x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Shamma Hamdan says Arabs Got Talent was just the beginning

The teenager has been transformed by her time on the programme - and she now has some big plans for the future.

Shamma Hamdan performing on the final of Arabs Got Talent. Courtesy MBC
Shamma Hamdan performing on the final of Arabs Got Talent. Courtesy MBC

It may have not been first prize for Shamma Hamdan, but her top three finish was beyond her wildest expectations.

The 18-year-old's solo performance was once again accompanied only by a guitar.

While her semi-final act had her performing in an ethereal twilight setting, this time around, she sat on the ledge of what was a massive photo frame showing a corridor flanked by differing portraits of Hamdan.

It was fitting; those pictures showed different guises of Hamdan the singer-songwriter, who has grown over the months the programme has been on air.

A shy performer during the auditions, she has become a fiercely focused and determined artist.

Speaking before her final performance, she said it was the criticism on social networking sites of her earlier rocker appearance that had triggered her determination.

"I learnt not to respond to such criticism," she explained. "Some people will disagree with you and that will happen."

Where before she kept her musical talent to small, impromptu home performances in front of family and friends, her success on Arabs Got Talenthas now allowed her to dream big.

"After the programme, I plan to do a concert for charity," she says. "Then an album of Khaleeji songs performed in a western style."

Does that mean she signed a record deal?

"I have no comment on that," she smiled.

With MBC later confirming that all 12 finalists signed a music deal with the network, the Arab world can rest assured that it has only heard the beginning of Hamdan's talent.