Finale of Israeli Reality Show 'Rising Star' Attracts 1.12 Million Viewers

Channel 2 television singing competition achieves rating of 33.3 percent.

The finale of the music program "Rising Star," produced by Channel 2 broadcaster Keshet, marked up an impressive achievement Tuesday night with 1.12 million viewers. The winner of the finale was contestant Evyatar Kurkus. The entire "Rising Star" series, not including the final, achieved a rating of 33.3 percent – just short of the Israeli version of The X Factor hosted by Bar Refaeli, which has so far reached a rating of 33.8 percent.

An unusual moment occurred during the finale when host Assi Azar announced that the two ultra-Orthodox contestants, brothers Aryeh and Gil Gat, would leave the studio during the performance of the young Tina Ibragimov. The reason was the halakhic prohibition on a man hearing the singing of a woman who is not a relative. The brothers finished second in the competition.

The unique feature of the Israeli program’s format, developed by Keshet and the production company owned by Tmira Yardeni, is a special application created for the program that viewers could download to their mobile phones. The application connected their votes to a “dual screen” which showed photographs of the viewers who had voted, and rose each time one of the contestants advanced to the next stage.

The successful new format has been sold in recent months to 20 countries, including Britain (ITV), the United States (ABC), France, Russia, Italy and Germany.

Ronen Akerman