Lisbon 2018

Netta Barzilai wins “HaKokhav HaBa” and will represent Israel in Lisbon!

Jonathan Mergui finished in second place with Riki Ben Ari taking third

After months of competition, HaKokhav HaBa L’Eirovizion has crowned its winner! As a result, Netta Barzilai will represent Israel at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon. The Israeli song will be internally selected at a later date.


The story of the final

Round one

The final of the competition was divided into two rounds. Firstly, the four remaining contestants competed against each other in duels. The winners of duels would immediately progress to the second and final round. Results are determined using an app vote and are displayed live on screen in the form of a percentage. The in-studio panel was able to “boost” an artist’s percentage if they so desired. Therefore, the results were as follows:

  • Duel 1: Jonathan Mergui (91%) vs. Chen Aharoni (72%)
  • Duel 2: Riki Ben Ari (82%) vs. Netta Barzilai (75%)

The jury then selected one of the two duel losers as a wildcard to also take part in the final round. The lucky artist was Netta Barzilai.

Round two

In the second and final round, the three remaining acts performed once again. This time, several jury groups, including the five-member in-studio panel, Nadav Guedj, Hovi Star and Imri Ziv, each allocated 8, 10 and 12 points to the acts in order of preference. The public vote points were then allocated to each act depending on their share of the vote. Overall, the final results were:

  1. Netta Barzilai – 210 points (104 jury points + 106 public vote points)
  2. Jonathan Mergui – 205 points (88 jury points + 117 public vote points)
  3. Riki Ben Ari – 125 points (78 jury points + 47 public vote points)

Therefore, Netta won the honour of representing Israel in Lisbon in May. The voting system created a thrilling competition!

Song to be selected at a later date

At the beginning of this month, the Israeli broadcaster launched an open call for interested songwriters to submit up to two songs each. The deadline for submissions is on February 19th. Then, a panel chosen by the broadcaster will pair a song with tonight’s winning artist.


Are you pleased with the result? Furthermore, do you think Netta can give Israel their fourth consecutive qualification to the Eurovision final? Let us know your thoughts using the comments section below and engaging with us on social media @ESCXTRA!

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