A big part of the success of The Voice franchise is the bond shared between the coach and contestant, and the latest season of The Voice: Ahla Sawt is no different.
There's no doubt that this season's winner Dumooa Tahseen's has grown considerably since her nerve-racking audition in front of the coaches two months ago.
While all the four mentors expressed interest in coaching her, Tahseen says she chose Emirati singer Ahlam for her artistry as much as her personality.
“To be absolutely honest with you, being in her team was one of my goals in the competition,” she said. “I told myself that even if I don’t make it that far, I know that if I end up in Ahlam’s team for a bit then that’s good enough for me.”
However, with the exception of Lebanese singer Assi Helani, who has been with the show since its debut season in 2012, none of the three new coaches — Ahlam, Hamaki and Elissa — have had a television mentoring role before.
A different side of Ahlam
It was particularly fascinating to see whether Ahlam would thrive as a judge: long viewed as mercurial in nature, it was interesting to see if she had the patience to mentor a young charge.
Ultimately, Tahseen’s decision proved right for her burgeoning career and revelatory for the viewers. Over the season, we saw a different side of Ahlam, one that was affectionate and motherly in addition to being an experienced artist with knowledge of the stage.
Speaking to the press after the broadcast, Ahlam says the show's collaborative nature was far removed from her controversial four-year stint as judge in Arab Idol that ended last year — a period marked by plenty of skirmishes with fellow judges.
"The Voice is less gladiatorial," she told us.
"With Arab Idol, you are alone and there is this big sense of competition and sometimes we can get emotional. With The Voice, I felt there was team work with my fellow judges as we were all serving our contestants. Ultimately, what we wanted was to encourage people to be their best and that is a beautiful feeling."
Tahseen’s relationship with Ahlam is set to extend beyond the competition: the new winner is gearing up to perform her biggest concert yet as a guest of Ahlam, as part of her performance at Morocco’s Mawazine on June 30.
“I am nervous, but I am sure it will be okay,” Tahseen told us. “The thing with Ahlam is that when she does something, she totally believes in it. So if she tells me I am ready, then I know I have to work hard to be ready. She doesn’t like to be proved wrong.”