Which Eurovision hopeful has the ‘X Factor‘ to make it all the way to Turin? Israel is one step closer to finding out.

On tonight’s semi-final of X Factor Israel, the show being used to select the country’s Eurovision act this year, the six remaining contestants competed in knock-out duels, with the victors moving on to the second round. The winners of the duels were determined through a combined mix of scores from the judges and in-studio audience.

After the dust had settled, the three artists who advanced were:

Click the names below to view the performances. 

  • Inbal Bibi (performing a booming cover of Meghan Trainor’s “No”.)
  • Michael Ben David (beginning his outrageous performance of “Efes Ma’amatz”, a song by Static & Ben El feat. Netta, backstage in the makeup chair.)
  • Eli Huli (serenading the audience with a croon-y, remixed rendition of Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You”.) 

The three advancing singers moved on to the second round of competition, a truel that would guarantee two of them a spot in the finals.

Click the names below to view the performances.

  • Michael Ben David gave a more subdued, emotional performance, covering Marina Maximilian’s “Bo’er Bi HaShinuy”.
  • Eli Huli pulled at the heartstrings, with his touching delivery of Robbie Williams’ “Angels”.
  • Inbal Bibi wowed with an earnest, joyful performance of Eden Hason’s “Shkiot Adumot”.

After the second round, the judges voted, and the two artists guaranteed a spot in the X Factor Israel finale were … Inbal Bibi and Eli Huli! Let’s meet our first two finalists:

Inbal Bibi

Inbal Bibi was mentored by Israeli rocker and producer Aviv Geffen during this season. The 24-year-old talent actually placed 5th on the first season of X Factor Israel in 2013. After working steadily as a singer and actress for the last decade, Inbal returned to the show that launched her career, with hopes of representing Israel at Eurovision.

She has covered songs by Cindy Lauper and Elton John (see above) on this season, as well as Celine Dion’s 1988 winning Eurovision entry “Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi”.

Eli Huli

23-year-old Eli Huli was NOT mentored by Aviv Geffen on this season. As it happens, he was coached by the Israeli rocker during the fourth season of The Voice Israel, the same season won by fellow semi-finalist Sapir Saban. He reached the finals of that season, eventually placing 4th. He has released a number of singles since then, including a cover of Justin Bieber’s “Stay” in December of last year with fellow finalist Inbal Bibi.

He has covered songs by Keane (see above), Twenty One Pilots, and Ed Sheeran during the course of this season, as well as a stripped back version of Netta‘s 2018 winning Eurovision entry “Toy”. He narrowly escaped elimination after last week’s shows.

Michael Ben David will join the three singers who lost their duels tonight (Shahar Edwi, Anna Stefanie, and Sapir Saban) in Thursday’s second semi-final. All four performers will compete again for the two remaining slots in the X Factor Israel finale.

The majority of this season was taped earlier this year, with scores from the judges and in-studio audience determining which singers advanced each week. Public voting will begin next Sunday, when the two songs selected for all four finalists will premiere. The finalists will perform their songs in the penultimate episode of the season, on Thursday, February 3, with the Grand Final scheduled for Saturday, February 5.

Which of the finalists are #YOU rooting for? Are #YOU still grieving the loss of Linet last week? Sound off in the comments below, in our forum, or on social media @ESCUnited.

Special thanks to @stateofesc2020 for ALL their guidance.

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One Comment

  1. […] Bibi advanced to the finals of this season of X Factor Israel. (For more information on THEM, click here.) Tonight, the four remaining singers battled it out for the two empty slots in the next round. […]

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