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Workers' got talent show in UAE goes virtual this year

Saman Haziq/Dubai
Filed on August 24, 2020 | Last updated on August 24, 2020 at 06.45 am
 Smart Idol show, Workers got talent show, virtual, year,


After a break of nearly three months, the 14 semi-finalists were trained virtually by professional trainers from India and the UAE.

Six finalists of the Smart Idol show, which saw the participation of more than 2,000 blue-collar workers in five months, will vie for the Dh30,000 prize money virtually.

Auditions for the singing and dancing talent show had begun in January, said SmartLife, the NGO organising the show. "A number of auditions were physically conducted across several labour accommodations in the UAE but after the quarter-finals in February, when the training for the semi-finalists was about to begin in March, the pandemic struck."

After a break of nearly three months, the14 semi-finalists were trained virtually by professional trainers from India and the UAE. The semi-finals on August 21 was live-streamed from the social media page of SmartLife, and garnered 16,000 views, 292 engagements and a reach of 6,780.

"Despite the pandemic, we owed it to our 14 semi-final contestants to bring this to a logical conclusion. Hence, we took the bold step of going virtual. It has not been easy, but the joy that we see on the faces of the competing contestants makes it all worthwhile. We look forward to an exciting finish to our Smart Idol 2020 edition," said Manjula Ramakrishnan, president of SmartLife.

Thrilled to be part of the show, semi-finalist Diana Nakijoba, a bus conductor from Uganda, said: "It was a positive experience to be part of Smart Idol event. This is the first time I am competing and the training was a blessing. The trainer really put in a lot of effort to help us improve our singing and dancing moves."

The grand finale will be held be live-streamed at 4pm from SmartLife Foundation's Facebook page on August 28. The final day will also see performances of winners from previous years, who become part of SmartBand and Smart Feet, that gave them the chance of a year-long training to nurture their talents.

While the first position holders of singing and dancing categories will each get Dh10,000, the four runners-up will each get Dh2,500. 


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