X-Factor Final (Israel) 2022 Reviews: Inbal Bibi and Sapir Saban

Inbal Bibi — “Marionette”
The concept of this song is fairly sound in terms of combining staging and lyrics, but it features another case of lyrics being mumbled: this time in the verses. I realise this singing style is in fashion in the broader pop world, but this doesn’t always translate to Eurovision, where your audience isn’t just made up of younger listeners (even if they are a crucial part of the audience). It could be the live performance, but the music is a mash of sounds when the chorus hits, and Bibi appears to have to raise her voice to an unreasonable level to be heard over it. I’m hoping this is a mixing error.

Sapir Saban — “Breaking my own Walls”
This is the power ballad of this selection, but I’m struggling with this almost as much as any of the others. I just don’t get it. Yes, Saban can sing well, although she misses a few notes in the performance I’m watching. But musically, vocally, lyrically — this is exactly what I’d expect from a power ballad. Even with the flourish of Middle Eastern-tinged music in the last minute, there’s nothing that surprises me, nothing that stops me in my tracks and makes me want to click the repeat button.