March 24, 2010 -- Abu Dhabi's version of "American Idol" features poets, not singers. Called "Poet of Millions," the program has amateur poets face off each week before judges, and a Saudi woman with a rebellious message has made it to the competition's final rounds.
Hissa Hilal received death threats after her recent appearance, but the judges praised her poems, which criticize clerics.
With her body and head draped in the black clothing worn by Saudi women, she didn't shy away from strong language as she read onstage.
"He speaks from an official, powerful platform, terrorizing people and preying on everyone seeking peace; the courage ran away and the truth is cornered and silent, when self-interest prevented one from speaking the truth," Hilal recited, according to a translation by The National newspaper.
Hilal won $270,000 for reaching the finals, and if she wins the competition, she would receive more than $1.3 million.
Today on "The Conversation" John Berman talks with ABC News' Lara Setrakian about this brave, female poet who makes waves in the Middle East.