Imri Ziv will be representing Israel in Eurovision 2017 after winning the reality show ‘The Next Star’.
(photo credit: RONEN AKERMAN)
Imri Ziv, Israel's entrant in this year's Eurovision, advanced Thursday night to the finals of the international singing competition.
Ziv sang his heart out with "I Feel Alive," written by Dolev Ram and Ben Hazut. While his vocals weren't the strongest of the night, they were enough - together with his wicked grin and devilish wink - to send him through to the next round.
Thursday was a glittery, glitzy night with all the flamboyant, over-the-top things you expect from a Eurovision competition.
The Belarussian singers performed on a makeshift boat, the Irish performer stood on a hot-air balloon and the Swiss singer wore a floor-length dress in a shade of Big Bird yellow.
The Croatian singer, clad in one silver half-glove (and a black suit) alternated between both Italian and English, and an impressive falsetto of sorts and a deep operatic bass.
The Romanians yodeled, the Hungarians rapped and the Austrian perched on the corner of a giant crescent moon.
But above all, there were sequins as far as the eye could see - on the men, on the women, on the audience, probably all over the floor and stuck in the soles of the shoes of everyone in attendance.
Compared to some of the competitors, Ziv gave a relatively pared-down performance. Clad in all black, but showing off some impressive biceps, Ziv danced around the stage with his back-up dancers moving and shaking, never forgetting to give his 100-watt grin to the camera.
This wasn't even Ziv's first Eurovision - he performed as a backup singer last year for Hovi Star and in 2015 for Nadav Guedj.
Israel was joined by Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Hungary, Netherlands, Norway and Romania in advancing to the finals on Thursday night. And those countries join those who made it through Tuesday's semi-final: Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Cyprus, Greece, Moldova, Poland, Portugal, Salvador and Sweden.
Six countries already had guaranteed slots in Saturday night's final: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK and Ukraine.
The singers advance based on the votes of both a team of five jurors from each country in that semi-final and votes from viewers at home. You cannot vote for your own country's entry.
The finals of the Eurovision competition will take place Saturday night in Kiev, and will be broadcast live on Channel 1, one of the IBA's final broadcasts.
Israel has won the competition three times since it started participating in 1973: 1978, 1979 and 1998.