'The X Factor Israel' drew to its conclusion on Saturday night, resulting in Israel getting its artist and song to send to the 66th Eurovision Song Contest in May. Michael Ben David won the grand final, and the honour of representing Israel, with the song 'I.M'.
4 hopefuls competed in Saturday evening’s final of The X Factor Israel, each bringing with them the songs that they hoped to be heading to Eurovision with. However, only 1 of them could secure victory on the night, thereby claiming that ticket from the Nokia Arena in Tel Aviv all the way to Turin. The artists in contention for that win were Sapir Saban, Inbal Bibi, Eli Huli and the eventual victor Michael Ben-David.
Israel’s entry to the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest was selected in 2 rounds. In the 1st round, our 4 finalists performed a cover song, with Sapir Saban being eliminated after the vote. In the 2nd round, our 3 remaining finalists then performed their potential Eurovision songs with the winner being selected by a combination of a public vote (50%) and 2 jury groups, 1 consisting of The X Factor Israel judges (including the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 winner Netta!) and another made up of a professional committee, with both contributing 25% of the vote.
In a fiercely close result, Michael Ben-David won over Eli Huli, with a 214 score to Eli’s 213.
It was a competitive evening of music and entertainment in Tel Aviv, which has put Michael Ben David in good stead for the experience that lies ahead of them in Turin in May.
Michael Ben David – I.M
Michael Ben David is 25 years of age and hails from Petah Tikva, a city in the Central District of Israel that lies just 10 kilometres east of Tel Aviv. He’s spoken quite openly on the show about the difficulties he faced as a child, from being bullied at school for singing in a high-pitched voice, to the trouble that his mother initially had accepting him when he came out as gay. Michael has noted that this has contributed to him finding a lot of inner strength in himself, a trait which has been applauded by his X Factor Israel mentors. His song I.M is a suitably themed anthem of self-acceptance.
Israel at the Eurovision Song Contest
Israel made its debut in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1973 as the first non-European country granted permission to participate in the event. The EBU allowed Israel to participate since the country’s broadcaster was already one of its members.
Only 5 years later, in Paris in 1978, Israel won the Contest for the very first time with the song A-Ba-Ni-Bi, performed by Izhar Cohen and the Alphabeta. They’ve gone on to win a further three times since then: in 1979, in 1998 and in 2018.
Ding Dong. Say no more. Israel’s position on the league table of Eurovision Song Contest wins is comfortably high.