Lior Suchard (L) and Bar Refaeli (R).
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST & REUTERS/LUKE MACGREGOR)
With the 2019 Eurovision in Tel Aviv just over six months away, efforts to select the host of next year’s competition are heating up.
A spokeswoman for Israel’s public broadcaster, KAN, confirmed Monday that auditions for the hosting gig were held over the past week, and that a decision is expected by the end of the month.
So who will represent the face of Israel when millions around the world tune in to the competition in May?
While Gal Gadot turned down the offer
earlier this year, plenty of other famous faces have reportedly turned up to audition for the part in recent days.
And while KAN is mum on who are the finalists for the job, media reports have offered up some surprising and intriguing names. Among the names circulating are TV host Erez Tal, actress, host and producer Noa Tishby, supermodel Bar Refaeli and actress Ania Bukstein, best known internationally for her role on Game of Thrones
. Assi Azar, the co-host of the Kochav Haba TV series – which selects Israel’s Eurovision contestant each year – also showed up for an audition, as did mentalist Lior Suchard
, who is a fixture on American late-night television. Sources in KAN are reportedly rooting for news anchor Geula Even-Saar to be considered for the job, though she has limited entertainment experience. And a half dozen other Israeli TV hosts and actors also showed up to audition for the role that will expose them to millions of viewers around the globe.
The good news for KAN and the European Broadcasting Union is that they don’t have to select just one of the talented options for the gig. Most Eurovisions over the past two decades have had multiple hosts. In Lisbon last year, four women hosted the 2018 Eurovision contest. And in addition to the official hosts, many past broadcasts have also stationed a presenter inside the green room to talk to the contestants.
In 1979, Israel’s first time hosting, singer Yardena Arazi and the late news anchor Daniel Pe’er presented the competition. In 1999, the Israel Broadcasting Authority selected three locals to host: Dafna Dekel, Sigal Shachmon and Yigal Ravid.
In fact, Gadot isn’t the first famous Israeli face to turn down a Eurovision hosting gig. Back in 1979, Pe’er only got the role after the first choice, Chaim Topol – best known as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof – turned down the job due to a scheduling conflict with an overseas commitment.
This time around, KAN has a bevy of options all clamoring for the job – it only has to pick.
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