Israel’s X Factor for Eurovision 2022 started airing in October but finally it is heading for the home stretch. The grand final of the selection — which will feature the finalists’ potential songs for Eurovision — is scheduled for February 5. And we also have the four finalists: Eli Huli, Inbal Bibi, Michael Ben David, and Sapir Saban. The eight potential Eurovision songs will be released on Sunday.

X Factor for Eurovision 2022 reaches the grand final round

The final cast that made it to the live shows consisted of 17 artists of many different forms and genres. Some fan favourites were eliminated on the way to the final, namely Gai’da (who placed 13th), Linet Menaşi (8th), and Ilay Elmkies (7th).

The four finalists are all young pop singers, all of whom have garnered their respective fan bases in Israel. It is difficult to predict who the favourite to win is, but according to Euromix.co.il’s poll (which correctly predicted the four qualifiers to the final), Inbal Bibi is the audience’s favourite. Having placed first in four of five live shows, she also seems to be the jury’s favourite. However, anything can change once we hear the songs.

The final four of X Factor Israel

Eli Huli

23-year-old Eli Huli from the city of Lod is a pop singer specialising in sentimental ballads. He is known for participating in The Voice Israel five years ago, where he made it to the final. Eli was the first artist to secure a spot in the grand final of X Factor, winning the semi-final round with his cover of “Angels” by Robbie Williams.

In the Eurovision Challenge round, he performed a modified version of Netta’s “Toy”.

Inbal Bibi

Inbal Bibi is 24 years old from the southern town of Meitar, and has already participated in X Factor Israel before. Nine years ago, long before the show was a selection for Eurovision, she placed fifth in the first season. Inbal is also famous as a teen actress. She sang various genres in the show, but specialises in pop, and scored the highest amount of points in the season with her cover of Meghan Trainor’s “No” (97%).

In the Eurovision Challenge round, she performed Céline Dion’s “Ne partez pas sans moi”.

Michael Ben David

25-year-old Michael Ben David from the city of Petah Tikva (originally Ashkelon) is known for his falsetto vocals and indie-pop style. He was born to a Ukrainian Orthodox Jewish family, and previously shared that he suffered abuse growing up for being gay. His performance in the contest was very consistent, never being up for elimination throughout the entire contest. The judges often praised his performing ability and stage presence. 

In the Eurovision Challenge round, he performed a modern rendition of “Emor Shalom” by Chocolate, Menta, Mastik (Israel 1976).

Sapir Saban

Sapir Saban, 27 from Yehud-Monosson, is a Mizrahi/soul singer known for her classic Middle Eastern vocal tone. She sings in both Hebrew and Turkish, but auditioned on the show with the English-language “Hopelessly Devoted to You”. Israeli media pointed her out as an early favourite to win early on in the show, but after placing in the bottom of the pack three episodes in a row and making it to the final on a tie-break, she goes into the final a dark horse.

Sapir did not take part in the Eurovision Challenge round due to contracting COVID-19. Below is her performance of Arkadi Duchin’s “Ruakh yam”.

So, what’s next?

The four finalists will be given two original songs each, one of which will be their entry for the X Factor grand final. These songs were tailored to the four finalists (that were known to the songwriters since August, when the shows were taped) and submitted to KAN over the last quarter of 2021 and chosen by an expert committee.

Israel will reveal the eight songs on 30 January, and the public (50%), jury (25%) and committee (25%) will choose the song each artist will perform at the X Factor final on 3 February. Much like Eden Alene’s 2020 and 2021 song selection, the name of the program will be “Our Song for Eurovision” (HaShir Shelanu LaEirovizyon). It is likely that one of the four artists will not reach the final round of the grand final, and won’t perform their song at X Factor at all.

On 5 February, the artists will perform a cover and their Eurovision song, and after the jury and televote cast their votes, we will officially have the Israeli entry.

Who do you think should win? What type of song would you like to see each artist perform? Let us know in the comment section!

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
26 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Rob
Rob
6 months ago

“It is likely that one of the four artists will not reach the final round of the grand final, and won’t perform their song at X Factor at all.” – That’s correct: the 4 finalists will each perform a cover song on the first round of the X-Factor final and one of them will be eliminated and denied the chance to perform his selected original song. So only 3 out of the 8 suggested songs will be actually performed live (with Playback). That is a really dumb idea which goes against the idea of having 4 finalists with an equal… Read more »

Manuel de Sousa
Manuel de Sousa
6 months ago

Sapir is the one I’m excited for

Héctor
Héctor
6 months ago

Yeah.. I’ll go with Eli Huli or Sapir Saban. Though I’m judging based on the videos above.

Adam
Adam
6 months ago

Hoped that Anna Stefani will win with her unique voice but surprise.

LawStudent
LawStudent
6 months ago

Make sure you watch and listen to Inbal’s performance of “No” — I think Israel does its best when it sends unexpected bops like “Toy” and “Diva” and “Golden Boy”. I think Inbal has the most potential of the four to get us there and I strongly believe she will be selected.

Alex
Alex
6 months ago

wow can’t believe Linet was rejected, maybe an ageist thing.

This kinda of process where they give songs to new artists worked in 2018, 2020 and 2021 and we got very nice entries but it failed in 2019 so curious to see how it goes.

willchrisiam
willchrisiam
6 months ago

‘…and the public, jury and committee will choose the song each artist will perform at the X Factor final on 3 February.’ ‘On 5 February, the artists will perform a cover and their Eurovision song, and after the jury and televote cast their votes, we will officially have the Israeli entry.’ That was so confusing to me. Took me 3 reads to understand if the final was on the 3rd or 5th. Also why are they deciding which 4 out of 8 songs are gonna be the entries if not all 4 of the artists are guaranteed to reach the… Read more »

Alo
Alo
6 months ago
Reply to  willchrisiam

Each artist has 2 songs but only one song for each will proceed to the final

Maria
Maria
6 months ago
Reply to  willchrisiam

All of them are in the final, that won’t change.
Kan will release 8 songs and each artist will “lose” one song in the “Ha-Shir Ha-Ba” event.
Then we will have 4 finalist, each has only 1 song. the winning song will be chosen in the final of the X-Factor.

Yeah, they only did it to milk Eurovision a bit more before the NF season is over. they might as well have just presented the 4 final songs and that it.

Maria
Maria
6 months ago

Only Sapir Sapan is interesting enough to discuss anything about winning potential.
Honestly the “20-something pop singer” trend that has stuck to us since 2015* is boring and tiring.
We need to spice things up if we want to reach high scores again. Our formula is old (and honestly, half effective).

Send Sapir with some beautiful ballad in Hebrew and that’s it. No need for more American wannabe pop songs.

*I know he was 16 at the time, the point still holds

Park Shin Hye
Park Shin Hye
6 months ago
Reply to  Maria

Exactly i also think Sapir is the best one. She is kinda underrated. If Israel chooses another performer , Sapir should try for Turkey one day. Arabesque is a style of music created in Turkey and it could work very well at Eurovision

Maria
Maria
6 months ago
Reply to  Park Shin Hye

Arabesque wasn’t created only in Turkey. It was developed throughout the Arabic world, as the name suggests.

Park Shin Hye
Park Shin Hye
6 months ago
Reply to  Maria

The definition of it is acording to its Wikipedia Page : ”Arabesque is a term created by Turkish musicologists for an style of music created in Turkey.” The same article says : ”Though Arabesk was accused of having been derived from Arabic music, the scales (makam) used identify it as music, that, though influenced by both Arabic and Western music, is much more Turkish in origin.” I believe that Arabesque is a Turkish music genre with Arabic melodies and painful lyrics. What i meant so say this country should participate with this music style because it is a piece of their true… Read more »

Alo
Alo
6 months ago
Reply to  Maria

Without songs there is no point to discuss

Maria
Maria
6 months ago
Reply to  Alo

After years of bland pop songs in English like “Made of stars”, “I feel Alive”, “Home” , “Set me free”, I’m really not interested in hearing yet another American-wannabe pop song. we all know it’s gonna be bad.

#synthsareawesome
#synthsareawesome
6 months ago
Reply to  Alo

That’s the problem with Israel’s selection format. Yes, “Eurovision” is more about performance than songs themselves, so picking the right performer is very important. But we’re living in streaming age and the new voting demographic doesn’t buy quality show with awful song as easily as previous one did. In this age you really need to give people the song.

Alo
Alo
6 months ago

Also some correction to the article.
Sapir Saban kinda did compete in the eurovision challenge week but one episode later with “shvil habriha” from kdam 1986

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
6 months ago

I think Inbal Bibi is the obvious choice as a performer. Hope she gets the right songs cause Israel could place high this year with a good song interpreted by this amazing artist.

GojoSatoru
GojoSatoru
6 months ago

I love how you copied Chris Malta’s comment, but just swapped Michael for the actual obvious choice.

Park Shin Hye
Park Shin Hye
6 months ago

Turkish woman has so much potential but i’m feeling like one of the Boys will win

Chris Malta
Chris Malta
6 months ago

I think Michael is the obvious choice as a performer. Hope he gets the right songs cause Israel could place high this year with a good song interpreted by this amazing artist.

Gil
Gil
6 months ago
Reply to  Chris Malta

He is for sure the most diverse, he can act, dance and sing, and he does them all perfectly.
At the beginning I wanted eli to win but my heart goes with Michael for now…

Alo
Alo
6 months ago

It has been also reported that stav beger(toy, roots) produced 6 out of 8 songs.

Azaad
Azaad
6 months ago
Reply to  Alo

Isn’t she just a lyricist though? I recall that Doron Medalie was the one who composed Toy.

Alo
Alo
6 months ago
Reply to  Azaad

He*
They did both together. But anyway doron medalie said back then that stav was the one who brought the modern beat to the song.

Ana
Ana
6 months ago
Reply to  Azaad

Doron Medalie is not a producer, he’s a guy that relies on good producers like Stav to make something coherent out of the messy pile of garbage that he calls a “song”.