Recap: "Your Face Sounds Familiar" ep1
Wael claims his prize - $5000 - which he has given to the charity "Educate Me." (Image: Facebook)
The show is funny, original and the first of its kind on Arabic TV.
The plot? Eight celebs are challenged to impersonate famous international singers and nail their looks, voices and expressions, all for the chance of winning $5000 for their chosen charity.
The judging panel, comprised of Egyptian folklore superstar Hakim, Lebanese diva Haifa Wehbe and Egyptian director Mohammad Sami were super enthusiastic during the show’s first episode.
While, ironically, Haifa is known for her lack of singing skills, her role as judge is justifiable because the panel needs to look at the celebs’ impersonations as a whole, and not by judging them on the accuracy of their singing voices alone.
But who are the brave celebs taking on this challenge? Here’s the line-up:
Syrian actress Dima Andaleft , Jordanian actress and singer Mais Hamdan, American former Arabs Got Talent contestant and singer Jennifer Grout, Lebanese singer Basimah, Egyptian former Superstar contestant and artist Wael Mansour, Bahraini TV presenter Khaled Al Shaer, Syrian actor Abdelmonem Amayri, Egyptian actor Tamer Abdelmonem.
Before the celebs took on to the stage, the judges had to do an impersonation of their own first!
Hakim transformed into Ahmed Adaweya, Haifa became Hind Rostom and Sami channelled Bob Marley! All three did a job well done and certainly set the bar high for the eight contestants!
First up for the challenge was Mais, who imitated Tunisian superstar Latifah. She certainly nailed Latifah’s voice, but the same can’t be said for her exaggerated and somewhat annoying impressions of the singer. The judges were definitely impressed and praised Mais for her great efforts.
Another shining performance on the night was that of Dima’s as Lebanese superstar Najwa Karam. The looks and expressions were spot on, the voice however is something that no one can imitate!
Al Shaer channelled Algerian singer Cheb Khaled but was so far off the mark and the judges didn’t take too kindly to it.
Jennifer was the impossibly brilliant Lebanese superstar Majida El Roumi, who’s difficult for even native Arabic singers to impersonate, let alone someone who’s learning Arabic like Grout! She did a fairly good job at it, and although she didn’t sound like Majida, she was praised for her strong and beautiful voice.
Amayri impersonated Iraqi superstar Kazem El Saher but did him no justice whatsoever. Unfortunately, he looked and sounded nothing like the elegant singer!
It was then Abdelmonem’s turn to impersonate Egyptian singer Hani Shaker; let’s just say that he wasn’t too convincing!
Basimah was oldie goldie Sabah. The judges thought she sang well - because she’s a singer - but only resembled Sabah’s looks and expressions, minus the voice!
Finally, funny chap Wael had the most difficult challenge out of everyone because he had to impersonate Korean superstar Psy. Not only did Wael have to learn Psy’s expressions, but he had to learn the Korean song lyrics to Gangam Style as well!
His performance was definitely lively and humorous, and we must give him credit for learning the lyrics in such a short period of time.
The show ended on a high note with all three judges practising their best Gangam Style moves, before crowning Wael, AKA Psy, as the winner of episode #1.
Wael gave his prize of $5000 to his chosen charity “Educate Me” in Egypt, which gives misfortunate children the chance to go to school for free!
Did you enjoy this week’s show? We sure can’t wait for next week’s episode!
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