Sound but no sight as 'blind' auditions begin on MBC's The Voice
The newest talent show to hit the Middle East has caused a buzz after the first episode of “The Voice” aired on Friday night, setting itself apart from similar shows that have sought to snap up regional vocal talent.
The Arabic version of “The Voice,” a program which already features on international screens, has been hosted by the Dubai-based Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC), the group which has previously brought “Arab Idol” and “Arab’s Got Talent” to its audiences.
“The Voice” will feature 100 participants across the Arab world and they will receive training and supervision from four prominent Arab celebrity singers.
The four celebrities – Kadim al-Sahir, Assi el-Helani, Shereen Abdelwahab, and Saber al-Rubai – will choose the participants in the program based on the quality of their voices without seeing them.
The competition’s “blind auditions” will be held in the UAE, Egypt, Kuwait, Tunisia, Lebanon and Morocco.
“For me the voice is the most important thing. As I have said in several previous venues, why do we think in such a way? Throughout the world there are remarkable singers and no one chose them for their appearance. They were chosen for their voice. The voice is what is important,” Iraqi singer Sahir told Al Arabiya.
Abdelwahab, meanwhile, said that she will be making her selection of candidates solely based on their voices and not on any other factor, such as belongingness.
The program consists of three phases: Blind Auditions, the Battle Rounds, and the Live performance shows. Four coaches, all famous stars and artists, will choose teams of contestants through the blind audition process. Each coach has the length of the candidates’ performance to decide if he or she wants that singer on his or her team; if two or more judges want the same singer then the singer gets to choose which coach they want to work with.
Each team of candidates will be mentored and developed by their coach. During the second phase, coaches will have two of their team members’ battle against each other by singing the same song, and the coach choosing which team member will advance to the next stage. During the final phase, the remaining contestants will compete against each other in live broadcasts. The television audience will help to decide who moves on. When one team member remains for each coach, the contestants will compete against each other in the finale.