Israel's intended contender for the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest is considering withdrawing from the competition due to professional disagreements, a source involved in the details said Sunday.
Michael Ben David, 25, won a ticket to the prestigious singing contest after winning the Israeli edition reality TV competition The X-Factor in early February. He is set to represent Israel with the song I.M which was written especially for the Eurovision, set to take place in the Italian city of Turin in May.
According to the source, Ben David was very excited after winning the X-Factor and had high hopes about his chances of winning the upcoming Eurovision.
However, the young singer notified producers in recent meetings that he may pull out of the competition if things "don't work out."
"Michael brings his whole heart to the competition, but he understands that there are policies involved that deprive him of his right to represent Israel with dignity," the source said. "He will not go to the competition only to bring shame on the flag."
Public broadcaster Kan, who will broadcast the Eurovision in Israel, said in response: "Michael Ben David is currently working hard to prepare his number for the Eurovision Song Contest as well as for the filming of the official music video. [He] intends to represent Israel with dignity on the world's largest singing stage."
The rumored dispute that cast a shadow over Ben David's run in the international singing competition follows a scandal that has somewhat dampened the young singer's X-Factor victory.
During the live result announcement on X-Factor, host Liron Weizman announced that second finalist Eli Huli finished with 96 points, while the scoreboard showed 95.
Had Weizman's announcement been accurate, the two finalists would have been tied neck-in-neck, and Huli would have had a chance to win.
Israel will participate in the second semi-final contest, which will take place in Italy on May 12. The final will be held two days after, on May 14. Both will be broadcast live on Kan 11.