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X Factor creator and judge Simon Cowell
Photo: Getty Images
X Factor creator and judge Simon Cowell

Israel's X Factor to pick next Eurovision entry, with help from Simon Cowell

Reality singing show's British creator and notoriously tough judge is expected to arrive in the country to pick the next offering for the international contest, he will join former winner Netta Barzilai and star Aviv Geffen on the panel

Ran Boker |
Published: 04.06.21, 20:36
Israel's entry to the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest will be decided on the country's version of the X Factor and judged by the singing show's notoriously blunt British creator Simon Cowell, national broadcaster Kan said Tuesday.
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  • Cowell, who has been judging the British version of the competition since its first season aired in 2004, will arrive in Israel to help decide the winning song.
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    X Factor creator and judge Simon Cowell
    (Photo: Getty Images)
    The show is hugely popular in Israel and is hosted by international model Bar Refaeli with top Israeli musicians offering their mentoring and judging services.
    Netta Barzilai, who gave Israel its fourth Eurovision win in 2018 with the song "Toy," will join Cowell and renowned musician Aviv Geffen on the judges' panel to decide which song will represent the country.
    Cowell's involvement in the new season of Israel's X Factor show was first reported last month, while the Eurovision connection was announced Tuesday.
    (Netta Barzilai's winning performance at the 2018 contest)
    Barzilai tweeted last month that she was glad she would be beside Cowell on the panel and not facing him from the stage as he weighs in on the performances.
    Her victory at the Eurovision's 2018 grand final in Lisbon, Portugal brought the competition to Israel the following year, with the country's cultural hub Tel Aviv acting as the host city.
    Israel will represented by Eden Alene singing "Set Me Free" in this year's competition, which will be held in Rotterdam in May.
    (Eden Alene is Israel's 2021 Eurovision entrant)
    Alene was picked to perform at the 2020 contest in the Dutch city, b was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
    For the past seven years, Israel's entry to the international signing competition has been decided by the reality singing show "The Next Star."
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