Reality TV Show Awards Poet Over One Million Dollars
June 4, 2014
In the United Arab Emirates, Saif Al Mansouri won the sixth season of reality TV show Million’s Poet and was awarded the prize of nearly $1.4 million. The competition for the prize consisted of five finalists (whittled down from 48 contestants) from the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia. During the show’s finalé, Mansouri, 27, was handed the winning crimson flag fringed in gold by the renowned Arab poet Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, son of King Hamad of Bahrain.
The winning poem, “Golden Papers,” portrayed Mansouri’s Million’s Poet experience. “It was the final poem,” he said. “I wanted to showcase the journey of the past three months.”
Million’s Poet, the highest rated primetime show in the UAE, is a reality TV show broadcast live on Abu Dhabi Al Emarat and Baynounah TV with an international audience in the millions. There is an interactive element in that viewers participate during the 16 weeks of competition. After each round, the judges, theater audience, and viewers at home choose the winners. The show features Nabati poetry, a poetic form dating back to the 4th century, which, until Million’s Poet put the spotlight on it, was thought of as a dying art. A product of the Arabian peninsula’s Bedouin culture, Nabati is a form of storytelling in rhymed verse.
Nashwa Al Ruwaini, producer of the show, said, “The Word has always played an important role in our lives. Arabs have often used the poetry form of expression in all aspects of life, from asserting an idea to mobilizing the masses.”