The seventh season of Star Academy opened on February 19th on LBC, with a festive, military-themed show to introduce the new candidates.
As usual, the first episode introduced the contestants and their talents, which include singing, playing instruments, writing lyrics, or composing music.
However, unlike past seasons, when only 20 contestants were accepted, this season has 21 contestants from 10 Arab states. This season also features impressive state-of-the-art audio/visual techniques not used in previous seasons.
Also for the first time, the "Emperor of Arab Singing" Kazem al-Saher made a special appearance.
The Iraqi star stressed that "art brings people closer," and insisted on playing the role of love's messenger and being a defender of women's rights in his songs.
In an impressive performance featuring both Arabic and foreign music, the contestants sang and played music with al-Saher. ِ
Al-Saher sang "Ajles fil Makha" with contestants Mohammad Ramadan from Jordan and Sultan Bin Rached from Saudi Arabia. He also sang "Ahebini Bela Akd" with Rami Chemali from Lebanon and Nassif el Zaytoun from Syria.
Finally, al-Saher sang "Habibaty" from his new album.
Star Academy director Roula Saad said the seventh season "is going to be very fruitful and rich in the music it will bring its fans."
In addition, it will feature several changes fans should look out for. For instance, fans will be able to communicate with contestants on Facebook and Twitter.
Also, Osama Rahbani is back with his expertise. Khalil Abou Obaid joins this season as the voice instructor, Fouad Fadel is the contestant supervisor, Mary Mahfoud is the vocalize/etiquette instructor, Michel Fadel is the music instructor, Alissar Caracalla is the dance instructor, and Michel Jabr is the drama instructor.
As the new season unfolds, fans will watch eagerly to see who will win the title. The contestants this season are:
Abdel Aziz El Defini (Kuwait), Aline Kassis (Lebanon), Asma Mhallawi (Tunisia), Badriya El Sayed (Tunisia), Bassel Khoury (Jordan), Haitham El Houzoum (Saudi Arabia), Jack Haddad (Lebanon), Mahmoud Choukry (Egypt), Mehdi Bahmed (Algeria), Miral Zaher El Din (Syria), Mohammad Ali (Egypt), Mohammad Ramadan (Jordan), Nassif el Zaytoun (Syria), Rami Chemali (Lebanon), Rania Jazzar (Egypt), Ryan Eid (Lebanon), Salwa Taalibi (Morocco), Sultan Bin Rached (Saudi Arabia), Tahra Hmamich (Morocco), Zeina Aftimos (Syria), and Rahma Ahmad (Iraq), daughter of late Iraqi artist Riyadh Ahmad.
Star Academy's prime show is aired every Friday evening, and follow-ups with the contestants are aired daily in the evenings.