Hamas cuts local American Idol loose

To the dismay of those born before the 90s, last year a remake of the 1984 classic Footloose was released. Studio executives might be pleased to learn that they might be able to retell the story — with an international twist.

On Thursday Hamas banned Gaza residents from singing in the Palestinian version of American Idol, called New Star. Executives from the show, set to air next month, said that the ban force 12 contestants from the competition.

Hamas, which has been criticised for clamping down on free expression in the region, deemed the programme to be “indecent” according to contest organisers.

New Star is in its third year, and the popular programme doesn’t stray very far from the format we’ve grown to love in the United States and beyond. The programme’s answer to Simon Cowell, Dr. Ghawi Ghawi, is an all-too-familiar character for anyone out there with an Arab father. And just like Idol spin-offs all over the world, it offers the chance to make fun of delusional contestants.

No word as to whether or not the Palestinian answer to Footloose’s Ren McCormack will challenge Hamas, get the girl and save the day.