Eurovision 2020 top 41 countdown: #4

In the top 5, but just outside the “medal” positions, is one of my favourite countries in Eurovision – Israel. Israel often brings great dance songs to Eurovision, and usually with those distinctive Israeli/Middle-Eastern sounds and feel – and 2020 was one of those years.

#4 ISRAEL: Eden Alene “Feker Libi”

“Feker Libi” is in that great Israeli Eurovision tradition of ethno dance bop – and not only does this
upbeat song include the expected Israeli and Middle Eastern sounds, it’s also got an Afrobeat element to it. The song contains 4 languages – English, Hebrew, Arabic and Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia, and it would have been the first time that Amaharic was heard on the Eurovision stage. The song title is actually in Amharic, and while “Feker Libi” might sound like an Irish curse, it actually means “My Beloved”.

One of the main reasons that we have Amharic in this entry is because of who sings it – Eden Alene is of Ethiopian-Jewish descent, and I think would have been the first from that particular community to represent Israel. She had won X Factor Israel in 2018 and then won Rising Star which is Israel’s selection show series for their Eurovision artist. “Feker Libi” was then the winning song of a choice of four in a show to choose the song. There was Eurovision pedigree in the songwriting team – Doron
was one of the writers of contest-winning “Toy”; Idan Raichel was the other writer and also co-producer, who has some background in Ethiopian music and writing in Amharic.

I think this song had a lot of potential and I was really keen to see how it would evolve on the big Eurovision stage – it’s uptempo, eclectic, bringing in new elements throughout the song. It has so much energy and Eden is a very engaging and confident performer. Poor Eden was told live on Israeli TV that Eurovision had been cancelled but I’m pleased to say that she has been confirmed as Israel’s representative – again the announcement made directly to her on live TV. Now I’m not sure that sort of emotional manipulation of a young person should really be used to make good TV, but nonetheless I am very pleased we will have Eden in Rotterdam and one hopes we will be seeing some Amharic there

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