Arabs Churning out Talent: What to Expect Next in AGT, A Reminder of 4th Episode!
The Arab variety show that is Arabs Got Talent is finding its feisty stride by the 4th episode, gearing up for the 5th today which promises yet more surprise factor if the second season's drama so far is anything to go by.
The Fourth episode of Arabs Got Talent was full of action of the unexpected kind, leaving viewers on the edge of their seats. Just as much as the third episode, this show was able to both astound and apal the judges in equal measure with its rich variety of performances.
Below is a detailed re-cap of the episode crammed full with cancelled or withdrawn buzzes and show stop-starters that begged for the show to go on, even once curtains were called. Episode 4 contained, according to our trusty Judges' honorable assessments, some of the best talent seen so far in the series.
Tunisian contestant, Sundus Al Soli, was not short on confidence in her own talent. However, disappointingly, her confidence may have been a little mis-placed. The 23 year-old, who claimed that her talent lay in singing and dancing, could- according to the judges- neither dance, nor sing. Her performance, unlike her country, was short on the revolutionary factor. As soon as she started singing Warda Al Jazairiyah's song "Haramt Ahebbak", (I Gave Up Loving You or It's Wrong to Love You) Ali Jaber pressed his rejection buzzer, while Naser Al Qasabi, fell into a fit of laughter, jabbing his buzzer with all his might, which made explicit his complete rejection to her performance.
Talented Lebanese contestant Manal Molat, astonished the judges of Arabs Got Talent, with her voice. She showcased her linguistic talent by her dual performance of one song in French and the other in English. She was positvely endorsed by the three Judges. Ali Jaber said, "I enjoyed the performance so very much, I am happy that I am here listening to such a beautiful voice." Najwa Karam chirped in with," I congratulate you on your rare voice", while Naser Al Qasabi contributed,"Your voice is fierce and beautiful".
Falling from grace?
Divine intervention saved the Tunisian contestant Radwan Al Shalbawi from a brush with death. He took a fall from quite a height, while performing a circus act on the platform of talent that is the 'Arabs Got Talent' stage. The painful accident had something to do with the extreme tautness of the rope he used during his act. The accident unfolded right under the watchful eyes of the judges, who were horrified by the deadly drop. Shalbawi was immediately rushed to the emergency room, where he received the medical attention he critically required. The judges remained in a state of shock, until they were able to check up on him with a phone call. Drama and real-life suspense, talent nothwithstanding!
"Ward Haza'a", a Syrian contestant, performed a doubley slippery act, making the judges believe that he was an Arab-Australian, who did not have much Arabic language to work with, and but for a dare by a friend, his story went, he would not have auditioned on the show. At the beginning of his act, "Haza'a" spoke in broken, limited Arabic, duping Najwa Karam, into buying his act of not understanding spoken, regular Arabic, urging her to speak with him instead in Classical Arabic (which can sound over-the-top formal register for everyday spoken usage). When he began his routine, he sprung his native fluent Syrian accent on three surprised judges. The bigger surprise yet was that Haza'a was acting all along, once he introduced himself honestly:" I am Ali Bushnaq, from Syria, a graduate of Fine Arts, I am originally a graphic designer". He received two ringing endorsemens votes from judges Naser and Najwa.
Moroccan Abdel-Hafeeth Limhrok was not expecting a miracle when judges Najwa Karam and Naser Al Qasabi withdrew their rejections to his 'painful' performance. After watching this guy subject himself to a tortuous series of what turned out to be more endurance test than talent fest, the judges were sold and undid their veto. This u-turn qualified him to move onto the next level of Arabs Got Talent. The three judges, Ali Jaber, Najwa Karam (of the playful, "Is heeee a more generous judge than me? I don't think so!") and Naser Al Qasabi, could no longer stomach continuing to watch the grueling show-casing of the man dubbed "Morocco's Superman", which led to a knee-jerk unanimous rejection-buzzing during the performance. Between bending a sword and two wires with his open eyes and eating glass and blades, not before jumping on broken glass, and not forgetting being lifted by (not the hairs of his chinny-chin-chin, but just as delicately, from his nostrils by his assistant.) A freaky feat or five?
A further surprise that tipped the scales of Arabs Got Talent, was Ali Jaber's support for the first male (Arab) ballet dancer on the show. Naser Al Qasabi - not so moved by the fine art in Arab male form- buzzed him back to Egypt! Just before coming on stage, Ali Shafee, the Egyptian 19 year-old Contestant said that he had been ballet-dancing since the age of 9, when he joined the ballet institute, encouraged by the conviction to stick to it. Ali Jaber a-okayed his performance, causing Najwa Karam - again playing with her Arabic family name, 'Karam' for 'generosity' - to say, "Do not test my generosity". She then turned to the contestant and said, "Since Ali did not use his buzzer, thinking that he's so big-hearted...well, just watch me! I'll see you again". Anything he can do, I can do better!
An Iraqi contestant was able to achieve the impossible with media savvy Ali Jaber, causing yet another reneging of the sounded buzzer, after an awe-inspiring performance on the piano. Saher Al Saher name-dropped that his uncle was the famous Iraqi singer, Kathem Al Sahir, who had introduced him during many a musical festival, noting that his uncle was a picky one, not just throwing his celebrity weight behind anyone if he were not 100% sure of their talent, even if it were his own son. (or nephew for that matter).
Naser Al Qasabi flirted with Saudi Arabian entry Mai Mandour, the first female rapper on the show before giving her the green light. She was presented as Mai, a 21 year old Saudi, living in Egypt, who competes in the rapping circuit - usually the preserve of male rap artists. Before her performance, Naser playfully remarked on his surprise of the fact or existance of female rappers. It was certainly proof of the pudding that this female talent went through to the next round.
A band of 15 Moroccans wowed the judges with their astonishing Taekwando performance which was filled with an array of technical moves. The group, going by the name the Andalus Alliance Tanja, began their performance to the beat of the Arabian drums or Tableh, and before long had gained the unanimous 'aye' vote from the judges. They christened this Moroccan choreography the best action-filled performance in the course of the entire show so far!
The judges empahasised to us that despite their arrival straight from the airport to the Arabs Got Talent set, the Moroccan break dancing troupe performed their wonders! They seemed to sweep travel fatigue under the rug while they lit up the stage with their dancing energy, infecting the judges with re-juvination after a long day of back-to-back auditions. The group clearly impressed the Judges with their lively performance. Naser Al Qasabi ccommented, "very nice, job well done, you arrived tired yet still you performed beautifully with a very youthful spirit".
'Shaky' serves well in opera
Singer Najwa Karam described one of the contestants who participated in a spectacular operatic display as being one of the best talents on the show, making her pronouncement after he performed one of the recognizably technically most challenging opera songs. This act too was not without its own drama - another show stop-starter!
The talented Maxim Al Shami, a stage-shy performer, unable to go through with his slot initially after a false start, intimidated by the judges, returned at the end of the show after all other performances were done and dusted for a last chance to go through with his audition. The judges agreed to hear him perform, even after they had called it a night. His piece left the judges so spellbound by his virtuosic performance, that Najwa said that this Lebanese contestant carried the tune perfectly, adding that he had a strong voice, making him one of the best contestants to ever audition on the show. Naser threw in his lot to this verdict as well, in yet another display of judge solidarity.