Pan-Arab free-to-air (FTA) broadcaster MBC has announced that Lebanese stars Ragheb Alama and Elissa, and Egyptian singer Donia Samir Ghanem, will form the jury for the forthcoming localised version of the hit TV format The X Factor.
The show, which will air on MBC 4 and MBC MASR from Saturday 14 March, follows the immensely successful formats Arabs Got Talent and Arab Idol onto MBC.
The Arabic version of X Factor was acquired by MBC as part of a multi-format deal with FremantleMedia in October 2014, after being shown on Egyptian channel CBC in 2012.
Mazen Hayek, official spokesman and group director of PR & commercial, said MBC was "delighted" to add The X Factor to the Dubai-based broadcaster's growing list of hit talent shows.
"Viewers in the MENA region will be able to benchmark MBC The X Factor with the global version of the same show," said Hayek.
Lebanese recording artist Elissa added: "The X Factor is one of the most popular Arab programmes, which is reflected through the masses that tune in each week to watch, as well as the thousands of hopefuls who attend casting calls across the Arab world – not to mention the professionalism of the MBC team and those in charge of the programme production."
Lebanese singer, composer and TV personality Ragheb Alama said: "The programme doesn't resemble any of the other talent programmes on television, the way we select performers, the way the show builds each week, the anticipation, they're completely different to other shows". [The aim] is to find an Arab star that has The X Factor regardless of his identity or affiliation".
The Arabic version of The X Factor originally premiered on Rotana and LBC in 2006 but was then taken off air until 2012. This will be the third season of the regional singing talent show.