Politics enters Superstar as Milhim Zein leaves
Crowds of angry Lebanese mobbed the Future television studio in Beirut on Monday August 11, 2003 to protest the elimination of the Lebanese contestant Milhim Zein from the Arab Superstar singing contest. The unexpected and shocking announcement caused for an uncontrollable chaos to take place with fans of the singer refusing to accept that Milhim is out of the competition especially since he was the one most suited for first place.
According to different news sources, it was revealed that the reason behind decision of who stays and who leaves is plain politics. Many believe that the decision was changed at the last minute, especially since the previous episodes of the show the Syrian contestant had received the least amount of votes and was most probable of being eliminated. The Jordanian Diana Karazoun and Syrian Rwaida Attieh contestants, both women, remained to compete for the crown. Both women had fainted in the tumult and were taken to hospital after fans of Milhim began storming to the stage where they were sitting trying to assault them for the unjust act of eliminating him.
It was said that in Syria different government and private institutions had announced their full support to Rwaida and had gone overboard in making sure everyone was giving his/her voice to her. Some news sources revealed that in Jordan, an order was passed to the entire military to vote for Diana. In addition the Jordan television network, newspapers, and radio stations have throughout the competition held a huge advertising campaign in support of Diana.
With regards to Milhim it was stated that no Lebanese government of even private institutions held any form of campaign for him, and his winning depended solely on his popularity among people. Ali Jaber, executive manager of the competition sponsor Future TV, said Zein had lost in a fair contest judged by viewers who voted by phone, Internet and text message.
Witnesses said clashes erupted in the studio after viewers voted Zein out of the semi-final round of the televised contest. A mob of Lebanese vented the fury outside the studio and in front of the hotel where the contestants were staying. "With our blood and souls, we sacrifice for you Milhim," the protesters chanted, waving pictures of the defeated singer. –Albawaba.com