Simon Cowell continues to expand his media empire this weekend as the Israeli version of his hit series The X Factor Israel debuts on Saturday night on Channel 2.

The show is hosted by supermodel Bar Refaeli and features an impressive lineup of mentor/judges – Ivri Lider, Shiri Maimon, Rami Fortis and Moshe Peretz.

Producer Reshet has hyped the show to the hilt, thanks to a steamy promotional clip launched last month featuring Refaeli and Cowell discussing the show, replete with plenty of playful sexual innuendo.

Refaeli introduced the mentors to Cowell, calling Lider “the clever one,” Maimon “the diamond,” Fortis the “the crazy one” and Peretz “the prince.”

The X Factor Israel joins the other Israeli musical talent reality shows that have already become staples on the airwaves – The Voice and Kochav Nolad (A Star Is Born). The latter, with Peretz jumping ship to The X Factor, and a reformatting including a new name – Kochav Haba (The Next Star) – may indicate that the saturation point for televised musical competitions is being reached. Whether The X Factor Israel will have the X factor to rise to the top of the ratings remains to be seen.

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