x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Beyoncé impersonators battle it out ? literally

Dancers overstep the mark in a bid to win tickets for the diva's show.

Wissam Majed, 12, far right, was one of the three winners in the Beyoncé Dance-Off competition.
Wissam Majed, 12, far right, was one of the three winners in the Beyoncé Dance-Off competition.

ABU DHABI // It started as a competition to find the best impersonator of the singing superstar Beyoncé. But two of the finalists found their halos slipping as they got into a pushing and shoving match. When the dust settled, there were three winners yesterday: an Emirati teenager, a woman from New York and an Egyptian girl. They earned four tickets and a parking pass to Beyoncé's show on Thursday at Ferrari World on Yas Island.

"I'm tired, excited and thirsty. I'm a huge fan and can't wait to see her on stage," said Ymane Elakhlef, 24, one of the winners. The other winner was Mohammed al Yafai, a 15-year-old high school student who prefers to be called Alien. He said he had been "forced" by his friends to take part. "I am tired, happy and I am a big fan of Beyoncé and her husband," he said. As the finalists danced to Crazy in Love and Single Ladies, they jostled each other, leading to a few heated moments. But overall, it was a family friendly event at the F1 FanZone on the Corniche.

A 12-year-old Egyptian girl, Wissam Majed, was also chosen as a winner. She said she would take her parents and her brother to the show. The family, she said, were big fans of the singer. More than 100 people, mainly parents and their children, gathered around a dance floor for the competition. Most were reluctant at the start of the event; the first participants were small children encouraged by their mothers and fathers.

Tickets for the concert are otherwise exclusive for Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ticket-holders. The organisers of the competition, Flash and Radio One, said they wanted to "give the chance for children to be able to go to the concert". hhassan@thenational.ae