The rumors were true! Earlier today, the EBU and Israeli public broadcaster, Kan, have finally announced the hosts for ESC 2019. For months, their names were circulating around, but we can now reveal that Bar Refaeli, and Erez Tal will the main hosts in Tel Aviv. Joining them are Assi Azar & Lucy Ayoub who will mainly be covering the Green Room.
In a statement to the press, the EBU says, “In 1999, the last time Israel hosted the contest, three hosts – two women and one man – hosted the show for the first time ever. After an all-male hosted contest in 2017 in Kyiv, 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.” So that is certainly another first.
In its video announcing the four hosts, broadcaster KAN pokes fun at itself for the long process it has take to announce the hosts. “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 Lucy 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 managed to 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 been hosting Israel’s X-Factor since 2013, oh yeah, she also dated Leonardo Di Caprio (but don’t worry, she is happily married now and has two gorgeous kids).
Erez 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. He certainly accedes any credentials when it comes to experience and hosting live shows and big productions.
Assi Azar is also a prolific TV host in Israel, as well as a vocal activist for LGBT rights. He has hosted Israel’s Ninja Warrior, the Israeli So You Think You Can Dance and also six seasons of Ha’Kochav Haba (Rising Star), the show which selects Israel’s Eurovision entrant each year. Azar also created and wrote the TV comedy Lihiyot Ita (The Baker and the Beauty), which has been picked up internationally. He also hosts a popular radio show, and is a spokesperson for Israeli causes.
Lucy 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 first ever jury results under KAN 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.
We wish them all good luck, and cant wait to see them on stage. Good evening Europe, Good Morning Australia, and Welcome to Tel Aviv!