x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

American Jennifer Grout finishes among top three in Arabs Got Talent

The American Jennifer Grout's debut performance on the show back in September has become Arabs Got Talent's Susan Boyle moment

Jennifer Grout's fascination with Arab music led her to study the oud and move to Morocco. Courtesy MBC
Jennifer Grout's fascination with Arab music led her to study the oud and move to Morocco. Courtesy MBC
She may have not won the Arabs Got Talent, but Jennifer Grout has left a lasting impression.

The 23-year-old from Massachusetts made global headlines by progressing to the finals of the competition and even making it to the top three, with a string of pitch-perfect renditions of classical Arabic songs - without knowing speaking a word of the language.

Her debut performance on the show back in September has become Arabs Got Talent's Susan Boyle moment with her rendition of an Umm Kalthoum song on the oud, leaving the judging panel stunned.

An opera student, Grout was attracted to Arab music courtesy of the Lebanese songstress Fairuz.

"It was haunting and I just loved the way she sounded," she recalls ed. "I really wanted to hear more of it and I started seeking it out."

Her fascination with Arab music led her to study the oud and, after the college, move to Morocco.

It was a friend who suggested that she should audition for Arabs Got Talent.

Speaking after the final, Grout had nothing but satisfaction regarding for her journey.

"I learnt so much and I never expected to get this far," she said said. "To me, it is just such a privilege to be performing in front of all these people and the judges."

With Najwa Karam hailing her potential to bridge the gap between East and West, Grout said she is yet to figure her next move.

"I don't know yet," she said.

"I am now just enjoying these moments and later I will sit down and think of what to do next."

sasaeed@thenational.ae

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