Friday could see another tense episode on Arab Idol after friction between the quarrelling judges Ahlam and Ragheb Alama reached fever pitch last week.
Despite Alama’s efforts to keep the peace, the fiery Ahlam had not forgotten the argument that caused her to storm off the set the week prior, and proceeded to completely ignore him.
At one point, the diva stood and made a dramatic apology to the Syrian singer Asala Nassri for her name not being mentioned as one of the great Syrian singers on a prior show – even though it was Alama who committed the faux pas. Alama kept his cool and laughed off the indirect jab, but if there is one thing we can count on from the argumentative pair, it’s for more sparks to fly.
Last week’s highlights included a standout guest performance by the Lebanese singer Rami Ayach. Following health complications and a week-long stint in hospital, the Saudi contestant Faris Al Madani looked frail but managed to keep his spirits up and deliver a heart-rending performance that brought tears to Ahlam’s eyes – and saved him from elimination.
Mohammad Assaf, the first Palestinian contestant to reach the finals, delivered a powerhouse vocal performance on Friday that captivated the audience and the judges.
Assaf, from Gaza, has won the hearts and support of millions of viewers from all over the Arab world ever since he appeared on the show, and is heralded as the “new voice of Palestine”.
His stellar performance even caught the attention of the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, who called the 22-year-old singer on Saturday to congratulate him on his success.
A double elimination will be held next week because of the judges’s decision to keep Al Madani in the competition. Viewers can also look forward to a performance by the Lebanese singing starlet Nawal Al Zoghby.
• Arab Idol is broadcast on Fridays at 10pm on MBC1
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