Israeli-born Shira Gavrielov, a contestant who’s already had a No. 1 hit back in the Jewish state before moving to the United States, performed a great rendition of “Valerie” by the late Jewish singer Amy Winehouse.
During the Israeli’s audition, Carey, who is in her first season as a judge on "American Idol," greeted Gavrielov with a lovely “shalom” and later described her singing as “sababa,” the Hebrew word for “cool."
“I hear you are from Israel, so shalom,” Carey said to Gavrielov, who was introduced on the show as an Israeli expat living in Brooklyn. Then, surprising her fellow judges, Carey wished Gavrielov a warm and sincere “Shana Tova,” or happy new year.
Of course, we must presume that Carey was referring to the Jewish New Year or Rosh Hashana when she made her comment since the segment was filmed back in September, not long after Rosh Hashana took place, and way before January 1, 2013.
And, it looks like the Hebrew might continue to fly back and forth for a while at least, as Gavrielov impressed all four judges enough that she was sent through, and is on her way to the next round in Hollywood.
“I just want to say that I love you,” fellow judge Nicki Minaj told Gavrielov, calling her a “superstar.”
“Aba?” she asked. Then, switching to English, she smiled and said, “I’m going to Hollywood!”
Reprinted with permission from Shalom Life