Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Israel 2016 - Ella Daniel - Somebody Out There

Israel declared their runners and riders today, and they are a surprisingly interesting bunch. The lad Hovi Star looks like a handful, but is undoubtedly going to give it large in the live format, and Gil Hadash has a sultry little slowburner on offer too. The only relatively weak link is Nofar Salman, who while a decent singer, is a tad hamstrung in the fact that she's singing the same song as Hovi, and is likely to be blown out of the water, performance wise. One is tempted to say "Nofar, no good", but that's probably a little cruel.

But for us, there's one song that stands out head and shoulders above the rest. Ella Daniel belts out her tune with an Adelean swagger and a bluesy rasp, and offers perhaps the most complete song of the four while she's at it. We could see this one doing very decently if it makes it all the way to Sweden.

The difficult thing to assess though is each candidate's relative popularity at home. They've all been through an X Factor style selection process, so those of us with little knowledge of Hebrew or the finer points of Israeli telly who don't know the backstories may be missing a trick - or at least some useful betting info. But of it were on songs alone, I reckon this stands a tiny box ahead of the others. 

Do any of you lot have any further insight into who's the biggest character on their telly show?


  1. Ella Daniel is definitely my favourite by far

  2. Her abilities are unbelievable. She will become an international star.

  3. It's hard to tell who the public would like the most, because all of the shows until now where prerecorded, and therefore no televoting was used. Only the studio audience and the judges could vote, and since each of the judges had 10% of the total score they were the ones who eventually made it or broke it regardless of the audience opinion.
    100% televoting (via app) will be used in the final though, still unclear whether throughout the show or only in the super final. Israeli Eurofans suspect the show is rigged for Nofar Salman, but last year there were similar suspitions regarding a contestant who eventually came fourth in the final, so who knows.
    I agree Ella is the best of the bunch, hopefully she'll fly the Israeli flag this year.

  4. So, dear Roy, I suspected that by "lot with further insight" you meant me, being Israeli. Nick and myself have been watching the entire show, with all the auditions, eliminations, backstories and dramas and this is what we've come up with. It was quite clear that the four finalists were as orchestrated by the production as humanly possible and each of the four finalists each represents very different aspects. Hovi Star is not new to the talent-competition scene as he was in an earlier version of Rising Star that was called A Star Is Born and from the get-go declared he "wants to be in Eurovision". He's also openly gay, though it wasn't mentioned at any point during the show's broadcast. Gil Hadash was one of the (judges) favourites and was actually saved by them to join the quarter finalists. She's a bit of a dark horse in the competition with her haunting and introvertive style of performance. She can definitely sing but I fear she might be a bit distant from her audience because of that. Nofar Salman, IM humble O, is there mostly as tokenism. She represents an entire demographic of viewers and Middle Eastern-music-style lovers. She's incredibly talented but also quite unpolished and she tends to be all over the place, so unless she really upped her game in the past few weeks, I would dismiss her as a contender. And then there's Ella. For all the talent-competition veteran watchers out there - She was featured in one of the first audition episodes (if not the first) and was also featured last on that episode. She was loved by the judges from day 1. She has never struggled or faltered during the performance shows, she was constantly mentioned as the "full package", "seasoned performer", "the real deal" and such superlatives. She's Azerbaijan-born, so she kinda fits all demographics possible. She brought an entire band and performed a song in Creole for the semi-final, for crying out loud! Everything about her participation in the show seems catered for a win. And that would be our choice as well.