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Refaeli to host ‘X Factor Israel’

Singers Ivri Lider, Moshe Peretz and Rami Fortis confirmed as judges; Shiri Maimon set to join cast in coming days

Bar Refaeli (photo credit: CC BY-SA Laurent Jean Philippe, Flickr)
Bar Refaeli (photo credit: CC BY-SA Laurent Jean Philippe, Flickr)

Step aside, Mario Lopez, Bar’s taking it from here.

Bar Refaeli will host “X Factor Israel” this coming fall, Reshet TV announced Monday, confirming weeks of speculation. The 27-year-old model will earn NIS 1 million ($270,000) for the gig, making her the highest earner on the show.

Refaeli, who rose to Hollywood fame after dating Leonard Dicaprio, made headlines for a racy Superbowl ad last winter, which featured her French-kissing nerdy actor Jesse Heiman. Refaeli was also named the hottest woman in the world by Maxim in 2012 (though she missed the list this year), and landed the cover of Sports Illustrated in 2010.

The model also hosted a German reality show over the past year.

Refaeli will be joined by singers Ivri Lider, Moshe Peretz and Rami Fortis, who have been confirmed as judges. Shiri Maimon is expected to fill the fourth judge slot within the coming days.

The song contest will be following in the footsteps of another imported reality show, “The Voice Israel,” which launched in January 2012 and skyrocketed to national popularity. The recent season featured big names from the music scene: Mizrahi [Middle Eastern] singers Sarit Hadad and Shlomi Shabat as well as rock legends Yuval Banay and Shlomo Braha, two members of Mashina, and Aviv Geffen.

“The X Factor” is a UK reality song contest show made famous by Simon Cowell, who’s held stints as a judge on other talent shows such as “American Idol” and “Britain’s Got Talent.”

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