Arab Idol audiences expressed discontent on social media on Sunday after voting results forced two contestants from Kurdistan and Egypt to exit the show.
Mohamed Rashad from Egypt and Ammar El-Koufy from Kurdistan were eliminated in favor of Haytham Khalaili from Palestine, Hazem Sherif from Syria and Maged El-Madany from Saudi Arabia. The three contestants will face off in the final run of Arab Idol's third season next week.
Emirati singer Ahlam, who is also a member of the judges committee, was a strong proponent of Saudi Arabia's El-Madany, which might have influenced voters. Although El-Madany has a good voice, he treads behind his fellow contestants who have much stronger and more flexible vocals.
Meanwhile, both Rashad and El-Koufy entertain a large following and are widely supported by audiences, which was partly why people were surprised when they were voted out.
For the first time in two years -- and since the inception of the show -- Egyptian artists are not in the final round Arab Idol. In the first year, the final face-off was between Karmen Soliman (Egypt) and Donia Batma (Morocco). In the second season, the finalists were Ahmed Gamal (Egypt), Farah (Syria) and Mohamed Assaf (Palestine).
Nine out of 80 aspiring artists entering the race this year are Egyptians. They were: Iman Abdel-Aziz, Inas Ezz El-Dine, Salma Ahmed, Mohamed Hassan, Mohamed Said Rashad, Mervat Wagdy, Moemen Khalil, Hebatullah Youssef and Yasser Ali.
Arab Idol is based on the series American Idol. The concept of the show is to showcase solo talents where winners are voted for by the audience.