Ragheb the Idol

We have certainly seen a different side to Ragheb Alame this year. The Lebanese superstar — one of the most successful Arab artists of the past decade — made his first foray into reality television, appearing on MBC’s Arab Idol alongside Emirati singer Ahlam and Egyptian music producer Hassan Al Shafei. And feedback from fans and Arab media has been extremely positive.

Dubbed the “gentle judge”, Alame has been praised by critics for being fair on the show without putting any of the contestants down.

But it was not clear if he was going to return for Arab Idol’s next season — until now.

Another first for the star is that Alame is now on Twitter. You can follow the singer @raghebalama, and when tabloid! met him in Dubai this week, he was showing off his followers on his iPhone.

“Look, I have only been on Twitter for three weeks and I have 20,000 followers — this is so exciting! So before you start asking me questions, I want to tell you something about Twitter”.

You mentioned you wanted to say something before we started…

I was Tweeting my fans — actually I call them my friends — about the next episode of Arab Idol.

There’s something that’s bothering me: a percentage of viewers want to vote for contestants based on where they are from. Viewers should vote for the voice they prefer, and not for their country. Arab Idol is not a football match.

Idol is the first time you’ve been on a TV contest. How have you found it?

I am going to be honest with you. I was scared at first. However, I’ve always considered myself brave in my career, so I took on the challenge. If it didn’t work out, I wouldn’t sign up for another season. But I am so glad I took that step, because it is definitely a new experience that taught me a lot about myself.

It was the first time the public really got to see my character, and I can see love and respect from the public for the way I judge. At the beginning of my career I always used to say in interviews that I want to help others be able to sing — so I put myself in the contestants’ shoes and treated them the way I’d want to be treated.

Read more: http://gulfnews.com/life-style/celebrity/showbiz-latest-gossip-from-the-arab-world-1.988108

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