Conspiracy theories surround Arab Idol again

 Arab Idol judge Ahlam.
Arab Idol judge Ahlam.

It only took a few days for sections of the regional press to cry foul over Saturday’s Arab Idol final.

The Jordanian online news website JBC published an article on Monday claiming that the end result – where Syria’s Hazem Sharif was declared winner – was fudged.

Their proof? A blurry image of an uncredited computer document purporting to be the final tally of votes.

The document stated that Palestine’s Haitham Khalailah amassed the biggest number of television votes with 3.8 million, second place belonged to Saudi Arabia’s Majid Al Madani with 1.9 million, and winner Sharif actually came third with 1.5 million votes.

While the unsubstantiated report was shunned by the mainstream press, conspiracy theories habitually surround the votes of Arab Idol. Because the Arab version sticks to the international guidelines provided by the programme’s producers Fremantlemedia, the final tallies are never revealed, as it is with its most popular franchise American Idol.

Speaking at the post-series press conference in Beirut on Saturday, MBC spokesperson Mazen Hayek reiterated that the Dubai-based broadcaster has nothing to do with the voting process, and said it was entirely left up to the television audience.

Emirati Arab Idol judge Ahlam was less diplomatic and openly took on the conspiracy theorists within the Arab press.

“Only a few days ago I read certain papers who claimed that the votes for the Arab Idol final was stitched up and that Majid Al Madani will win,” she said in the press conference.

“Well, I would like to introduce you to Hazem Sharif, this year’s Arab Idol so thank you very much.”

sasaeed@thenational.ae

Published: December 18, 2014 04:00 AM

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