This year Israel has used the X Factor format as national final for the Eurovision Song Contest. Through various casting rounds and live shows, Michael Ben David has convinced the Israelis. The song “I.M.” is about self-acceptance. Netta has been in the jury and seemed to be very fascinated by Michael. Have a look at his performances:
Michael Ben David was born in Ashkelon, south of Tel Aviv in 1996, but grew up in Petach Tikwa an eastern suburb of Tel Aviv. He studied singing and dancing in the age of 13, has a Georgian father and a Russian-Ukrainian mother. When Michael turned 16, he had his coming out. He had to face a difficult time in school and with his family. The song “I.M.” conveys his strong message to be accepted. Judged by the video-clip and his live performance, Michael likes to dress up, to dance in a crazy and expressive way. The disco song matches with the message and the choreography.
Finals: 39 (10 since 2004)
Top 10: 20
In 2019 Israel hosted the Eurovision Song Contest for the fourth time in history. This victory made Israel to an even stronger contender in this competition. Tel Aviv has been the host city for the first time and made a brilliant impression of the city and country and the Israeli broadcaster KAN produced a great an unforgettable show, despite of many hurdles.
Israel joined the Eurovision Song Contest in 1973. The debut entry “Ey-Sham” by Ilanit made a very good 4th place in Luxembourg. Since then, the Israeli entries brought a new energy in the contest full of good music, dance and joy. In the ESC history of Israel there were many strong, outstanding and unforgettable songs. Israel is also popular for great choreographies, especially in the 80’s and 90’s the traditional formation dance was strongly used in the Israeli contributions and has been mimicked from other countries later, but not as successfully. The traditional “Hora” dance, which is also danced in Kibbutzim has become a new dimension, when this was the name of the 1982 entry “Hora” sung by Avi Toledano (2nd place).
The first victory could make Izhar Cohen and the Alphabeta with “Abanibi” in Paris 1978. One year later, when Israel hosted the ESC for the first time in Jerusalem, Israel was able to win in its own country with “Hallelujah” by Gali Atari & Milk & Honey. The year after, Israel paused and the Netherlands jumped in as a host country.
The extraordinary victory of the Dana International was legendary, when she sang her anthem “Diva” in Birmingham 1998, she was the first transgender to win the ESC. And another 20 years later, Netta could follow this 20 years victory interval with “Toy” and brought the ESC back to Israel.
Due to the introduction of the Semi Finals in 2004, Israel is not always among the finalists, since 2004, Israel could only qualify ten times. The ESC is enjoying a great interest and popularity in Israel and has huge viewing figures every year.
4x 1st place “Abanibi” | Izhar Cohen and the Alphabeta (Paris 1978) “Hallelujah” | Gali Atari, Milk and Honey (Jerusalem 1979) “Diva” | Dana International (Birmingham 1998) “Toy” | Netta (Lisbon 2018)
2x 2nd place “Hora” | Avi Toledano (Harrogate 1982) “Hi” | Ofra Haza (Munich 1983)