TEL AVIV – Israeli Eurovision winner Netta Barzilai will join Simon Cowell as a judge on the new season of The X Factor Israel this summer, according to a press release. This will be the first time Cowell, of America’s Got Talent and American Idol fame, will appear on a version of The X Factor outside of the U.S. and U.K.
“I’m very lucky to be sitting next to Simon and not in front of him” Barzilai said in a statement, adding she was “excited to be part of X Factor Israel and show the Israeli talents to the world.”
Barzilai, who reached the top of the U.S. Billboard Dance Club Songs chart, impressed Cowell and his team who were involved in the selection of the judges. She has performed in front of millions in international performances and festivals.
With her song “Toy,” Barzilai won the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest, marking Israel’s fourth win in what is the most viewed musical competition in the world. The song, written by Doron Madali, topped the charts in more than 44 countries and broke viewing records on Tiktok and YouTube.
Cowell is also a supporter of the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, a U.S. nonprofit that provides support for Israeli’s soldiers. During her military service in the Naval Musical Ensemble, before she won Eurovision, Barzilai performed at various FIDF fundraising galas around the U.S.