The judges’ decision to save the Saudi contestant Faris Al Medani from elimination during last week’s episode of the popular singing show Arab Idol resulted in a double elimination this week.
Mohammed Assaf delivered a superb solo performance on Friday, cementing his status as a fan favourite. His powerful rendition of a classic song by the Lebanese singer Samir Yazbeck got roars of approval and patriotic chanting from the Beirut audience, as well as compliments from the judges.
The Emirati judge Ahlam reminisced on her two times performing in the Palestine Territories, and promised to sing alongside Assaf the next time she performs there. Her fellow judge Ragheb Alama, from Lebanon, also showered the 22-year-old with praise, comparing his voice to “fragrant jasmine” and calling him “a gift to the Arab world”.
The Kurdish contestant Parwas Hussain’s eclectic performance, which melded Kurdish and Arabic lyrics, was also a hit with the judges,. The soulful voice of Salma Rachid, from Morrocco, gained her votes from the public that kept her safe from elimination.
Other highlights of the show included dynamic group performances from the contestants as well as a special guest performance by the Lebanese singer Nawal Al Zoghby. The blonde starlet, dressed in a glittering gold gown, debuted her song Ghazlini, singing in an Iraqi accent for the first time.
The jubilant mood of the night’s standout performances quickly took a sharp turn and became sombre when it was time for elimination. The Morrocan contestant Yosra Saouf and Fares Al Madani from Saudi Arabia failed to gain enough votes from the show’s viewers and were axed from the competition in the double elimination.
The pair were seen off with kind words of encouragement from the judges and an emotional montage of clips of their best moments on the show.
With eight big talents left in the running and the finals rapidly approaching, the competition for the number one spot on Arab Idol is now fiercer than ever.
• Arab Idol is broadcast on Fridays at 10pm on MBC1
* Reem Buhazza
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