x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Million’s Poet goes live with four Emiratis among 48 contestants

Here's what's in store for the latest season of Million’s Poet, which begins Wednesday.

The sixth season of Million’s Poet begins Wednesday in Abu Dhabi.

Run under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and organised by the Poetry Academy, the television talent show will feature 48 contestants from the Arab world competing for the prestigious title.

Cash prizes range from Dh5 million for the winner to Dh1m for fifth place.

Broadcast live on Abu Dhabi Al Emarat and Baynounah TV from the Al Raha Theatre, the competition kicks off on February 12, with live weekly broadcasts until the final episode on May 21.

Speaking at the formal launch yesterday from the venue, Sultan Al Amimi, the Poetry Academy’s director, said the programme’s success has ushered in a new generation of television stars.

“Thanks to this unique competition, these poets have become the heart of a larger public attention in the Arab world,” he said. “The audience had a first time chance to discover a number of creative works and listen to fine poetry.”

The audition process, which began last year, was as much academic as performance-based.

As well as reciting self-written works, contestants had to undergo a written test on aspects of poetry such as metre, rhyme and composition.

The 48 poets who have made it this far include four Emiratis, 15 participants from Saudi Arabia, nine from Kuwait, five Omanis, four Jordanians and two each from Syria, Bahrain, Iraq and Yemen. Qatar, Egypt and Sudan have one contestant each.

The first round – lasting for six weeks – will have a batch of eight poets performing in front of a jury. The judges’ votes count for 40 per cent while 60 per cent will be based on public voting to determine who qualifies for the second stage.

For the final rounds, only five poets will compete for the title.

As well as the competition, Million’s Poet aims to revive the classical Arabic poetry form of Nabati.

Al Amimi called the auditions held across GCC countries and Arab cities “remarkable”.

“During our visit to Amman, we noticed exceptional talents that went beyond all expectations. Saudi poets were as bright and as creative as usual. We also noticed a remarkable development in the performance of Bahraini poets. In Kuwait, the participants were awe-inspiring. They lived up to the jury’s expectations and reach a stage of poetic maturity,” he said.

“These poets deserved well their selection and nomination to the next round of the competition.”

• Million’s Poet is broadcast live on Abu Dhabi Al Emarat and Baynounah TV on Wednesdays at 10pm. Visit www.adtv.ae

sasaeed@thenational.ae