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 Lev – Kdam 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”)