12.05.2011 08.Ijar, 5771 Tag 22 des Omer; Ta'anit BH'B
The current season of ‘New Star,’ the Palestinian version of ‘American Idol,’ is proving to be a ratings hit. Behind the scenes is a rare mix of Palestinians, Israeli Arabs and Israeli Jews.
It’s Thursday night, and the crowd files rapidly through the metal detectors at the entrance to the impressive auditorium. Dressed in glittery frocks and suits, the men and women chatter excitedly while holding on tightly to oversized banners with glossy portraits of the performers they are about to see.
While the scene is reminiscent of the pre-show buzz at just about any theater in the world, what makes this night special is that it’s the first live show in the countdown to the final round of New Star. The show, which will reach its climax on May 26, is the only televised Palestinian singing contest – think American Idol or Britain’s X-factor – and the twice-weekly episodes are being held at the brand new Palestinian Convention Center in Kfar al-Khadar, just south of Bethlehem….