Israel: X-factor to determine the country's Eurovision 2022 representative

Israel: X-factor to determine the country's Eurovision 2022 representative
Tuesday, 06 April 2021

  • The X-Factor show will be Israel's national selection format, in order to determine the country's Eurovision 2022 representative.

    Israel was the first nation to confirm its participation in Eurovision 2022. Even though the Eurovision 2021 is still ahead of us, KAN, confirmed that next year it will adopt a selection assingned to an external body which will select through a competitive procedure - similar to the 2015-2020 representative selection process, during which the representative was selected by Keshet with the "Next Eurovision Star" program. The potential musical program had to be a program that has already been produced and broadcast in the past in Israel or around the world. 

    Two weeks ago the Israeli broadcaster released  the terms of the tender with the main programs in the race being “Next Star”  and the “X Factor” . Now it has been confirmed that X-factor will be the show to determine the next Israeli Eurovision hopeful. The show led by Simon Cowell, will feature as judges  Neta Barzilai and Aviv GeffenAccording to the local media reports, a significant factor in choosing "The X Factor" and turning its back on "The Next Star" was a much higher financial bid from Reshet, which will be the one to produce the show and air it on their own Channel 13. 

    Reshet will be covering financially the major part of expenses of the Israeli Eurovision 2022 participation whilst KAN will be the one to select the entry. The song will be selected in a special show which also will be produced and financially covered by Reshet but it remains unknown whether the show will be aired on Channel 11 or Reshet's own channel.



    The Story so far

    IBA began collaborating with Keshet in 2015, when Nadav Gueji was chosen to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest as part of the "Next Star" program. The collaboration also continued with the Israeli Broadcasting Corporation after the closure of the the Broadcasting Cooperation and among the selected acts was the ESC 2018 winner, Netta. In December 2019, the corporation decided to end its collaboration with Keshet and hold a pre-Eurovision show on Channel 11  The cancellation of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2020 led to the continuation of the collaboration with the singer Eden Alene , who had won "The next star for the Eurovision 2020".

    On the other hand X-factor premiered on Israeli television in 2013 and continued for several seasons up to 2018. Now it will return on screen to select the country's Eurovision 2022 hopeful, marking the second country that will be using the same show as their national selection method after Malta which selected its ESC acts in 2019 and 2020 through X-factor. 


    Israel in Eurovision 

    Israel has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 42 times since making its debut in 1973. Israel’s first appearance at the contest in 1973 was successful, with Ilanit finishing fourth. Israel has achieved 4  victories, in 1978 and 1979, with first two wins for Izhar Cohen and the Alphabeta, with the song “A-Ba-Ni-Bi” and Gali Atari and Milk and Honey, with “Hallelujah” .

    Its third victory came in 1998, with Dana International and “Diva”  and its fourth in ESC 2018 with Netta’s song Toy. The country’s best results apart from  its victories  were the second-place finishes for Avi Toledano in 1982 and Ofra Haza in 1983. Former winner Izhar Cohen returned to place fifth in 1985. Duo Datz finished third in 1991, before Israel achieved . Eden then finished fifth in 1999. Israel has hosted the contest three times, in 1979 and 1999, both in Jerusalem and in 2019 in Tel Aviv. 

    After the introduction of the semi-finals in 2004, Israel has failed to reach the final six times. In 2014, the country failed to qualify for the fourth consecutive year, when Mei Feingold finished 14th (out of 15) in the second semi final, despite being one of the favorites to qualify. In 2015, Israel reached the final for the first time in five years, with Nadav Guedj finishing ninth. The only Israeli entrant to achieve a better result in the 21st century before their 2018 win was Shiri Maimon in 2005, who gave the country its tenth top five result in the contest, finishing fourth. In 2019 Kobi Marimi winner of the Rising Star, rerpesented Israel at the Eurovision Song Contest on home soil  with his entry Home.

    Last year Eden Alene  won the talent show “The next Star” and the ticket to Rotterdam where she was going to perform the nationally selected song Feker Libi. Due to the covid-19 pandemic the contest was cancelled interrupting Eden's Eurovision journey. However Eden must find a new song for next year’s competition after EBU’s decision to not allow to the Eurovision 2020 entries to compete in the 2021 edition of the contest .

    However Eden Alene will have the chance to complete this year her Eurovision journey and will be performing "Set Me Free" in the 12 position of the first semi final in  Rotterdam on May 18. 


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