The 5 may have stolen fans' hearts across the Arab world, but Saudi Arabia's Hamza Hawsawi took home the prize during "X Factor" Arabia's finale Saturday night.
The judges had only praise to offer as Hawsawi somehow managed to outdo himself a bit more with each song throughout the evening. Following one of his performances, Lebanese judge Elissa gushed over him, saying that "You're our ambassador to the world."
Referring to the EU Ambassador Angela Eichhorst and British Ambassador Tom Fletcher's presence in the audience, Elissa asked Fletcher if he was proud to see such great talent from the Arab world.
Hawsawi, who competed within the "International" category during the show, avoided singing in Arabic throughout the competition, preferring to sing in English. Week after week he wowed the judges with his impeccable accent, his confident stage presence and, of course, his amazing voice.
All the performers seemed to be on the top of their game throughout the evening, however. Nodding to the Arab world's latest musical obsession, The 5 performed their own rendition of Moroccan singer Saad Lamjarred’s current number one hit “ Lma3allem ."
Hind Ziadi from Morocco, the third finalist, maintained her soulful and elegant sound during the evening.
Just before the final results were tallied, the judges were all asked to weigh in on who they thought would win. Lebanese singer Ragheb Alama, who served as Hawsawi's mentor throughout the competition, boldly concluded that his prodigy would win. Elissa seemed reluctant to abandon her love for The 5 but admitted that she too felt Hawsawi would take the crown. For her part, Egyptian singer Donia Samir Ghanem, who mentored The 5 during the competition, remained hopeful of victory for the group.
In the end, the fans voted and chose Hawsawi, although we're certain a massive number of "5-ers" are devastated that their new favorite boy band didn't clinch the title.
We spoke briefly with Adel Echibi, the Moroccan member of The 5, following the finale. He voiced his full support for Hawsawi telling us, "I wish him all the best because he deserves it."
"He's really talented and he's very gifted. I was so proud to be in competition with him."
When Hawsawi's victory was announced, The 5 joined together to hold him on their shoulders and cheer. Clearly a camaraderie existed between all of the finalists.
As for The 5, fans across the Arab world want to know what's next for them as well. We asked Echibi what the group's plans are and he told us, "We don't know. We are still waiting for the answer from the Sony Production. So maybe we will have something."
While Hawsawi may have taken home the "X Factor" Arabia prize, clearly more than one pan-Arab star was born over the course of the season. As for us, we can't wait to see what Hawsawi, The 5 and Ziadi do next.
View our favorite performances from the finale below.