x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Live-snake eater feels bite of critics

An Arabs' Got Talent contestant has been criticised for a tasteless act.

Ahmed Al Dousary. Courtesy Arabs' Got Talent
Ahmed Al Dousary. Courtesy Arabs' Got Talent

MBC’s reality singing show Arabs’ Got Talent has made headlines after a contestant’s tasteless act.

Saudi Arabia’s Ahmed Al Dousary shocked television viewers and the judging panel last week with a stomach-churning performance that saw him eating glass, burning charcoal and a live scorpion and snake.

The spectacle proved all too much for the Lebanese superstar judge Najwa Karam who walked out during Al Dousary’s display.

Upon returning to her chair, a visibly pale Karam pressed her buzzer signalling the end of the act.

“Please,” she said. “I feel like I am about to throw up. I am not joking.”

The programme’s new judge, the Egyptian actor Ahmed Helmy, saw the funny side of it.

“Would you like some ketchup with that?” he enquired before Al Dousary bit into the scorpion.

Not everyone saw the humour in the act. An online petition was launched on the American animal rights group website Care2, condemning Al Dousary’s actions.

Spearheaded by a campaigner named Nuhad Sheikh, the petition has already received close to 2,000 signatures from around the world.

“Not only was his act tasteless, disgusting and lacking any talent, but what message is being given out to our children? You can be cruel to animals and that is considered a talent,” read the petition. “This is not entertainment. This is not acceptable.”