American Idol reinvented in Afghanistan

The World
Some people didn't like that a woman was among the final three contestants for the show. (Give us a sense of the show's popularity). It's estimates around 11 million tune in to watch, most of whom don't have TVs. This is something new and colorful and in real contrast to Taliban's restrictions on television. (The third place contestant was a woman, tell us about that). Afghan Star has been going for three years and they've never had a woman make it that far. She was also from Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban and one of the most conservative areas of the country, so that was a surprise. So that focused the criticism of the conservatives. One analyst believes the criticism has been all political at heart. (Did this woman have to wear a head scarf?) Yes, she fit in with the culture. (The other two contestants, what's their stories?) Not as interesting as the woman and even as the host, who used to be a TV repairman. And they all believe this is a nice example of how Afghanistan is improving.