The Shmooze

Bar Refaeli Chokes Up on Israeli 'X-Factor'

By Allison Kaplan Sommer/Haaretz

  • Print
  • Share Share
Haaretz
Israeli X-Factor judges with Bar Refaeli (on the right).

By now, we expect reality singing talent programs to be emotionally manipulative. It’s all part and parcel of the ratings game, and has been from the very first episode of American Idol, the show that spawned the genre. Without these narratives, after all, how else could so many people be convinced to watch performance after performance of mostly mediocre singers?

But sometimes - in spite of ourselves and our awareness of the corporate marketing machine behind the tear-jerking personal stories of the starry-eyed hopefuls – we are moved. Come on, who couldn’t help feeling great when they saw dumpy middle-aged Susan Boyle blowing away the judges back in 2009 with her rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” in the YouTube moment that will live forever?

And so it happened again on Saturday night, as the endlessly-hyped Israeli version of the Simon Cowell cash cow “The X-Factor” made its debut. Was it pure coincidence that over the week leading up to its premiere, Cowell both helped raise $20 million for Israeli soldiers and said he was considering learning to dance the hora? Hmmm…

Anyway, the first audition show shot at massive Nokia Stadium was all the franchise is meant to be: big flashy, exciting, star-studded, with the biggest gem in the crown being show host Bar Rafaeli, arguably Israel’s most successful export.

The fare wasn’t anything new or original. We’ve all - even here in Israel - seen it before on American Idol, The Voice and now on the new original Israeli format Rising Star, coming soon to Europe and for which there may be a bidding war in Hollywood even as we speak.

There are so many shows at this point that it’s getting fairly hard to remember which is which.

But some individual performers stand out. On Sunday, it was young Daniel Amit’s audition that stole the show, not necessarily in terms of vocal power, but emotional power. The smiling curly-haired brown-eyed 16 year old stepped onto the stage wearing a T-shirt saying “I am Proudly Autistic.”

Read more at Haaretz.com


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: x factor, bar refaeli

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • Does Israel have a racism problem?
  • This 007 hates guns, drives a Prius, and oh yeah — goes to shul with Scarlett Johansson's dad.
  • Meet Alvin Wong. He's the happiest man in America — and an observant Jew. The key to happiness? "Humility."
  • "My first bra was a training bra, a sports bra that gave the illusion of a flat chest."
  • "If the people of Rwanda can heal their broken hearts and accept the Other as human, so can we."
  • Aribert Heim, the "Butcher of Mauthausen," died a free man. How did he escape justice?
  • This guy skipped out on seder at his mom's and won a $1 million in a poker tournament. Worth it?
  • Sigal Samuel's family amulet isn't just rumored to have magical powers. It's also a symbol of how Jewish and Indian rituals became intertwined over the centuries. http://jd.fo/a3BvD Only three days left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • British Jews are having their 'Open Hillel' moment. Do you think Israel advocacy on campus runs the risk of excluding some Jewish students?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.