Eurovision 2017: Israel Advances to Finals With IMRI's 'I Feel Alive'

IMRI's Mediterranean pop beat, 'I Feel Alive', is the grand final opening performance

Imri Ziv from Israel perform the song "I Feel Alive" during the Final for the Eurovision Song Contest, in Kiev, Ukraine, May 13, 2017.
Imri Ziv from Israel perform the song "I Feel Alive" during the Final for the Eurovision Song Contest, in Kiev, Ukraine, May 13, 2017. Efrem Lukatsky/AP

Israel's entry into the 2017 Eurovision contest, "I Feel Alive" by IMRI, on has advanced into the annual singing competition's final round, held on Saturday in Kiev, Ukraine.

Imri Ziv, 25, won the right to represent Israel in the annual competition after winning this years "Rising Star" singing competition TV show.

The tune, "I Feel Alive," is sung entirely in English and features a Mediterranean pop beat reminiscent of esteemed hits such as Eden Ben Zaken's "Malkat Hashoshanim" ("Queen of Roses"), Sarit Hadad's "Lama Li" ("Why Me") and "Yesh Li Ahava" ("I Have Love in Me") by Noa Kirel. The composers-lyricists of the song are Dolev Ram and Penn Hazut.

Ziv sung backup in Israel's previous two Eurovision appearance. The Israeli delegation is building on the success of the singer, who was unknown until he participated in the program and chose a pop and clubby style with a catchy character.

Israel's last two contestants both made the finals. Nadav Guedj finished ninth with "Golden Boy" in 2015, while Hovi Star placed 14th last year. The contest will be held in Kiev this year, after Jamala won with her political song "1944," which annoyed the regime in Moscow. Ziv can expect stiff competition in the semifinal. There will be many rivals from the Balkan countries and Eastern Europe like Estonia, Bulgaria, Belarus and Lithuania, which traditionally vote for each other.

Israel's IMRI performs the song "I Feel Alive" during the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 Semi-Final 2 at the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev, Ukraine, May 11, 2017.
GLEB GARANICH/REUTERS