With the semi-finals just around the corner, there was more pressure on contestants of MBC’s The Voice than ever before this weekend, as they battled it out for the final two places on their coaches teams.
And this time it wasn’t just the public or the coaches the wannabe superstars had to impress: the audience was full of celeb fans casting a critical eye over the performances. From Lebanese starlet Nancy Ajram , to UAE singer Ahlam, and Egyptian actress Muna Zaki, stars from across the region were out in force to cheer on their favourite competitor.
This weekend the talented teams of three were whittled down to two after the audience and the coaches cast their all-important vote.
Like last week, Saber Al Rubai’s team kicked off the show. Popular contestant, Lamia Zaidi had the nerve-racking task of giving the first performance of the night. And she didn’t make things any easier for herself, choosing to perform a song by superstar Umm Kaltoum. But the gamble paid off as the audience voted in force to bring the starlet back next week.
After another impressive performance, Qusay Hatem couldn’t contain himself, begging viewers to take him through to the next round. And while he might not have been the audience's ‘number one’ this week, it came as no surprise to see him get Saber’s vote.
After being praised by all four coaches for his performance of ‘Amanah ya Leila’, Egyptian contestant Samer was disappointed to narrowly miss out on the semi-final.
As sing-off’s heated up on-stage so did the competition between the coaches. After his team had finished performing, Saber said he was sure one of his contestants would be the ultimate winner. Assi Helani and Sherine Abdel Wahab got up to defend their teams while Kazem Al Saher remained calm and collected, assuring the panel that the winner would be one of his own contestants.
Sherine Abdel Wahab’s  team were next to step up to the plate. Dressed all in red, the Egyptian beauty looked ready for battle as she sent her final three contestants onto the stage. Fareed Ghanem seemed pleased with his performance and was happy, if a little confused, by Sherine’s cryptic critique that he was not a ‘star’ but a ‘star’. Viewers were clearer about their feelings for the contestant, voting him into the semi-final.
After Muhammad Adli’s performance of Fadel Shaker’s ‘Ana Ishetilak’, Sherine shocked the audience by kissing a rose and handing it to the rising star. Inge Amin might not have been given a rose, but she did receive glowing praise from her coach after a performance of Umm Kaltoum’s ‘Amal Hayati’. In her toughest decision to date, Sherine shocked viewers by giving her vote to Muhammad Adli.
Next it was the turn of Kazem Al Saher and his all-girl team. In the battle of the females, Yousry Mahnoush got the all-important viewers vote after being dubbed a ‘lady with soul’ by her critical coach. For many, the most shocking moment of the evening came when Kazem gave his vote to Noor Arksosa, leaving hotly-tipped favourite Chris Jr. to pack her bags.
Before Assi’s group could take to the stage, the coaches were asked what they would do if their team won. Assi promised to put on a show and give the proceeds to Gaza, while Saber said he would sing for Tunisia and Sherine swore she would deliver a tune in Tahrir Square. Kazem was the only judge to keep his cards close to his chest, saying his own celebration would be a surprise.
Assi Helani’s final three male vocalists were the last to hit the stage. Moroccan contestant, Murad Buriqi, was over the moon when Assi instructed viewers to vote for him. And it seems fans were easily influenced by the ‘Arab Knight’, taking his advice, and voting to bring Murad through to the semi-finals. Assi was left with a difficult choice between heartthrobs Mori Hatem and Hassan Amarah, eventually deciding to take Mori through.
With coaches and contestants ready to do whatever it takes to come out on top, this weekend looks set for an explosive semi-final.
Who do you want to win The Voice? Did your favourite contestant survive this week? Leave us your comments below!