The Voice finds its rhythm and carries a tune as finalists square up the talent

Published November 19th, 2012 - 05:00 GMT
The Voice, Middle East, has struck
The Voice, Middle East, has struck
Contestants of  MBC's The Voice upped the ante for the second installment of live performances on Friday night.
Revving up this weekend, finalists had their first chance of the night to impress as they took turns on stage in their four groups, vying for the audience vote with their show-pieces. 
The lowdown
Assi Al Hilani's team kick started the competition this week with all three contestants impressing the picky coach. Tunisian singer Hasan did the 'Arab Knight' proud with his rendition of Abed Al Rab Edris' song 'Leilah'. While Lebanese rising star Eli Asmar put up a fight with his rendition of Mulhem Barakat's song, 'Ala Babi'. And the female in the running, Marina Cub, refused to let the men steal the show. After her rendition of 'Valerie', Assi called the songstress the star of the Arabian stage. 
The three contestants then joined their coach on stage for a crowd pleasing performance of 'Mitel il Kizbeh' (Like a Lie), during which Marina's attempts to flirt with Assi didn't go unnoticed by eagle-eyed viewers. But her feminine charms weren't enough to take her through to the next round. And whilst the other two contestants were moved forward, Marina was sent packing. 
In Saber's group, Lamia Zaidi took her coach's advice and sang Mayada Al Himawi's ballad 'Ana Ba'sha'ak'. Mona Roukashi stole the next segment of the show with Jessie J's song 'Domino'. And popular contestant Qusay Hatem secured the vote of Iraqi music lovers with his performance of 'Foug Al Nahkel'.
The group then sang alongside their mentor to the tune of 'Bibasatah' and Michael Jackson's signature, 'Billie Jean'. 
The results broke with the audience choosing Qusay Hatem while, after some tough deliberating, Saber picked Lamia Zaidi.
Shireen's group were next up with renditions of Abdul Kader and Sabri Aleel. The audience vote favored Fred Ghannam while Shireen chose fellow countryman Abdel Azim Golden.
Kazem's group closed the show in style with some of the most daring song choices of the evening. A brave performance from Chris Jr paid off, as her rendition of Adele's 'Skyfall' won her praise across the panel. And she was the envy of women across the region when Kazem crooned lyrics to one of his most famous songs at the lucky starlet: "Do you doubt that you are the most beautiful and most precious lady?" 
Yousry Mahnoush then took the Voice mic and stage with the Umm Kalthoum classic 'Arouh Lameen'. While competitor Rooney  took to the stage with Iraqi number, 'Ala Hadlak', which went down a treat with the audience as well as al Saher.
Kazem and his group grabbed the mic for a version of  'Hatha Il Loun' and Beyonce's 'Put a ring on it.' At the close of the vote, the audience got behind Yousry Mahnoush, while Kazem plumped for Kris. 
With only four contestants left on each team, the new Voice of the Middle East is now in sight. 
What do you think? Are you starting to enjoy the Voice more at this stage in the competition? Share your inside views and favorite songsters. Who's your vote with?

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