Video: Eden Alene’s ‘Set Me Free’: Israel Picks Eurovision Song Entry for 2021

Eden Alene, 20, the first singer of Ethiopian descent to represent Israel in the annual international extravaganza, will perform the song in the first semifinal of the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam on May 18. If it finishes among the top 10, she will sing it again in the May 22 final. (Photo: Eurovisionworld)

The Times of Israel

Eden Alene to become first Israeli of Ethiopian descent to represent Jewish state at international singing contest in May; last year’s event was canceled by pandemic

Israel’s entry to the 2021 Eurovision song contest is “Set me free,” the Kan public broadcaster announced on Monday.

Eden Alene, 20, the first singer of Ethiopian descent to represent Israel in the annual international extravaganza, will perform the song in the first semifinal of the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam on May 18. If it finishes among the top 10, she will sing it again in the May 22 final.

“Set me free” was chosen by Israeli audiences, edging out two other options: “La La Love” and “Ue La La.”

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The song is mostly in English, with a smattering of Hebrew lyrics.

Eden was Israel’s candidate for the 2020 contest, which was called off last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The song chosen for her 2020 entry was “Feker Libi,” sung in four languages — English, Hebrew, Amharic and Arabic.

The Eurovision Song Contest has a major following in Israel. Israel hosted the 2019 contest in Tel Aviv after Israeli singer Netta Barzilai carried off the top prize with her spunky pop anthem “Toy” in 2018.

Eden Alene, of Ethiopian Descent, Will Represent Israel at Eurovision


Eden Alene will represent Israel at Eurovision. (photo credit: ORTAL DAHAN / COURTESY OF KESHET)

The Jerusalem Post

Eden Alene became the first Israeli of Ethiopian descent chosen to represent the country at Eurovision when she won Hakokhav Haba (The Next Star) for Eurovision 2020 on Tuesday night.

“I’m so happy and incredibly emotional, I wanted this so much,” she said in an interview with Channel 12’s Nadav Bornstein following her victory. “It is a great honor for me. This is my country, and it is amazing that an Ethiopian will represent the country for the first time.”

Alene was raised in Jerusalem’s Katamon neighborhood by a single mother who immigrated from Ethiopia, and later moved with her family to Kiryat Gat.

“My poor mother, she had a hard time taking it in. She collapsed in my arms,” Alene, 19, said on the Hadshot Haboker (The Morning News) show.

Following a particularly competitive final round, Alene defeated Orr Amrami-Brockman, Gaya Shaki and Ella Lee Lahav. Eurovision, the international singing competition where Israel has won four times, will be held in Rotterdam in May. Israel’s last win came in 2018, when Netta Barzilai won with the song “Toy.”

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