- Title: Entertainers perform on stage for fans of Arabs Got Talent
- Date: 4th December 2016
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (English) OPERA SINGER, JONATHAN ALLEN, AMERICA'S GOT TALENT, SAYING: "I am a little nervous to see how the crowd reacts to opera since I am the first opera singer here in Saudi Arabia, it's a little, little nervous, so hopefully they will take well to it and I am able to convey enough emotions that they would understand what I'm singing."
- Embargoed: 19th December 2016 11:25
- Keywords: Talent show Saudi Arabia Riyadh entertainment kids
- Location: RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA
- City: RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA
- Country: Saudi Arabia
- Reuters ID: LVA0045BGWUVP
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Saudi Arabia hosted a live performance of global entertainers from the popular Got Talent TV series in Riyadh on Friday (December 2).
Performers from American, British, Asian, Arab, Ukrainian and other versions of the hit show format flew in to entertain families for whom this was a novel experience.
Men and women were allowed to sit together in the audience - a rare scene in conservative Saudi Arabia where cinemas are banned and public spaces are normally gender-segregated.
"Unfortunately Riyadh suffers from a lack of events which forces the population to stay in Riyadh and to travel to other places in search of entertainment," said journalist, Mujahid al-Ameer.
Comic magicians, David and Leeman from "America's Got Talent" performed several tricks and comedic acts, interacting with young audience members on stage.
One of the winners of last year's Arabs Got Talent 4, "Salah the Entertainer" was instantly recognisable to fans.
The Moroccan/Algerian hip hop dancer based in Paris has previously won La France a un Incroyable Talent (France Has Incredible Talent).
Saleh enjoys a massive Saudi following on Instagram and his videos have been viewed millions of times on YouTube.
"I check on my Instagram and the most people follow me is the Riyadh (people) and is because of the Riyadh people I get a lot of views so I am happy...it's also for them because they follow me," said Salah.
The show included the first ever opera singer to perform in the Kingdom, Jonathan Allen who said he was a "little nervous" and hoped to, "convey enough emotions that they would understand what I'm singing."
Audience members appeared thrilled by the experience.
"Thankfully our children were very happy, we were happy and that's what we need in Riyadh, we need more entertainment for families and we are very pleased and many thanks," said attendee, Abdulrahman al-Mushari.
Another Iraqi citizen living in the Kingdom said, "A beautiful activity, we are very pleased. A family atmosphere and almost the first time in Riyadh. And we thank the Entertainment authority and, God willing, they repeat it again and again and organise more activities for us."
The Entertainment Authority is part of the Vision 2030 program, aiming to create employment for Saudi young men and women.
The Saudi authorities have previously said they hope Vision 2030 will reduce dependence on oil, attract foreign investments and promote more cultural openness.
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