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Israeli Eurovision Winner Netta Barzilai Feels ‘Very Lucky’ to Join Simon Cowell as New Judge on ‘X Factor Israel’

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Israel’s Netta Barzilai, winner of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest, laughs during an interview with Reuters at her home studio, in Tel Aviv, Israel, July 8, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Nir Elias.

Israeli singer and Eurovision winner Netta Barzilai will join British television personality and mogul Simon Cowell for the upcoming fourth season of “The X Factor Israel.”

“I’m very lucky to be sitting next to Simon and not in front of him, because otherwise I would s**t my pants,” Barzilai told The Algemeiner on Thursday. “[I’m] excited to be part of ‘X Factor Israel’ and show the Israeli talents to the world.”

Cowell, a veteran music producer who created “The X Factor,” was involved in selecting judges for the new season of “The X Factor Israel.” He and his team were impressed by Barzilai’s international achievements, which include reaching number one on the US Billboard Dance Club Songs charts.

“The X Factor Israel” casting team has begun compiling the cast of singers who will participate in the new season that will air on Reshet 13.

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Barzilai won the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest with her song “Toy,” marked Israel’s fourth win in the international competition. “Toy” reached No. 1 on music charts of over 44 countries and broke viewing records on Tiktok and YouTube. Since then Barzilai has released a number of songs that saw global success, including “Bassa Sababa.”

It was announced in December 2020 that Cowell will be a judge on “The X Factor Israel,” marking the first time he will appear on a version of the show outside the UK or US.

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