Stellar performance. Meimon
Photo: Channel 1
Israel advanced to the Eurovision Song Contest finals in Kiev early Friday, as the song "The quiet that remains," performed by Shiri Maimon, ranked seventh in the contest's semi-final stage.
25 countries competed for only 10 slots that ensured a place in the finals.
Maimon, who rose to fame by advancing to the final stage of the local version of American Idol a few years back, sang the latter half of the song in English.
Traditionally, countries competing in the Eurovision contest sent songs in their native tongues, but in recent years more countries have increasingly resorted to English-language songs, which are easily understood by the audience and are perceived to have a better chance of winning.
"I believe the fact that I sang in English helped me advance to the finals," Maimon told Channel 1 TV following the competition. "The feeling is amazing. I don't think it was easy, as there were amazing performances and amazing songs; we were a little worried, but we succeeded. I'll see you all in the finals on Saturday."
Maimon walked on stage in a gold-colored dress with a long train, accompanied by three background singers and an acoustic guitar player.
Dana International, winner of the 1998 Eurovision contest, said in response to Maimon's accomplishment "I have only three words to say to her: You did it."
"She deserved to reach the final because she gave an excellent performance," she said.