'Arab Idol' down to 10 contestants

Arab Idol judges have some difficult choices to make. [Photo courtesy of MBC group]

Arab Idol judges have some difficult choices to make. [Photo courtesy of MBC group]

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The competition for the title of "Arab Idol" is getting more intense with the exit of two contestants on May 4th: Hanan Rida of Bahrain and Sabrine al-Nagily of Egypt.

Only 10 contestants remain.

Rida and al-Nagily were voted out after being in the "danger zone" for the second time in a row and failing to convince the judges to give either of them the show's only remaining rescue ticket.

But Rida shone in her final rendition of Nawal al-Kuwaitiya's song "Ahawel", and al-Nagily gave an outstanding performance of an Umm Kulthum song, "Ansak".

Samira Saeed appeared as a guest on the eighth episode, in which the results of the audience's vote was announced.

In this episode, the 12 contestants were divided into three groups, with one participant from each group entering the "danger zone".

The first group was made up of Ahmad Jamal of Egypt, the two Moroccan contestants, Salma Rashid and Yousra Saouf, and Barwas Hussein of Iraq. Rashid entered the danger zone.

The second group included Syrian contestant Abdul Kareem Hamdan, Fares al-Madani of Saudi Arabia, Hanan Rida of Bahrain and Muhannad al-Marsoumi of Iraq, who entered the danger zone along with Rida.

The third group comprised Farah Yusuf of Syria, Ziyad Khoury of Lebanon, Palestinian Mohammed Assaf and Egyptian Sabrine al-Nagily, who entered the danger zone.

The 12 contestants competed during a May 3rd Prime before a panel of judges and millions of viewers across the Arab world.

Egyptian artist Amal Maher appeared on the show, singing "Kalam Bisirrak", while artist Mohammed Mounir offered his advice to the participants during a video segment of his recent visit to the studio. It is crucial that each participant take "advantage of his country's artistic heritage and cultural and musical wealth", Mounir said.

In the same episode, the judges praised the voices and musical abilities of several participants.

Ragheb Alama called Farah Yusuf "Syria's hope in music after Mayada al-Hennawi" following her rendition of one of the famous singer's songs, "Jeena wi Thibbeena".

The panel recommended that the other Syrian, Abdul Kareem Hamdan -- who chose a romantic song "Aala Rimsh Eyounha" by Wadih al-Safi -- return to the Aleppo style of music most suited to his voice.

Judge Ahlam gave a standing ovation to the Saudi contestant, Fares al-Madani, who sang the Mohammed Abdo song "Ma Aad Badri".

Alama did the same when the Palestinian contestant, Mohammed Assaf, sang one of Alama's own songs, "Ya Rayt fiya Khabiha". Calling Assaf's rendition truly outstanding, Alama presented him with the rights of the song and the permission to record it at any time for free.

The judges also praised Lebanese contestant Ziyad Khoury, who offered a spectacular performance of the song "Yalli bi Jamalek".

"The sun will shine on your voice," Ahlam said, while Hassan al-Shafei told him, "You are a genius. When I listen to you, it is for enjoyment rather than criticism."

Alama likened Egyptian contestant Ahmad Jamal's voice to "the melody of Mohammed Abdul Wahab's lute" after he sang one of the composer's songs; while Iraqi contestant Barwas Hussein won the admiration of the entire panel for her voice, performance and personality.

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  • READER COMMENTS

    مصعب

    2013-5-12

    Brawas does not deserve to reach this stage, as her voice is not good.

  • elbrance alaa

    2013-5-9

    I think that this is prohibited for the referee committee, particularly Ahlam and Hasan, who were unjust with Sabrin Al-Nujili and did not give her the rescue card, despite the fact that she was the best one to sing in the Arab idol as the singer Ahlam said. This is unfair and what was said by our great singer Raghib Alamah is absolutely right.

  • sheern

    2013-5-8

    Why you did not mention its name and suffice with this frame? Do you not think I deserve this?

  • مؤيد

    2013-5-8

    Loser.

  • عبدالله من العراق

    2013-5-8

    I see that God granted the competitor Farah Yousuf a very good voice . were it not slightly bold, it would have been similar to the voice of Um Kulthoom.

  • عبدالله

    2013-5-8

    Your program’s name is “Arab Idol”, which is in English, and you allowed Barwas to participate and represent Iraq while she sings in Kurdish!!! What is the secret behind lauding Barwas in this exaggerated way, despite the fact that her performance is not interesting. I wish I can hear an answer from you. Appreciated.