x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Arab Idol: a showcase for success

The co-host Annabella Hilal says the show is all about trying your best.

Annabella Hilal calls Ahlam
Annabella Hilal calls Ahlam "a model of self-confidence for me," she says. "From her, I learnt how to use the stage and have faith in myself." Courtesy MBC

It's not only the contestants benefiting from Arab Idol.

Annabella Hilal says her self-confidence has grown since she became a co-host of the show.

The 27-year-old former Lebanese model, who has fronted the show since its debut last year (the Egyptian actor Ahmad Fahmy joined as co-host for the second season), explains her experience this time around as less nerve-racking.

"The show really gave me the valuable lesson in trusting myself and proving that I can host a live show. This is very important to me," she says.

"I developed myself and I am already looking forward to the next season."

However, there are some things Hilal just can't get used to despite doing it nearly every week.

"Calling out the name of the contestants leaving the programme is always the hardest part," she admits.

"To be the person who delivers a piece of news that saddens someone is not the best feeling and if you could measure my heart rate at the moment, you will find me extremely anxious."

Despite such solemn moments, Hilal describes a fun Arab Idol set, led by the four superstar judges: the UAE's Ahlam, Lebanon's Ragheb Alama and Nancy Ajram and the Egyptian Hassan El Shafei.

"They all have their own personalities but they are very complimentary," she says.

"For instance, Ragheb has a real love for the crowd, Nancy has a real soft heart and is easy-going while Hassan is just a real pro."

Hilal singles out the Emirati diva Ahlam as a personal inspiration.

"She is a model of self-confidence for me," she says.

"From her, I learnt how to use the stage and have faith in myself."

Hilal hopes the success of Arab Idol will encourage even more hopefuls to take a shot and showcase their talents.

"I would tell them not to think twice about it and audition," she says.

"The show is definitely a chance of a lifetime, where the lesson is not to win. It's really about going out there and trying your best."

sasaeed@thenational.ae

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