With four wins under their belt, Israel is a fierce competitor when it comes to Eurovision. After a bit of a slump between 2011 to 2014, Israel has since not missed a Eurovision final, even winning the contest in 2018. This year, Eden Alene was set to represent the nation with the song Feker Libi – would she have continued the qualification streak?
Anita (Eurovision Union)
Song and Vocals
Hearing the studio versions of the four competing songs in the running to represent Israel, I was adamant that Feker Libi was one of the weaker options. Knowing that Doron Medalie had co-written the song made a lot of sense, because Feker Libi had that same style of chaos as Netta’s winning entry Toy. As it stood, I didn’t particularly enjoy this entry.
There was a turning point for me after hearing the live performances. Eden Alene is an incredible singer, and she made all four songs come alive on stage. With that said, I started to see the appeal in Feker Libi. It’s a bit bonkers, and has many different elements, but overall seems to come together well. On first listen, I could see how the big changes in style between choruses and verses would be jolting, but the more you listen to this song, the more natural the progression is while listening to it. If they were to remove one part of the song, I would say that the ending is the part that has an air of ‘this doesn’t need to be here’ but if you’ve lasted that far in the song, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to hear yet another change.
The melody and the use of language is very reminiscent of Toy, but if I compare the two, it took me longer to warm up to Toy than it did for Feker Libi. I think that came down to seeing the live performance with Eden Alene, as her vocals are just so spot on the entire time.
Performance and Act
Based off previous years, I think Israel would have delivered on a strong stage performance, especially with a song like this. They may have played upon the ethnic nature of this song, or simply opted for a colourful show full of dancing. I don’t think the national final performance was particularly refined, and needed work but I am certain it would have been stage ready by May.
Even if the stage performance didn’t quite meet the mark, Eden is such a strong performer that she would have been an audience favourite, both in the arena and for the viewers at home. Her energy is infectious.
Next Up: 2021
I am super pleased that Israel will be bringing Eden back for 2021, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see Doron Medalie as the songwriter once again. Whether they will opt for another public song selection or not is uncertain as it’s still early days, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see that format again. Either way, I think Israel will have a strong package going into 2021.
I couldn’t picture a scenario where Israel didn’t qualify from the final this year, and had the contest gone ahead, I am certain they would have been among the 10 qualifiers. The energy of this song is great, but Eden is an exceptional performer and I can’t wait to see what they deliver in 2021.
Song and Vocals
Perhaps it is a bit dated, but I like ‘Feker Libi’. Especially the Arabic instrumentation and movements in the chorus, giving it something memorable. And with so much going on, with dancing and movements, Eden is still able to keep her vocals under control.
Towards the end, the song changes a bit and turns into something else. I think that is a missed opportunity. Three minutes are short and it is always best to stick with one genre. But overall I think Israel had a good song.
Performance and Act
I think the intended song for Israel was well delivered. Eden knows how to find the camera, and the camera knows how to find her. The interaction with her dancers was sincere, and her performance was just fun to watch.
I think Israel would have polished their act even further for Rotterdam, but once again, that is something we will sadly never get to see.
Next up: 2021
Israel has already announced they stick with Eden. And that is only fair. She won a talent show dedicated to Eurovision. And after that, they looked for a song for her, in a special competition with four tracks. Israel will do the same in 2021, I am sure. Giving us one pre-selection show with a couple of songs in a couple of genres.
I would have been very surprised if Israel would not have been a finalist in 2020. I think they are on the right track here, and think that this artist will get another good song, perhaps even better, for the contest in the Netherlands in 2021.
Additional Scores from Eurovision Union and ESCDaily editors:
Average Score: 6.8/10
What do you think of Feker Libi? Follow our Eurovision 2020 reviews here.