An American girl with no Arab heritage shone among other finalists on "Arabs' Got Talent", the Arabic version of Simon Cowell-created "Got Talent" franchise. Jennifer Grout was among the final three contestants competing for the top prize on the show's finale Saturday night, December 7 held in Beirut.
Grout stunned audience earlier at the competition with her renditions of classical Arabic songs despite the fact that she only speaks a little Arabic. That night, she sang "Wahashtini" ("I've Missed You") which was originally performed by Lebanese-Egyptian singer Souad Mohamed.
Grout lives in Morocco and first learned to sing Arabic music in college. Organizers said it was not necessary to be an Arab to compete on the show. Judge Najwa Karam praised her achievement on the show, saying, "It shows music is universal. When it comes to the arts, there are no barriers between us and any other people in the world."
Grout ended up finishing in the third place. Sima, a Syrian dance troupe, was the winner, while Palestinian artist Mohamed al-Deiri took the runner-up place. The 23-year-old girl from Massachusetts commented on the final results, "I'm really happy I was in the top three and it was such a good experience, but I'm so happy for Sima because they deserved it."