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🇮🇱 Xtra Insider 2020: We Review Israel!

Welcome to Xtra Insider, our new series which will give you an insight into how well each country was statistically likely to do this year, as well as what the team at ESCXTRA think of your favourite entries into (what would have been) this year’s contest! Today, we analyse and review Israel.

Yes, this year’s contest has been cancelled…but that doesn’t mean we can’t love the songs! In this series, we’ll review each and every entry that would have taken part in this year’s Eurovision. On top of this, we’re introducing a new analysis section in which we take a look into each country’s history and how likely they would have been to do well this year. Our honest and brutal reviews and analysis will keep you entertained throughout what would’ve been the Eurovision season! We will also each give points using the usual Eurovision points system (12, 10, then 8 down to 1), and create an ESCXTRA leaderboard of the entries!

Today, we’ll be giving analysis and reviews of the Israeli entry, ‘Feker libi’ by Eden Alene, from Dominik, Lisa, Luke, Sami, Simon and Tom O. Let’s get started!

Animated GIF

Israel’s history at Eurovision

Israel have one of the highest win ratios in Eurovision. They have won four times in 42 contests. Israel have the rare honour of winning in two consecutive contests, having won in 1978 with Izhar Cohen and Alphabeta singing the song “A-ba-ni-bi” and as stated before winning again on home soil in 1979 when Milk and Honey singing “Hallelujah”. Israel have also created history especially with the LGBTQ+ community by sending Transsexual singer Dana International in Birmingham in 1998. Israel had to wait another 20 years for their next win. When Netta beat Cyprus’ Eleni Foureira singing the unique Mizrahi inspired EDM song “Toy” with 529 points.

This year’s entry

In 2020 Israel held a two phase National Final. The first phase was the talent show HaKhokhav Haba, a multi month Reality TV show. This selected Ethiopian-Israeli singer Eden Alene. The second phase was another televised show HaShir Haba L’Eurovizion. She presented 4 songs to the Israeli public. They were:- “Savior in the Sound”, “Roots”, “Rakata” and “Feker libi”. “Feker libi” written by Doron Medalie won the selection with 282 points and was selected to represent Israel for 2020. Despite the contest being cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Israel announced that Eden Alene would be entered to compete in 2021.

How does this kind of song tend to do in the contest?

“Feker Libi” was written by Doron Medalie. He is a highly successful Eurovision songwriter for Israel having two top 10s. His first was with another Mizrahi inspired Dance-Pop song “Golden Boy” by Nadav Guedj and the aforementioned “Toy” by Netta. Israel end to do best when sending songs in their native Hebrew then English. With all four of their winners being sung either in full Hebrew or partially Hebrew. Israel’s winners have also all been on the more up-tempo end of the spectrum. “Diva” and “Toy” are both heavily influenced by electronic genres. “Diva” is Eurodance and “Toy” is EDM, both however didn’t stray from Mizrahi music that is symbolic as the sound of Israel. So maybe “Feker Libi” had all the hallmarks of a classic Israeli success story in Eurovision.

The Reviews

Dominik

I love the energy in this song. The verses are good and have a great build-up for the chorus and this would’ve been a great hit in the arena and the EuroClub. I mean it’s impossible to sit still to this and Israel delivered once again. The drums in this are giving me LIFE! Looking forward to what Eden is giving us next year.

Lisa

What a celebration of musical diversity Israel gave us! It was almost as if they had 20 songs and threw them into the 4. Any of the selection was going to be high in my ranking, such was the quality on offer. Eden has an incredible stage presence and vocal delivery, despite the stamina required for ‘Feker Libi’. This takes me back to the days of ‘Haba Haba’. From the energy and feel good vibes I get as the beats surge through my body to the collective of languages!

Luke

I don’t know who Libi is but I am totally on board with this song that I’m assuming is about what a total Feker she is. When I first heard this and the chorus hit, it was one of those “Oh okay HELLO” moments, this is a bop!

Sami

As the name of the national selection suggests, Israel found a star. I could watch Eden performing for hours! However, this song is not as good as she is. It is bit of a mess, as it didn’t only mix four languages, but also four different genres, that don’t really go together.

Simon

Eden has a good voice and plenty of energy. But this feels like a handful of song have been wedged together, fighting against each other rather than integrating. None of the combatants have come out on top.

Tom O

This song is ambitious in trying to get your attention with it’s diversity. If you don’t like one part of the song you’ll suddenly be hit with something different to get your attention. Amongst the lineup of songs I give it credit for standing out from the crowd. Nicely done Israel.

Scores

Costa10Nick7Tim7
Dominik8Riccardo10Tom O8
Isaac5Rigmo10Tom R12
Lisa10Rodrigo4Vincent7
Luke10Sami6Wiv5
Matt6Sean12
Nathan P10Simon1

Therefore, Israel receives 148 points in total!

Leaderboard

Israel becomes our new second place with a score of 148.

  1. Bulgaria – 163
  2. Israel – 148
  3. Serbia – 139
  4. Ukraine – 135
  5. Australia – 117
  6. Belgium – 109
  7. Czech Republic – 104
  8. San Marino – 97
  9. Albania – 97
  10. Poland – 76

Tomorrow, it will be the turn of Moldova to be reviewed. For now, take another listen to Israel’s entry below!

Do you agree with our reviews of Israel? What are your thoughts on Feker libi?

Let us know in the comments below and on social media @ESCXTRA

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