Tomorrow sees the final of “Kdam 2013” – The Israeli search for their entry at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Sweden. With the line up complete we have taken the opportunity to review the 10 finalists. Who do we have then?
1 Judah Gavra – “Hayom” (Today)Tomer Hadidi (m), Yehuda Gavra (l)
2 Moran Mazoz – “Ten li siman” (Give Me A Sign)Shuli Yosef (m/l)
3 Ron Weinreich – “Love Is One” Yoad Fekete (m), Ron Weinreich (l)
4 Shany Zamir – “Forever” Shani Zamir (m/l)
5 Hila Ben David – “Beautiful” Gary Gazarkh (m/l)
6 Ran Sandler – “Find A Way” Doron Gal (m/l)
7 Meital De Razon & Asi Tal – “Toda La Noche” (All Night) Asi Tal (m/l), Meital De Razon (m/l)
8 Moran Mazor – “Rak bishvilo” (Just For Him)Chen Harari (m), Gal Sarig (l)
9 Vladi Blayberg – “We Are Free”Doron Plaskov (m/l), Sa’ar Badishi (m/l), Noy Alooshe (m)
10 Kathleen Reiter – “Ad Elay” (Ton Me) (m/l)Dor Daniel, Sahar and Patricia Ori Cohen
Here is a brief video with short clips of the songs but we will go into detail below
1 Judah Gavra – “Hayom”
Well singing about being beautiful must come easily to Judah as he brings model boy band looks to his performance. This song has enough “bromance” and male dancers in it that you could be mistaken for thinking that you tuned into the final of Melodifestivalen by accident. High dance energy that would take several red bull’s for me be able to keep up with Judah. A good mixture of beats and tempo makes this a good dance song. I would suggest that Judah interacts with his dancers more as opposed to walking from one side of the stage to another. Hey with plenty oh “Oh Oh Oh Ohaaaaas” this gets a strong vote from me. Like this if you like classic Melodifestivalen music.
2 Moran Mazoz – “Ten li siman” (Give Me A Sign)
Well a stunning singer with a stunning ballad. This song just keeps building and building like an Irish property developer during the early 2000’s. Strong passion in her voice and a nice harmony with a male vocalist adds texture to the song. She seems to get lost in the emotion of the song on stage which is rather endearing but needs to make sure that she maintains contact with the audience. A much simpler dress will make this song feel more contemporary and a lot less 1990’s. Amazing voice that would stand out against the high volumes of ballads coming through Eurovision at present.
3 Ron Weinreich – “Love Is One”
This is a pop/rock song with a hint of the far east to it. Ron is confined to a wheelchair but you completely forget that after 2 seconds as he puts in a vocal and stage performance that many other acts would love to have. His connection with the camera and his band is electric! This has a beat that does not slow down at all and just grabs the audience. This is a song that would go down a storm at Eurovision. With a hook in the song “We are created as one” – it is like it was specifically made for this year’s Eurovision “We are one” theme. So far the song to beat.
4 Shany Zamir – “Forever”
The audience at Kdam certainly liked this song. It starts off as a “Trallad” (my word for a Trance/ Ballad). This is a club anthem. A verse that builds up to a high-octane chorus. With its mixtures of tempos it is in the same vein as “Euphoria”. 2 male dancers accompany Shany and they do their job of supporting her and not overtaking her on stage – which happens too many times at Eurovision. I would question why they put Shany in a ball gown for a contemporary song. This is the only disconnect that I can see in the song. Catchy and one that you can get your “groove on to” – if they say that these days!
5 Hila Ben David – “Beautiful”
A stunning female singer accompanied by a pianist on stage. A good voice for this ballad. However the juries at Eurovision these days are asked to vote for songs that are current, contemporary and could be a commercial success. This could do that but back in 1990’s as I could imagine Celine Dion or Whitney Houston singing this back then. The reoccurring line in the song “Don’t hate me cause I’m beautiful” feels somewhat self-indulgent and could deter people from liking and voting for the song. Reminiscent of a Eurovision of days gone by.
6 Ran Sandler – “Find A Way”
Looking like Harel Skaat’s older and cooler brother, Ran has it all. The song, the voice, the looks and the stage presence. A contemporary ballad that I could see doing well in the charts today. A simple stage performance with his 2 female and 1 male backing singers. If I could make one suggestion that would be that the women are not dressed like Scarlet O’Hara from “Gone With the Wind”. They could go for a modern though subdued look like what Ran has done. Their flamboyant dresses detract from an otherwise faultless performance. Ran knows how to sell a song to the camera and one gets the feeling he is just singing to you – if only! A very strong contender that if it went to Eurovision would have no problem qualifying for the final.
7 Meital De Razon & Asi Tal – “Toda La Noche
“Oh is that your maracas I see you playing with?” Yes it is carnival time as Meital and Asi take you to the sun drenched Brazilian beach with this trumpet infused dance track. This is one of those holiday songs that you would hear while on vacation that everyone would bring back home and become a huge hit over Europe. What I also love about this performance is that it has one of those wonderful dance routines that Israel used to give us – like Izhar Cohen, Ofra Haza and Eden did all those years ago. As the song is so catchy you will forgive the slightly pitchy vocals from some of the backing singers – but that can easily be fixed. Dressed in gold and white/black costumes, I would suggest they try to make the image less Lady Gaga as people will draw improper comparisons. Go for an edgy summer look to fit the song. Love this song as it is instant, simple and unashamed pop.
8 Moran Mazor – “Rak bishvilo”
I didn’t know that Linda Woodruff was participating in Kdam 2013? Another big ballad from Moran. She has a wonderful range to her voice that helps build the song. Moody and atmospheric would be how I would describe this song. However the styling is completely wrong. Another ball gown in Kdam but this dress has a plunging neckline that ….. well scares me to be honest. A black dress with structured/architectural white lines – I could see Sue Sylvester from Glee wearing this track suit inspired dress. This again is just the wrong styling for Moran. It detracts from a god song and is not contemporary enough to match the song itself. Remove the glasses and a simple elegant white dress and a wind machine and this song goes from mid table to contender.
9 Vladi Blayberg – “We Are Free”Doron Plaskov
Always good to start on a positive. Vladi certainly bring energy to his performance. You can see that he wants to win Kdam. Strong choreography with his 2 make backing dancers. Good backing vocals too. They support Vladi as opposed to carrying the song. The song is very Melodifestivalen sounding – think of Måns Zelmerlöw and Cara Mia 2007. A good dance track but Vladi’s voice needs some work on the pitching as it sounded as though he was singing through his nose as opposed to his mouth at parts. Again I would have to question the styling as there are various styles on the stage. The backing singers look as though they are off to a cocktail party, the dancers are in a somewhat ethnic ensemble and Vladi looks like he has stepped out from the One Direct closet. All conflicting and breaks the performance up. A good song but others stand out more in the contest.
10 Kathleen Reiter – “Ad Elay”
Lighting lighting lighting – You can never say that enough as so many performances get it wrong but this is beautiful. Several simple spotlights concentrated on Kathleen in a semi circular formation. It looks very strong on stage. Another ballad in the contest which might split the vote for them all. But this is a strong song. Lyrically and musically a strong composition with a wonderful light and shade quality to it. Kathleen’s voice is faultless and you believe every word that she is singing. Styling of her is spot on. A simple long dress so the other contestants take note. Now I do find one fault in this performance. There is a rather large cowhide drum placed upright on the stage and a female drummer banging away on it. Well she is doing it in a lack luster manner and serves no purpose on the stage except to distract you from Kathleen. It is obvious that she is not beating the drum and it is there for show – but that is a show and tell that we don’t need. The drum has to go as it is out of place like an igloo in a desert. A contender if the changes are made.
By far the best Kdam final in some time and one that I will be tuning into tomorrow. As for a winner it will be very close. If i had to pick 2 ballads I would have to say Kathleen Reiter and Ran Sangler and for an up tempo choice it has to be Meital De Razon & Asi Tal and Ron Weinreich. However there are many songs in this final that should – if the changes are made – would easily make the final. Good job Israel.
Authour/Website Founder and Editor In Chief – Garrett Mulhall
Source – Eurovision Ireland
Photograph courtesy of IBA
YouTube Videos courtesy of the embedded owners