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Israel's 'Real Housewives' Adds Male Cast Member, a First for the Franchise

Israel Real Housewives screen grab L

Openly gay hairstylist Philip Vazana has been cast as the first ever househusband.

After garnering worldwide buzz, Israel’s version of the Bravo reality series Real Housewives, called Me'usharot, is officially adding a man to the mix for the show’s next season.

Israeli hairstylist Philip Vazana has been cast as the international franchise’s first ever male cast member. Local entertainment TV news show Erev Tov with Guy Pines reports that the openly gay Vazana, 45, gained notoriety for criticizing the gay pride parade in Jerusalem, which was nearly canceled following opposition from the city's orthodox community. He refers to himself as a “moderate gay”.

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Filming for season three began this week with one location set at Vazana’s luxurious hair salon, located in Tel Aviv’s high-end “Kikar Ha’Medina” State Square plaza. The area has been known for housing Israel's leading TV anchorwomen. Vazana resides in Tel Aviv’s exclusive Yoo Towers with his partner and their nine-year-old son.

Addressing the coed format twist in a June interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Bravo executive vice president of talent and development Andy Cohen, also the host of Watch What Happens Live, was less than thrilled with the prospect. "For us, it’s always been around a group of women and I think that’s what the show is," he said. "It becomes a different show if you make it around a group of men."

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In another first for the franchise's Israeli edition, the entirely revamped cast will also include the local equivalent to Countess LuAnn de Lesseps. Back in the holy land after more than 30 years living in Spain, Baroness Shulamit Afriat von Bismarck is an Israeli children’s author who in 1995 married Busso von Bismarck, descendent of the noble German House of Bismarck.

Season three of Channel 10's Me'usharot is tentatively slated to premiere next spring.