Abigail Klein Leichman, Israel21c, February 6, 2020

With permission, read full article at Israel21c.

The public and the judges have decided: Eden Alene, a 19-year-old native of Jerusalem, will represent Israel at the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest in Holland, May 12-16.

Alene is the first Israeli of Ethiopian descent to be chosen for this honor.

She wowed the audience and all-star panel of judges in the reality show “The Next Star to Eurovision.” Her final performance in the televised contest was Beyonce’s “Halo.”

“It is an insane honor to represent my country,” she said after her win. “It is amazing that an Ethiopian is doing it for the first time.”

Alene’s powerful voice is already well known to Israeli fans.

She sang for two years in the YMCA Jerusalem Youth Chorus — a mixed Arab and Jewish choir that performs worldwide – and she won “The X-Factor” reality show in 2018.

Alene has released several singles, including a cover of Brotherhood of Man’s 1976 Eurovision winner, “Save Your Kisses for Me.” She was in the cast of an Israeli production of the musical “Little Shop of Horrors” and currently serves in the military as a member of the IDF choir.

The other three contestants who made it to the finals of “The Next Star to Eurovision” were 16-year-old Ellalee Lahav, 17-year-old Gaya Shaki and 17-year-old Orr Amrami Brockman.

We don’t yet know what Alene will sing for the international song contest. Another televised contest in the coming weeks will let the public and a panel of judges choose from a field of four nominated songs.

Israel has won Eurovision four times, including in 2018. Tel Aviv hosted the show in 2019.