majority of the lyrics to their song features in a 'Top 10' auditions list! However ... we just couldn't have a list without the incredible Eliyah. Tackling 'Ahava Ka'zo' originally by Idan Raichel ft. Zehava Ben, from the very first note his powerful and rich voice had us all on our feet. If not familiar with the song, his improvisation was so perfect and in tune that you would have no idea they weren't the real words to the song... the judges were equally as impressed with this talented young man!
5. Nitai Twito
Andra Day's 'Rise Up' is one of the most emotional songs out there that's been released in the past few years and Nitai's rendition was simply beautiful! One of the youngest contestants on the show, he specifically wanted to prove himself to judge Shiri Maimon who he is a huge fan of. They featured together in a show ten years ago and Nitai warmed our hearts by showing her a postcard that she had signed all that time ago when he was a young child! His voice was as lovely as his story!
4. Maya Bouskilla
Eurofans may recognise Maya ... who was rumoured to be the Israeli chosen artist in 2009, 2011 AND 2012! Now aged 41, Maya still has a very powerful voice - tackling big Dream Girls ballads 'Listen' by Beyonce. Maya has been a professional singer for over a decade now and is one of the most experienced across the auditionees. She's been afraid to participate over the past couple of years due to already being an established artist however feels that this is her year. She's always dreamed of representing Israel on the Eurovision stage and she does not want that dream to die. Her experience shines through in her voice and there is no doubting she would raise the roof in Tel Aviv
Ketreyah got the highest score across all of the auditions with 95%! Ethiopian-Jewish Ketreyah participated on TV Show 'The Four' last year and brought her huge vocals and massive soul to the HaKokhav HaBa stage! Her take on Justin Timberlake's 'Mirrors' was without doubt one of the best performances of the series so far and we cannot wait to see what she does next. More than just a singer, Ketreyah really performed the song which of course will come in handy if she is successful in securing her bid for Eurovision 2019!
2. Sarah Moshaioff
Sarah has a sorry of tragedy for audiences - explaining the heartbreaking news of her first son dying of sudden infant death syndrome. Sarah performed her heart out to Eden Ben Zaken's 'Ein li af echad' - really connecting with the song and bringing tears to the judges eyes (and ours!). Channelling the emotion and passion has cemented Sarah as one of our absolute favourites and really wish the best for her.
1. Kobi Marimi
The best audition of the season in our opinion belongs to ... Kobi Marimi! He performed Beyonce's 'Sweet Dreams' and blew the judges away - being likened to both Freddie Mercury and Sam Smith. His soulful voice and sullen, emotional rendition surprised us after he turned up on the stage in a tropical shirt and shorts! He boasted an incredible range and unlike some who get on to a massive start with their performance, he trusted that he could allow it to grow and gave us a very special performance instead of doing all he could to get the votes early on. Kobi is definitely going to be one to watch!
Do you agree with our Top 10? Let us know who your favourite is in the comments below or via our social media and make sure to subscribe to us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & YouTube for the latest Eurovision news, national selection updates and exclusive video content!