Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
MONDAY, 21 APR 2014
03:20 PM Beirut time
21 °C
Blom Index
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
U.S. singer almost wins Arabs Got Talent
Grout performs in the season finale of "Arabs Got Talent." (The Daily Star/Mohammed Azakir)
Grout performs in the season finale of "Arabs Got Talent." (The Daily Star/Mohammed Azakir)
A+ A-

BEIRUT: An American singer with no Arab heritage nearly took the top prize in the “Arabs Got Talent” television show this weekend, breaking into the top three alongside a Palestinian artist and a Syrian dance troupe.

Jennifer Grout, a 23-year-old from Massachusetts, fell just short in the end, but her renditions of classical Arabic songs had stunned some audiences – especially given that she only speaks a little Arabic.

Late on Saturday night, Grout vied with an eclectic set of contestants for the show’s third season finale, including a Moroccan juggler, Kuwaiti comedians, an Egyptian “popper,” a Lebanese drummer, and an acrobatics squad dressed as Pharaohs.

Dressed in a flowing white gown, Grout sang “Wahashtini” (I’ve Missed You), a classic by Lebanese-Egyptian singer Souad Mohamed.

The judges praised her voice and her enthusiasm for classic Arabic music – much of it relatively unknown outside the Middle East – at a time when many commentators lament that Western cultural hegemony has eroded the region’s distinct identity.

Grout lives in Morocco and organizers said it was not necessary to be an Arab to compete.

“I believe Jennifer is a phenomenon we should celebrate,” Saudi comedian Nasser al-Qasaibi said.

Grout was joined in the top three by Mohamed al-Deiri, a Palestinian artist who drew enthusiastic applause by swiftly burning a portrait of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat onto a large white canvas with two gas torches, and Syrian dance team Sima.

In the end it was Sima’s performance – an interpretative dance that incorporated themes of power and conflict – that took the top prize.

The number opened with a group of dancers dressed in black and white fighting over a throne, an image that could be seen as symbolic of Syria’s conflict, which has killed more than 100,000 people.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on December 09, 2013, on page 16.
Home Music

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus

Baabda 2014
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Monday April 21, 2014
View all view all
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Why Israeli-Palestinian talks fail
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Echoes of 1914 characterize the Ukraine crisis
View all view all
Click to View Articles
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS