A rebooted version of X Factor Israel is set to select the country’s artist for Eurovision 2022. The switch from The Next Star was confirmed in April, along with the news that Simon Cowell would be on the judging panel. However, that is no longer the case. The US entertainment industry magazine Variety reports that he’s pulling out for personal reasons.
Simon Cowell will not judge Israel’s X Factor or Eurovision 2022 selection
A spokesperson for Reshet, the broadcaster behind X Factor Israel, said that Cowell was withdrawing from the project “for his own reasons.” The network declined to say whether the music mogul would be involved in the production in any other way outside of judging.
According to Variety, Cowell’s staff reached out to Reshet with “legitimate concerns” over his participation in the show following the recent violence between Israel and Palestine. Representatives for the famously snarky British talent show judge have yet to publicly respond. However, a Jewish News source close to Cowell says he was “bitterly disappointed” that he could not take part for “a number of reasons.”
Cowell is still recovering from a broken back which he received in a bike accident last year. At the time, he was forced to withdraw from several TV commitments, including the 2020 season of America’s Got Talent.
X Factor Israel judges confirmed
As previously confirmed, Eurovisision 2018 winner Netta Barzilai and singer Aviv Geffen will be on the judging panel. They’ll be joined by three more Israeli singers Ran Danker, Miri Mesika and Margalit Tzanani.
They will be charged not only with finding an X Factor winner but also Israel’s next Eurovision star. Between 2015 and 2020, the country has been represented by the winner of rival TV talent show The Next Star. Eden Alene was automatically reselected for 2021 after the 2020 contest was cancelled. However, KAN put the process to tender earlier this year and Next Star broadcaster KESHET 12 lost out.
Reshet won the bid, meaning the rebooted X Factor format will now be used. This makes Israel the second country to link its local version of X Factor with Eurovision. Malta used the talent show to select its acts in 2019 and 2020.
Eden Alene is actually the reigning X Factor Israel champion having won the last season in January 2018.
Are you disappointed that Simon Cowell won’t be involved? Are you excited to see the show anyway? Let us know below.