Eurovision 2019: Who will host the contest? The search for the hosts kicks off

by Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani 2,932 views

We have the 2019 Eurovision host city, dates and the slogan but what about the hosts? Israeli national broadcaster, KAN, is all set to determine the 2019 Eurovision hosts, with a number of big names on the cards, including the internationally acclaimed Gal Gadot.

KAN has kicked off auditions in Tel Aviv in order to determine the 2019 Eurovision hosts.

The Eurovision hosts have always played a key role in the competition, welcoming viewers all over the globe, cracking jokes, taking us through the most exciting part of the contest (the voting) and treating the fans with epic Eurovision parodies and unique performances.

In recent years the Eurovision Song Contest has seen an all male ensemble hosting the event (Kyiv 2017), an all girl quartette (Lisbon 2018), a dynamic duo (Stockholm 2016) etc. What will Israel opt for? How many hosts will we see in Tel Aviv?

In the early days the Eurovision Song Contest was hosted solely by one host until 1978 when France introduced a   duo to host the competition in Paris. Israel followed suit the following year with Yardena Arazi and Daniel Peer in Jerusalem in 1979.

Yardena Arazi and Daniel Pe’er hosted the 1979 Eurovision Song Contest in Jerusalem

From 1980-1987 the competition was again hosted by one host, we had to wait until 1988 to see a male/female duo back in the game! The 1988 Eurovision Song Contest was hosted in style when Michelle Rocca and Pat Kenny took the Dublin stage and charmed the audience with their wit, elegance and charm.

Pat Kenny and Michelle Rocca hosted Eurovision 1988 in Dublin (photo credit:

The last time Israel hosted the competition, was in 1999 when Jerusalem welcomed the Eurovision bandwagon with a total of three hosts;  Dafna Dekel, Sigal Shachmon and Yigal Ravid. It was the very first time we saw three hosts on the Eurovision stage. Since then we have seen quite a few different combinations of Eurovision hosts in the competition.

From 2000-2008 we had a female-male duo host the event. In 2009 Russia decided to introduce four hosts to the competition (two for the semi-finals) and two for the grand final. From 2010-2012 we had three presenters hosting the competition. In 2013, Petra Mede, was the sole mistress of ceremonies at the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmo. Such was her impact after hosting the competition that she was invited back to host the competition in 2016 in Stockholm with Mans Zelmerlow.

Auditions kick off in Israel

The Israeli local media has been speculating with numerous potential candidates for hosting Europe’s favorite television show since the country won the 63rd Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon last May. From internationally acclaimed Israeli actors, celebrities, comedians and models to local television hosts, newsreaders, actors and celebrated icons.

Earlier this week Israeli media reported that KAN has kicked off auditions for the 2019 Eurovision hosts and a final decision on who will bag the coveted role is expected by the end of the month. Reportedly both the 2019 Eurovision host broadcaster and the EBU will take the decision jointly and select the hosts.

According to Israel Hayom Shiri Maimon (Eurovision 2005) did not attend the auditions due to her tight schedule and she could reportedly be out of the race,  whilst Guy Zu-Aretz, Bar Refaeli, Lior Suchard, Erez Tal, Assi Azar and KAN’s Geula Even-Saar and Romy Neumark  have all auditioned for the the coveted role to host next year’s competition in Israel.

The potential candidates

Wonder woman Gal Gadot was allegedly offered to host the show soon after Israel won the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest, but due to her busy work schedule she will not be able to accept the invitation to host Eurovision in Tel Aviv.

Rotem Sela and Assi Azar are both well known faces to Eurovision aficionados as they host the Israeli national selection The Rising Star on Channel 12, and are quite popular in Israel. They are both young, trendy and have gained much fame, name and recognition amongst the young audience.

Shiri Maimon represented Israel at the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest and achieved an honorable 4th place in Kyiv. She is amongst Israel’s most sought after artists today and will be joining the jury panel in the upcoming edition of The Rising Star (the 2019 Israeli national selection).

Erez Tal is one of the hot favorites to bag the role of hosting the 2019 Eurovision edition in Tel Aviv, he is a celebrated Israeli actor and tv host. He was the 2018 Israeli Eurovision commentator. He has gained much fame, name and recognition in Israel for having hosted the Israeli version of Big Brother- HaAh HaGadol.

The world famous supermodel, Bar Refaeli, seems to be one of the frontrunners to host the event along with Erez Tal. The internationally celebrated Israeli model has hosted various international television shows and events both at home in Israel and abroad. She hosted the first edition of the X Factor Israel back in 2013.

Another hot favorite to host the competition is the internationally acclaimed mentalist and performer Lior Suchard. Lior was born in Haifa and is currently working on American daytime and late night tv shows.

Geula Even-Saar currently works at KAN and is a popular news anchor on its news channel and is reported to be one of the Israeli broadcaster’s favorite to host the contest according to local media portals.

Lucy Ayoub has been another name on the list of potential hosts speculated by the Israeli media, she was the Israeli spokesperson during the voting at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon.

Russian born Israeli actress Ania Bukstein of Game of Thrones fame is also vying to host next year’s music competition in Israel. She has acted in many international movies and television series and speaks Russian, Hebrew, French and English. She is a celebrated singer, songwriter and pianist too.

Guy Zu-Aretz is an Israeli television host, actor, musician and singer. He was born and raised in Tel Aviv, he has acted in the theatre and the cinema and has released several albums.

  • Gal Gadot
  • Shiri Maimon
  • Assi Azar
  • Erez Tal
  • Lucy Ayoub
  • Geula Even- Saar
  • Yehuda Levi
  • Rotem Sela
  • Bar Refaeli
  • Lior Suchard
  • Ania Bukstein
  • Romy Neumark
  • Noa Tishby
  • Guy Zu Aretz

KAN and the EBU are expected to reveal the names of the 2019 Eurovision hosts in the coming weeks. Rumour has it that we will have four hosts for Eurovison 2019, two to host the main shows and two to host the Green Room. The mystery will be unveiled in due course.

The 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is scheduled to be held on 14, 16 and 18 May at the  Expo Tel Aviv Convention Centre in Tel Aviv, Israel.