TEL AVIV – Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli will co-host this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv after Gal Gadot reportedly turned down the offer due to scheduling conflicts.
The supermodel will host the 64th song contest despite an impending indictment against her for tax fraud to the tune of tens of millions of shekels.
Refaeli will host alongside TV host Erez Tal, with screenwriter Assi Azar and newscaster Lucy Ayoub broadcasting from the green room.
Organizers were said to have voiced concerns over Refaeli’s indictment and that it would reflect badly on the show, as well as that she would be too busy dealing with her legal woes to rehearse for it.
Ultimately, public broadcaster Kan decided to include her with EBU’s approval.
Refaeli has hosted Israel’s version of The X Factor since 2013. Tal has hosted the Jewish state’s edition of Big Brother since it began airing in 2008. The first six seasons were also hosted by Azar. Azar and Refaeli were close friends before falling out over Refaeli’s last minute decision to pull out of Azar’s TV show. Ayoub, the daughter of a Jewish mother and a Christian Arab father, broadcast Israel’s results in last year’s contest in Lisbon.
The 2018 Eurovision Song Contest was won by Israeli singer Netta Barzilai with her smash hit “Toy.”