Israel’s Channel 13 has been busy preparing its search for the country’s Eurovision 2022 singer and song. And, as Israeli web site EuroMix reports, this Saturday from 21:30 local time, the world will finally get a chance to see how it’s all going with the premiere of X Factor for the Eurovision Song Contest.

In the old days — when Israel chose its act through Kdam — fans had to wait until the final days of national final season to learn who’d fly their flag at ESC. But now Israel is playing early bird by launching its national final at the end of October.

It’s doing so with some major star quality, too. The judging panel consists of Eurovision 2018 winner Netta; Israeli rocker Aviv Geffen; Margalit Tzan’ani, who is famed for her Israeli oriental musical repertoire; Eyes Wide Open actor Ran Danker; and singer and actress Miri Mesika. Those judges represent several ends of the musical spectrum, suggesting this year’s contest has a place for everyone and room for big surprises.

EuroMix say that these early episodes will focus on the auditions stage — a regular feature of X Factor franchises around the world — and that the show’s grand finale will take place in January.

Israel’s most recent Eurovision singer — Eden Alene — won the last edition of X Factor Israel, emerging from the Teens category back in 2018. But to get to Eurovision she had to compete in the 2020 edition of The Next Star — Israel’s successful Eurovision format that saw all of its winners from 2015 onwards make the grand final at Eurovision.

In the show’s finale, the finalists will sing the actual song they’d perform at Eurovision. The last time Israel combined their artist selection with a song selection was back in 2016. Then, Hovi Star’s version of “Made of Stars” won the ticket to Stockholm. In 2020 and 2021, Israel had public selections to decide on a song (after choosing the entry internally between 2017 and 2019), but they were separate from the artist selection.

Israel’s X Factor for Eurovision 2022 — potential artists

Back in July, EuroMix and other Israeli media reported that the following 18 acts had appeared on the ground at auditions. This weekend we will finally know if there’s any truth to it.

  • Adi Cohen & Liron LevKdam 2011 second runner-up; A Star Is Born 4th-placer.
  • Amit Ben Zaken – Footballer, brother of the famous singer (and X Factor Israel runner-up) Eden Ben Zaken.
  • Ana Spitz – Indie pop musician, 33.
  • Anna RF – Israeli-Indian ethno-folk ensemble (below: “Weeping Eyes”).
  • Ataliyah Pierce – American-Israeli, The Voice of Israel semi-finalist, performed the hook of “Roots” by Eden Alene on HaShir HaBa 2020.
  • Dafna Reuveni – 18, granddaughter of the late Ehud Manor, writer of Eurovision winner “A-Ba-Ni-Bi” and runner-up “Chai” (as well as six other entries).
  • Gaydaa – Syrian-born Druze singer, runner-up on the singing show Eyal Golan Kore Lakh.
  • Ido B Zooki – MTV Award-nominated rap-EDM duo, had several Israel #1’s in the mid-’10s (below: “Ten li levad”).
  • Inbal Bibi – Semi-finalist in the first season of X Factor Israel, seen as a fan favourite.
  • Linet Menaşi – Award-winning Turkish fantezi pop singer, participated in Kdam in 1993, finishing 10th.
  • Maor Titun – Successful songwriter, The Voice of Israel participant.
  • Maya Simantov – 39, singer for Ofer Nissim, successful songwriter (below: “If You Only Knew”).
  • Or Cohen Akad – Winner of Band Project, teen actress.
  • Sapir Saban – Winner of the fourth season of The Voice Israel, sings in Hebrew and Turkish.
  • Shalva Berti – Participated in Kdam Eurovision 1985, 1992, and 1995, coming 11th, 4th, and 9th. Reportedly sang the demo of “Can’t Stop a Hurricane” (Israel NF 2021).
  • Shimi Tavori – 68, one of the most celebrated Israeli artists of all time, released 31 albums, participated in Kdam Eurovision 1991 and 1993 (below: “Khai et ma sheyesh”)
  • Shira Atias – Soul singer, participated in The Four in 2018.
  • Yiftah Deri – Soul singer, cousin of Israeli MP Ariye Deri (below: “Avir”)

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Eurovision fan
Eurovision fan
1 month ago

What a dump approach for finding esc song -_-

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
1 month ago
Reply to  Eurovision fan

I don’t mind them using X factor to find the artist, but choosing an original composed song for Eurovision within X factor is what makes me worried for Israel. What was wrong with internally selecting or having a separate song selection for the winner after they win Talent show contest like this? I can just see the potential for Israel doing badly next year, if the songs are bad. I could be wrong and Israel will be fine, but right now, I’m casting wary eye on Israel.

Azaad
Azaad
1 month ago

Using X factor to select your Eurovision Act will never yield a winner. I know Destiny did well, but when she competed in 2020 the process become a glorified internal selection for all intent and purposes.

Alo
Alo
1 month ago
Reply to  Azaad

Netta won after winning a talent show that is very much like x factor.

Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  Azaad

As long as Israel qualifies to the final through any given singing talent franchise, nobody is gonna rock the boat. They’ll use a talent show as a means to expose many new, old and forgotten faces for domestic purposes. The Eurovision component will become relevant once the number of contestants is narrowed down to about 10. Israel needs to rediscover what makes it sound unique and how it can work it to its advantage otherwise it will continue to reach bottom 10 results (2017, 2019, 2021).

Alo
Alo
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

I don’t like those talent shows, but I still think it’s too early to say Israel won’t have good result or good song.

Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  Alo

You’re right – it’s too early, but those bottom 10 results indicate that the selection process creates a disconnect between the artist and the song assigned to him or her: Either the artist isn’t involved in the creative process or the song production period is hastened due to shortage in time. It’s a lose-lose situation, but luckily it’s been avoided this season. The problem this year is the lack of interest on the part of many songwriters due to the short submission window and the low number of songs.

Maya G
Maya G
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

You’re looking at this the wrong way. Yes Israel had a couple of not-the-best results in recent years, but they didn’t qualify to the final for 4 consecutive years (2011-2014), and since they started choosing their representative through a musical reality show they qualified every single year and won the contest. Reality TV isn’t the problem, it’s the solution. Not to say that the show or the format make for good Eurovision entrants, they might as well select the singer internally. The only benefit here is that whoever wins the X factor will be backed by a very motivated and… Read more »

Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  Maya G

You make a good point about the motivational and financial aspects of the selection process. I totally agree with you on 2018, 2020 and 2021. The quality of the submitted songs, especially in 2001 and the low submission threshold for 2022 leave much to be desired. I’d hate to see a disconnect between the potential of the amazing talents and the lack of contemporary and skillful songwriting. Judging by the first episode of the X-Factor, it’s so refreshing that the show is pinpointing the Eurovision target with respect for the contestants, constructive criticism and the right does between humor, passion,… Read more »

Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

correction: 2021, right dose. Straight to the point judging intertwined with life stories that don’t overshadow too much the actual purpose of the show. No intermediaries like Asi and Rotem is such a breath of fresh air. Liron Weitzman’s role is so far confined to short interjections as it should be.

GojoSatoru
GojoSatoru
1 month ago

I wouldn’t be too surprised if it turns out that Inbal Bibi wins.

Alo
Alo
1 month ago
Reply to  GojoSatoru

I think sapir has a chance too

Rob
Rob
1 month ago

There were only 130 songs submitted to the selection committee and one of the reasons for this ‘walk out’ or lack of faith in the system between a portion of the songwriters and Kan broadcasting is that the identity of the 4 X-factor finalists became known on September 14th (the episodes were recorded between July and September) while the submission window was limited to a 4 week period between Mid-September to Mid-October. The time line was perhaps too strenuous for some or maybe it has something to do with the fact that the expert jury selecting the songs is comprised… Read more »

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

You know I was just about to write about the 130 song submission and you beat me to it. Yeah, my biggest concern with this selection approach is the songs. How the heck can you write good distinct songs in such a short period of time When you don’t even really know the finalists very well? They’re more likely to be Generic and half baked so that they can mix and match between singers. Unless there’s a revamp down the line, I just see this as a recipe for disaster, the kind that can make a country fail to qualify… Read more »

Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  BadWoolfGirl

The song selection committee still got a few tricks under its sleeves: If it’s not satisfied with most of the submissions, it can add any song submitted between 2019-2021, approach specific songwriters or commission a song registered at the society of musicians, composers and music publishers after September 1, 2021. The X-FACTOR method of selecting this year’s artist/s backfired on Kan: It didn’t see it happening this way, especially when the terms and conditions for participation were forthcoming and sympathetic towards both the songwriters and the artists, but the short song submission period is the weakest link here. Each of… Read more »

Alo
Alo
1 month ago

The filming has been done already and according to people that were there the final lineup is strong.
Now let’s hope they will find suitable songs for them..

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago

I would vote for Anna RF in ESC. Fact. Intreeguing and interesting with the never-seen-before factor. I love it!