Refaeli, Ayoub, Azar and Tal to host Eurovision 2019 in Tel Aviv

Erez Tal and Assi Azar are also joining the hosting team for this year's contest.

Assi Azar, Bar Refaeli, Lucy Ayoub and Erez Tal, 2019 Eurovision hosts.  (photo credit: EYAL NEVO/OHAD ROMANO/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
Assi Azar, Bar Refaeli, Lucy Ayoub and Erez Tal, 2019 Eurovision hosts.
Supermodel Bar Refaeli and TV personality Erez Tal will be the hosts of the 2019 Eurovision in Tel Aviv, KAN and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) announced Friday.
They will be joined by host and screenwriter Assi Azar and TV personality Lucy Ayoub, who will purportedly be stationed in the green room throughout the show.
“In 1999, the last time Israel hosted the contest, three hosts – two women and one man – hosted the show for the first time ever,” said the EBU on Friday in its announcement.
“After an all-male hosted contest in 2017 in Kiev and an all-female group of hosts in 2018 in Lisbon, 2019 will see a diverse group of four hosts guiding some 200 million viewers through the 64th Eurovision Song Contest.”
In its video announcing the four hosts, KAN poked fun at the fact that their names had already been circulating for months in Hebrew media. “You kind of ruined all the possible surprise factor when it comes to the hosts,” joked KAN reporter Shachar Geva. The video then cut to Ayoub on the phone: “Oh my god, mom, you won’t believe it!” Rafaeli, one of the highest profile Israelis around the world,was long rumored as a host for the upcoming contest. But news of an impending indictment against her for tax fraud and money laundering cast doubt over the choice. Ultimately, KAN decided to keep her as a host, and the EBU gave its approval.
In addition to being an international supermodel, Refaeli has hosted Israel’s X-Factor since 2013 as well as other primetime TV shows.
Tal is one of Israel’s most experienced TV hosts, known for his long stint at the helm of Israel’s Big Brother, as well as a variety of other reality shows. Last year, he provided live commentary of the Eurovision in Israel for KAN, the first time Israel’s public broadcaster chose to do so.
Azar is also a prolific TV host in Israel, as well as a vocal activist for gay rights. He has hosted Israel’s Ninja Warrior, the Israeli So You Think You Can Dance and also six seasons of Kochav Haba (Rising Star), the show which selects Israel’s Eurovision contestant each year. Azar also created and wrote the TV comedy Lihiyot Ita (The Baker and the Beauty), which has been picked up internationally.
Azar and Refaeli were once close friends, until Refaeli backed out from starring in his TV series at the last minute, sparking a long feud.
“It’s on!” Azar posted on Instagram on Friday. “Eurovision 2019, here we go! See you all in Tel Aviv soon.”
Ayoub, a writer and poet, works as a host and reporter for KAN 11, which is organizing and broadcasting the Eurovision. Last year, Ayoub was selected by KAN to deliver Israel’s jury results during the live 2018 Eurovision broadcast in Lisbon.
Ayoub is the daughter of a Jewish mother and Christian Arab father, and greeted Eurovision fans in English, Hebrew and Arabic last year.