After last year’s success with Nadev Guedj for Israel being selected through Rising Star, Israel opted to build upon this and use the same show this year for selecting not only their singer but also the song!

The finalists are, in alphabetical order (composers in brackets):

  • Ella Daniel – Somebody Out There (David Maman and Philip Halloun)
  • Gil Hadash – Follow The Sun (Stav Beger and Tom Gefen)
  • Hovi Star – Made Of Stars (Doron Medal)
  • Nofar Salman – Made Of Stars (Doron Medalie)

The winner will be determined 100% by a public vote conducted through a mobile app only.

Follow our live blog with Nathan Waddell and Nick van Lith below from 20:00 CET!


Nathan Waddell
March 3, 20167:00 pm

Hello and welcome to our live blog for tonight’s final of Rising Star, direct from Israel!

Now, we’re not entirely sure how this is going to proceed tonight in terms of what we’re going to see in the show but we do know that we have four finalists with four songs, of which two have the same lyrics and very different arrangements.


Nathan Waddell
March 3, 20167:01 pm

There’s a VERY rowdy audience, lots of Israeli flags and the Te Deum theme. It feels like we’re in for a good show!


Nathan Waddell
March 3, 20167:04 pm

We’re been introduced to the four contestants in a VT that also featured Israeli Eurovision highlights over the years


Nathan Waddell
March 3, 20167:06 pm

Our four finalists are singing “Heroes” and introducing themselves with Måns style visual graphics!


Nathan Waddell
March 3, 20167:10 pm

We’re going to an ad-break. Ever seen Israeli adverts before? No, me neither… until now!


Nathan Waddell
March 3, 20167:17 pm

I’ve just seen Renuar Jeans advertised with a backing track of what sounded like a Hebrew version of Zara Larsson’s “Lush Life”. I can’t say I ever needed or wanted to hear that song in an alternative language.


Nick van Lith
March 3, 20167:18 pm

Good evening everyone! I’m here now, joining in for the ad break.


Nathan Waddell
March 3, 20167:19 pm

We are finally back with our two hosts!


Nick van Lith
March 3, 20167:23 pm

We’ve just been introduced to the jury panel and we’re now seeing two contestants on stage, Hovi Star and Ella Daniel.


Nathan Waddell
March 3, 20167:25 pm

I haven’t a clue what we’re about to see.


Nick van Lith
March 3, 20167:25 pm

We’re starting with Ella Daniel and her hair seems to be a thing. Either it’s really (yes, really) high) or she builds a little forest in it. Today, the choice has gone to high hair.


Nathan Waddell
March 3, 20167:27 pm

She’s singing “Happy” by Pharrell Williams in an acapella soulful style, think Amy Winehouse.


Nathan Waddell
March 3, 20167:28 pm

Ooh I spy Harel Skaat on the jury there too!


Nathan Waddell
March 3, 20167:30 pm

She scored what looked like 67% of whatever the bar represented.


Nick van Lith
March 3, 20167:31 pm

The audience is booing Harel Skaat there. Think he wasn’t all too positive there…


Nathan Waddell
March 3, 20167:32 pm

Right now, I’m thinking that I should have considered learning Hebrew instead of French and Spanish because I really haven’t a clue what’s going on here.


Nathan Waddell
March 3, 20167:33 pm

Hovi Star is up next and we’ve heard the word “Eurovision” perhaps a billion times in his VT. I wonder if he wants to go to Eurovision, Nick?


Nathan Waddell
March 3, 20167:35 pm

Nathan’s favourite song of 2014 is up next. Better not ruin it.


Nathan Waddell
March 3, 20167:37 pm

An unnecessary key change pushes Hovi over the 68% he required to beat Ella Daniel, he was singing “Stay with Me” by Sam Smith.


Nick van Lith
March 3, 20167:38 pm

Hovi, who, I have to admit, delivers a pitch perfect vocal rendition of Stay With Me. He reaches 79% and that beats Ella’s score. She was happily singing along backstage.


Nathan Waddell
March 3, 20167:38 pm

He actually ended with 79% on the popularity bar. Does that mean we’ve eliminated Ella Daniel or something?


Nick van Lith
March 3, 20167:46 pm

Back after another ad break and now we’re having Gil and Nofar on stage.


Nick van Lith
March 3, 20167:50 pm

As Gil is singing, we’ve found out tonight’s procedure. Ella is almost eliminated, but… not quite.

The idea: The winners of both duels (so that’s Hovi Star + the winner of Nofar/Gil) progress to the final immediately, where they’ll sing their Eurovision songs. The jury will however choose a third act to join that line-up. So in this first round, we’re losing just one act.


Nick van Lith
March 3, 20167:52 pm

Gil is doing The Show Must Go On. She has a very deep and dark vocal – a voice you’d recognise immediately. Israel doesn’t agree: just 49% and only Harel Skaat gave her a positive vote. The other three went negative.


Nathan Waddell
March 3, 20167:52 pm

Gil has found some notes that didn’t exist in the original Queen version of “The Show Must Go On” and she didn’t even hit 50% on the voting bar. Not much of a high bar now for Nofar to hit to qualify to the “superfinal” that we will call it.


Nathan Waddell
March 3, 20167:58 pm

Nofar will sing an X Factor song… that’s all I caught from her introduction! She needs just 50% of the vote with this Hebrew language song she’s presenting to the audience and viewers.


Nathan Waddell
March 3, 20168:00 pm

We have no visual on the vote percentage but her star has risen, and she bows to the crowd as she enters the last part of her song. It will be Nofar vs Hovi… and one other in the superfinal!


Nick van Lith
March 3, 20168:01 pm

Nofar has cracked that 50% with a song in Hebrew. She seems to convince both jury and the audience with this. Despite not liking the sound of Hebrew, Nofar does bring across her emotions more than anyone else tonight.


Nick van Lith
March 3, 20168:06 pm

Before we find out who’s joining the superfinal, Nadav Guedj is performing ‘Jump’.


Nathan Waddell
March 3, 20168:07 pm

He still doesn’t look younger than me. Has anyone seen his passport for proof of his age?


Nick van Lith
March 3, 20168:08 pm

Trust me, Nathan, he does look younger than you. He doesn’t look 17 though.


Nathan Waddell
March 3, 20168:09 pm

Bitch please, I don’t look OLD!


Nathan Waddell
March 3, 20168:10 pm

We now get “Golden Boy”!


Nick van Lith
March 3, 20168:10 pm

We had Golden Boy just now. With the selfie at the end. Except Nadav forgot it was happening.


Nick van Lith
March 3, 20168:11 pm

Guess what? Ad break!


Nick van Lith
March 3, 20168:25 pm

No surprises in the jury choice, Ella Daniel is through.


Nathan Waddell
March 3, 20168:33 pm

So we finally move onto the crucial moment. The three Eurovision songs will be performed and we will have a winner.


Nathan Waddell
March 3, 20168:36 pm

Hovi Star will perform his interpretation of “Made of Stars” first.


Nick van Lith
March 3, 20168:39 pm

Hovi Star – Made Of Stars

There’s no doubt that this man can sing. I’m still not sure on the interpretation of this song though. It’s all a bit generic and it doesn’t stand out enough for me. It gets 68% from the audience and that’s a decent score – but will it be enough?


Nathan Waddell
March 3, 20168:39 pm

A great rendition of “Made of Stars” with SUCH a brilliant top note towards the end leaving the other two girls looking VERY worried indeed. 68% of the vote is decent but is it decent enough?


Nathan Waddell
March 3, 20168:43 pm

It has just occurred to me that both the contemporary radio hits we’re hearing on these Israeli commercials are probably covers in order to cut costs… because the more I hear it, the less “Boom Clap” sounds like the one that Charli XCX sung for “The Fault in Our Stars”…


Nathan Waddell
March 3, 20168:43 pm

And that’s definitely not Tove Lø singing “Stay High” either!!


Nick van Lith
March 3, 20168:50 pm

Up next is Ella Daniel with Somebody Out There, including leather gloves, an odd little outfit and, of course, high hair.


Nathan Waddell
March 3, 20168:51 pm

It’s worth pointing out, Nick, that she’s used that extensive commercial break for a dress-change.


Nathan Waddell
March 3, 20168:56 pm

Ella’s started off, what sounds to me, as flat but in other places she’s singing sharp… her voice can’t seem to decide where the vocal line is on occasions and she’s deservedly eliminated for her wavering vocal, only receiving 58%.


Nick van Lith
March 3, 20168:57 pm

Ella Daniel – Somebody Out There

So here we had the Eurovision fandom’s favourite. After not getting the jury support in her duel, she now got the jury going to the fullest and they look appalled that Ella has not managed to get to 69%. She gets stuck at 58%. She sings a little flat, but that’s part of her. This would make more of an impression than Hovi the fading star.


Nathan Waddell
March 3, 20168:58 pm

I completely disagree with Nick, I absolutely believe that Hovi Star would make more of an impact on the Eurovision stage with his song and voice than Ella’s song and her voice.


Nick van Lith
March 3, 20168:58 pm

So basically, Ella is out. Made Of Stars will be the Eurovision song for Israel, that’s a sure thing.


Nathan Waddell
March 3, 20169:01 pm

Nofar Salman, is now on the stage ready to present her version of “Made of Stars”. She needs to beat Hovi Star’s 69% to win the Israeli ticket to Stockholm. It all comes down to this. Three minutes. Two interpretations. One winner.


Nathan Waddell
March 3, 20169:03 pm

It’s worth mentioning that Hovi Star has his mum with him and they both look very nervous just in the audience.


Nathan Waddell
March 3, 20169:07 pm

Oh my god. I wasn’t watching her sing. I was watching the vote bar. It SHOT up in the second verse about 15% in ten seconds… and then practically stopped. You’d never believe it but she ended with 66% which means… we have a winner…


Nathan Waddell
March 3, 20169:07 pm

HOVI STAR WITH 68% WINS RISING STAR! His version of “Made of Stars” will represent Israel in Stockholm this May!


Nathan Waddell
March 3, 20169:11 pm

That is it from tonight’s show, join us again soon!

Technical Lead: I am a huge pop music fan and I love Rihanna, Years & Years, Sia, Zara Larsson and Sam Smith. However, more importantly, I love Eurovision. Melodifestivalen is my favourite National Final and if things look out of place on the website, it's most definitely my fault.

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