For his blind audition, Mennel chose a Leonard Cohen title: “Hallelujah”. A choice that pays off since it will make Florent Pagny, Mika, Zazie and Pascal Obispo turn around. She finally chose Mika to continue the adventure.
French-Arab singer Mennel Ibtissem caused headlines both in France and the region after her spellbinding blind audition on February 4. It was not so much the way the 22-year-old Muslim sung Leonard’s Cohen spiritual ode Hallelujah that stunned judges, but the matter in which she delivered the 1984 song.
After her smooth English and then French take of the first verse, which showcased her quavering jazzy vocals, she transitioned into the Arabic language, with the Hallelujah refrain replaced with an equally stirring ‘Ya Ilahi’, which translates to ‘My God’.