The sixth and last semi final episode of Arabs Got Talent went out last Friday. For those who missed it or need a reminder, here's a recap. By the end of the show, we were left with 12 hearty finalists - the creme de la creme of Arab talent, that would be deliveringg one winner for the second season.
The draw was rich but the soon to be finalists shone through. Algerian Dalia Al Sheeh shook the stage of Arabs Got Talent with her performance of one of America's greatest divas, Aretha Franklin. Dalia appeared on stage with an 60s/70s decked out in a black dress, her hair styled into an afro. The young Algerian contestant was knock-out with all three judges. Najwa found her 'fabulous', adding "no one affected us this much with their singing, you're great". Ali Jaber congratulated her on her choice of song by saying,"you chose a song that showed your singing capacity, you gave your voice the chance to tenor", while Nasser Al Qasabi said that Dalia possessed a golden throat.
Atta presented a children's tale full of sounds effects - 25 different sounds to be exact - to which Nasser fed-back his reproach: "Ali advised you to present your talent a tale-form with different characters; however the story killed your ability to imitate sounds. If you had performed 'free style' and improvised you would have done better. Najwa suggested that Nasser's fault finding was unfair since the contestant had followed Judge Ali's advice, the Atta replied insisted that he would shoulder the blame too for he had done story telling in the past and found it diverting and funny.
Pianos for all
Jordanian pianist Christopher Al Sayeg, panned us between Beethoven and cinematic snippets from "The Godfather" for some Mafia intrigue. After the performance Ali Jaber praised Christopher for bringing the piano into every Arab household, applauding this vital exposure: "The piano is one of the elite instruments; this show has intoduced viewers to this form of art, and for this I am proud"
As for Najwa, she said that Christopher didn't have any shortcomings whether his hand was broken or not: in both cases he delivered exceptional performances. Nasser Al Qasabi found merit in Chrsitopher's natural ability, noting that the Jordanian contestant was able to reach him in spite of having no technical sophisticated understanding of the piano.
Moroccan outfit La Hala King Zoo easily impressed the judges with their performance of innovative dancing which was a blend of oriental and western dancing. The dancers' show was in fact the story of Aladdin and the forty thieves and caves of secret treasure. The group was highly commended, especially by Ali Jaber who commented on the arabization of hip hop dancing with the use of an Arabic narrative set to Arabic music.
Najwa Karam's heart almost stopped over the duo sister act (we had brothers last week!) Qamar and Noor, during their dangerous circus act. The two held on for dear life to material hitched to the highest points of the ceiling, while performing dangerous circus acts, putting Najwa through her own nighmare. Ali advised the girls to train on an international level, deeming ready and advanced enough to qualify for elite European circuses. As for Nasser, the audience the audience's excitement denied him the opening to comment as they clapped on and on.
Using 'street' lyrics straight from the heart of Cairo, the Egyptian duo High On Body Fat presented a satirical song about the political situation in Egypt. However the duo's performance was not up to par for our judges who found their performance to be somehwhat 'random' or perhaps nonsensical?
In a performance that took almost two months of preparation, the Lebanese magician entry Ameen Jabour was able to conjure tricks on stage to show that Arabs Got Illusions! Jabour put on a collar with the aid of his assistant, then entered a cage cloaked in a black curtain. Once the curtain was lifted, it revealed a lion in the cage with the same collar Jabour was wearing, while the man himself walked nonchalantly through the audience. The judges were suitably impressed, as Judge Ali hailed it as an accomplishment, advising the Arab magic man to tighten his 'directing'. As for frail soft-touch Najwa, she expressed her fear of wild animals attacking the show by season 3, mockingly exclaiming,"God protect us next season: we saw snakes and lions this time round, I just pray that the crew of this show will still like us next season".
The agility of the Saudi contestant Abdul Majeed Moath, got the judges' attention with his funky hip hop dance. It showcased his gift, and apparently put the judges at ease. They highlighted his precision and lightfootedness. Ali Jaber said, "you have great agility and you are light on stage, you made it seem so effortless". Nasser said added the word neat to his repertoire, while Najwa praised his smooth transitions and fluidity between moves.
In one of the strongest competitions so far this second season, the Algerian singer Dalia Al Sheeh and Moroccan group La Hala King Zoo came through deservidly to the finals, to compete for the grand prize of USD 133 and a Chevrolet Camero.
Dalia the Algerian 'golden throat' received the highest amount of votes, qualifying her to go her straight to the finals while the judges had to arbitrate between the second and third finalists - the sister double act, Qamar and Noor and La Hala King Zoo. Najwa Karam chose the sisters while Ali and Nasser chose La Hala King Zoo. And in this case, the man-vote won.
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