eurovision

Meet Michael Ben David, Israel representative in Eurovision 2022

This year Israel has chosen Michael Ben David as its representative on Eurovision 2022 that will take place in Turin next May with the song “I.M”. But who is Michael Ben David? In this article you will have the opportunity to know more about Israel’s singer for Eurovision 2022.

About Michael Ben David

Michael Ben David is a singer of Israeli origin born in Ascalon in 1996. Michael was bullied at school as a teenager because of his high-pitched voice, and after telling his mother about it, he decided to come out to her. Later, Ben David did his military service in a classified unit in the Ministry of Defence and then began studying acting in Beit Zvi.

This year, during the X Factor (used as the Israeli pre-selection for Eurovision) he performed the songs ‘Mother’ or ‘Juice’ and moved on to the next stage. In the chairs phase, she performed ‘California Dreamin’ by The Mamas & the Papas, landing a spot on Netta Barzilai’s team, who had previously represented Israel by winning with the song ‘Toy’.

In February this year, a committee decided that “I.M” should be the candidate to represent Israel at Eurovision 2022, and already on 5 February he performed the song as the country’s flag bearer.

“I.M” is inspired by Ben David’s childhood and conveys the message of having inner strength, with the song’s empowering lyrics. As a child, Ben David suffered bullying at school for singing with a high-pitched voice, and a tumultuous relationship with his mother for being gay, his stepfather told him not to speak loudly and not to sing, as according to his stepfather, “that’s how girls behave”.

Eventually, Ben David would give his mother an ultimatum, telling her that he would not attend any family gatherings if his partner could not go. He would later begin to accept himself for who he was, and forgave those who had bullied him.

The song is composed by Chen Aharoni, Lidor Saadia and Asi Tal. It has reached #13 on Israel’s Media Forest chart.

Lyrics

Baby
Sometimes love can bring you down
But, honey
Keep your head up
Keep your head up
Keep your head up
Remember who you are

You can call me crazy
Or just call my name
You can say that I’m stunning
It’s not a shame
‘Cause I know I am
I know I am, hah
‘Cause I know I am
I know I am
I like this attitude
I like the game
You can say that I’m brave
I’m never the same
‘Cause I know I am (I know I am)
I know I am (I know I am)
‘Cause I know I am (I know I am)
Hah, I know I am

Baby, come with me, follow me
Tell me if we can take it to the floor
(Oh-ooh, oh-ooh, oh-ooh, oh-ooh)
I’m the fire, the power
And if you’re asking
I was gonna take it all (All, all)

You know I am
You know I am
‘Cause I na-na-na know I am, am
And no one brings me down
I’m gonna take the crown
Give it to me now

I’m shameless and I’m spotless and I’m flawless
Always take it up ‘cause I’m a winner, I don’t want less
Going for the things I should and maybe I’m ferocious
Making you the one I want and I’m not even topless (Be cautious)
It’s going down for real
Twenty twenty-two, let’s seal the deal
(Middle East) Is the new sex appeal
Bam, bam, this is how it feel

Baby, come with me, follow me
Tell me if we can take it to the floor
(Oh-ooh, oh-ooh, oh-ooh, oh-ooh)
Ooh, I’m the fire, the power
And if you’re asking
I was gonna take it all (All, all, all)

You know I am
You know I am
‘Cause I na-na-na know I am, am
And no one brings me down
I’m gonna take the crown

Baby
Sometimes life can bring you down
But I’ll remember
To always keep my head up
‘Cause no one brings me down
I’m gonna take the crown
Give it to me now

Israel in Eurovision

Israel made its debut in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1973 as the first non-European country granted permission to participate in the event. The EBU allowed Israel to participate since the country’s broadcaster was already one of its members.

Israel showed strong interest in the competition from the very beginning and it paid off very soon; they won for the first time in Paris in 1978 with the song A-Ba-Ni-Bi performed by Izhar Cohen and the Alphabeta. The Eurovision Song Contest travelled to Jerusalem in 1979 where Israel won the competition for the second time in a row. The voting climax that year was unforgettable: Spain was the last country to cast its votes and at that moment, Spain itself was in the lead, only 1 point ahead of Israel. The Spanish 10 points then caused Milk and Honey’s Hallelujah to win, which gave Israel its second Eurovision victory. After the 1979 Eurovision Song Contest, Hallelujah became another international hit.

Dana International made headlines around the world in 1998 when she became the first openly trans singer to win the Eurovision Song Contest. The competition returned to Jerusalem in 1999. Dana International returned to the Eurovision Song Contest in 2011 but failed to qualify for the Grand Final. Israel has qualified for every Grand Final since 2015.

In 2018, Israel won the Eurovision Song Contest for the fourth time, with Netta receiving 529 points for her empowering anthem TOY.

eurovision, Eurovision 2022, Israel

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