About 2,000 workers auditioned in the singing and dancing categories for the 10th edition of SmartIdol 2021.
The hugely popular UAE talent show for blue-collar workers called Smart Idol recently concluded its grand finale on a high note, handing out a total prize of Dh30,000 to six talented workers in different singing and dancing categories.
From auditions to the grand finale, the competition was run on a virtual platform, keeping Covid-19 precautions in mind. Registered with the Community Development Authority (CDA) – Dubai, SmartLife with SmartIdol 2021, was a tribute to the hard-working blue collar workers, who, even in these troubled times, continue to contribute to Dubai’s infrastructure aspirations.
This year, about 2,000 workers from 30 labor camps auditioned in the singing and dancing categories before reaching the grand final. The show aims to find top talent among aspiring male and female blue collar workers in the UAE through a virtual platform. Auditions for the competition began on August 5, 2021.
After the virtual auditions and quarter-finals, the ten most talented workers (five in the singing category and five in dancing) were selected for the semi-finals. A top-level judging panel selected the top semi-finalists, who were then trained and mentored for six weeks by industry professionals to hone their skills ahead of the grand finale. Out of 10, six semi-finalists made it to the grand final.
Hundreds of people watched the grand finale via Smart Life’s Facebook Live platform. While two winners – one in the dance category and one in the singing category – won 10,000 Dh each; four finalists (two in each category) each won 2,500 Dhs.
All six are now part of a SmartBand, which gives them the opportunity to participate and perform at corporate events.
Indian expat Jayashri Thapa, winner of Smart Idol season 10 in the dance category, works as a reliever/security guard at Transguard: “It’s a dream come true and winning a huge cash prize is really awesome! I will send the entire amount of 10,000 Dh to my mother, as I am the sole breadwinner in my family. How I wish my dad was still around, but deep in my heart I know he would be so proud of me.
Bilal Alvi, a Pakistani expat, who has been working as a security guard at Al Shafar General Trading for two years, was crowned the winner of season 10 of Smart Idol in the singing category.
An excited Bilal said, “I love music. Singing has been my passion since my school days. I improved my singing and gained a lot of confidence through my online training through Smart Idol. Earning Dh10,000 is another blessing in my life. I will use the prize money to take care of my parents, who are back in Pakistan and mean the world to me.
Expressing his love for music, Umair Maqsood, finalist in the singing category, said, “I love singing and playing musical instruments. I participated and won several competitions and it was my first time participating in Smart Idol. Playing on the virtual platform was a great experience.
Puja Polharel, a waitress from Nepal, and Arun Kumar, a support staff from India, were both finalists in the dance category.
Calling the experience unforgettable, Puja said, “I love dancing and I always dance in my room whenever I get the chance. This experience will forever be etched in my memory and it is something I will cherish for the rest of my life. I reached the final in the dance category and that in itself is an achievement for me.
“I feel so alive and full of energy when I dance,” Arun exclaimed. “Whenever I hear music, I immediately dance to the tune. Now I always feel like dancing with or without tune because I still remember the tunes I danced during the Smart Idol. I want to thank my coach, who was very patient with me throughout the training period.”
All of the companies whose staff took part in the talent competition supported their contestants from the start of the auditions to the grand finale. Big names in the industry such as Baseline Sports Academy, DHL, Western Union, Tristar, Lamprell, Pinnacle Hub have supported the hugely popular annual program.
Manjula Ramakrishnan, President of SmartLife, said: “Now in its tenth edition, the decade-long program has humbled us as we watch our blue-collar friends finish a long day’s work, but still show up for our training with childish enthusiasm. to hone their skills and compete. So the program has given us more than we will ever be able to give our friends in work accommodation.’ »