‘Wonder Woman’ star Gadot turns down Eurovision gig

Agency says Israeli actress would have been happy to host song contest in Israel but prior commitments and scheduling conflicts make it impossible

Gal Gadot at the Oscars on March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Gal Gadot at the Oscars on March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Israeli actress Gal Gadot has turned down an official invitation to host the 2019 Eurovision Song Competition which is set to be held in Israel, Hebrew media reported Monday.

Wonder Woman apparently left Israelis little time to wonder whether she would pick up the gauntlet, with the Hollywood A-lister swiftly turning down an opportunity to host the campy international song contest.

Sources close to Gadot confirmed earlier in the day that she had been invited by Israel’s Kan public broadcaster to host the event.

According to Hadashot news, Gadot’s agency said that, “She would have been happy to host and to take part in the Eurovision contest but unfortunately, due to scheduling and prior commitments it will not be possible.”

Gadot, who shot to stardom on the success of 2017’s “Wonder Woman,” is on board to to play Diana Prince in the sequel to the superhero movie, tentatively set to be released on December 13, 2019.

Yigal Ravid, who hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in 1999, the last time it was held in Jerusalem, called on Gadot to reconsider.

“I don’t think anyone in Israel can get into your professional consideration for or against, but it would be wonderful for you and for us,” Hadashot quoted him as saying.

“Eurovision in Jerusalem will present many difficult challenges, both technical and political, in Israel and abroad, in the next year, but it will be the biggest Eurovision Song Contest ever,” he said. “So go on, come!”

Gadot’s name was raised as a possible host as soon as Israel won the 2018 contest on May 19 with the song “Toy” by Netta Barzilai. The lyrics of the song reference Wonder Woman.

In an Instagram post during the contest’s final, Gadot encouraged her nearly 20 million Instagram followers to “Vote for Netta!”

And in a post after Barzilai’s victory Gadot wrote: “You represent the real wonder in women. So much Truth, confidence and talent. You stand for diversity and you bring fresh beautiful light to the world. and thank you all for voting!!!“

Gadot can be heard on the video saying “What a sweetie, how cute, what a champion.”

According to the annual competition’s rules, the winning country hosts the following year’s contest. It is likely that the event will be held in Jerusalem in May, but Eurovision organizers tweeted last week that people should not book their tickets just yet, fueling speculation that it may be held elsewhere.

On Friday it was reported that the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) held secret meetings with Kan and said its main concern about holding the event in the capital was that several countries may not participate.

Israel has hosted the Eurovision contest twice before in Jerusalem, a city that most countries do not recognize as Israel’s capital. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said the Eurovision will be hosted in Jerusalem.

JTA contributed to this report.

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