KSA

Saudi Idol launches in December – and you can audition

The star-studded judging panel includes Aseel Abu Bakr, Ahlam and Asala.

There’s been American IdolAustralian Idol and now, for the first time ever, Saudi Idol. The international talent show is finally coming to the kingdom, and is on a mission to uncover talented performers.

The first series of Saudi Idol begins in December and will be broadcast on MBS. Idols across the world are famous for A-list judging panel – Jennifer Lopez on American Idol, anyone? The Saudi Idol panel is just as glitzy and includes the Yemeni singer, poet and composer Aseel Abu Bakr; Emirati singer Ahlam; Syrian musician Asala; and Saudi Iraqi Majid al-Mohandes. 

No talent contest is complete without, well, talent. So if you fancy yourself as the next Saudi superstar, you can grab the mic and audition.

The launch of Saudi Idol is a significant moment in the kingdom. Not long ago, live concerts did not happen in Saudi Arabia. Ever since His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz came into power in 2017, the kingdom has loosened its restrictions over arts, culture and entertainment. Hiba Tawaji was the first female singer to perform in 2017, and BTS were the first international artists to play a stadium show in 2019.  

As for Idols, it began back in 2002 in the United Kingdom with Pop Idol, and has been franchised across the world. Over the years, the show has introduced the world to musical talent (as well as disasters). Previous winners include Will Young and Kelly Clarkson. Plus, there are plenty of acts who did not win but went on to achieve success including Jennifer Hudson, Adam Lambert and Carly Rae Jepson. 

The original Idols concept was created by the British music manager and TV producer, Simon Fuller. While you might not have heard of his name in Saudi Arabia, we’re confident you’ll have heard of at least one of his talents, which includes Spice Girls, Steven Tyler, Andy Murray and Lisa Marie Presley. Plus, Time magazine went so far as to name him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. 

Mic drop.

GO: Follow @mbctrending on Instagram for more information.

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Kohinoor Sahota - Deputy Editor
A sucker for a good story, if you invite Kohinoor to a gallery, comedy night, new restaurant, hiking trip, cycle ride, pool day or just about any activity, preferably with the promise of wine, she’ll probably say yes – that is if she isn’t busy planning her next adventure.

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