On the heels of X Factor U.K.’s 10th season rollout this weekend and with the U.S. version set to return next week, Israel’s version of the singing contest premiered its first official promo starring format creator Simon Cowell and local edition host, supermodel Bar Refaeli.
In the one minute, 42 second clip, which surfaced online in Israel Sunday morning, the 28-year-old stunner is shown driving a sports car in the desert, ending up at a diner where she meets a digitally manipulated Cowell.
In a short, flirtatious rendezvous Refaeli introduces Cowell to the four judges: pop star Ivri Lider, labeled “the clever one,” balladeer Shiri Maimon, aka “the diamond,” veteran rocker Rami Fortis, “the crazy one,” and ethnic rocker Moshe Peretz, “the prince”.
Cowell then concludes the short encounter saying, “Bar, I think you’ve got yourself a panel,” which prompts the 2009 Sports Illustrated swimsuit Issue cover girl to thank him and take his car keys, hence getting his approval to get behind the wheel of the car for his show’s debut in the Holy Land. A slogan at the end reads, “The real thing is coming to Israel.”
For weeks before the promo premiered, the show already had been generating buzz in Israel for channel 2 network Reshet Broadcasting, even causing rival Keshet Broadcasting to dump its declining singing competition format Kochav Nolad after a decade in favor of a new hybrid, named Rising Star. The latter will be introduced to buyers at next month’s Mipcom in Cannes.
Israel’s The X Factor is slated debut in the coming weeks, following the high holidays hiatus, while Cowell will continue his flirting with the U.S. version’s three female judges, Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio. The show premieres on Fox on Sept. 11.