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Koimoi’s avid reader Mr. Jitendra Harpalani, CTO at Eurekamakers Wellness Pvt. Ltd. and CEO at Hirazi Webtech Pvt. Ltd reached out to us to share his take on Indian Idol, the singing reality show, and thinks that the winners of the show were already decided even before it went on air! Sounds interesting right? Read on:
How many of us want to be “that guy” in the room who can play guitar and sing? All of us at some point of time in our lives have experienced a moment where we are sitting in a room and “that guy” is enchanting everyone around. “If only I had taken those guitar lessons…”, we think. Even though we always think of ourselves as the Rockstar, the reality doesn’t hit us until our wives or girlfriends ask us to sing for them. That is the actual moment of realization when silence hits and we realize that it was good that we missed those guitar lessons!!
Did I just say “All of Us”? Well, that’s not exactly true. There is plethora of talent in our country and there are kids who are blessed with the most amazing voice you will ever hear, there are kids who are so passionate about singing from their early ages so much so that they know what, how and when to pursue it and last but not the least, there are parents, gurus, mentors etc etc who understand the capabilities of these kids and support them to the fullest to achieve the pinnacle.
Alright, so they have it all. They have the zeal to excel in music industry, they have practiced it over and over again in the supervision of their mentors. Still, they go unrecognized in life. What they are missing is the opportunity to showcase their talent at the right platform. A platform where they can express themselves and get the attention they deserve. A platform which will help them achieve the pinnacle they desire!
Competition has been driving the world since ages. All of us are in a race, the contenders and end point to which are unknown, but the goal is to succeed. It won’t be an understatement for most of us to quote “As long as we are able to attain success, the journey doesn’t matter!”. This journey, though, plays an important role in defining the impact of one’s success on others. Success is never attained by people who aim at beating others. It’s achieved by those who keep working on making themselves better!
Let’s understand the above perspective by looking at the behavior of players in different games. If I am a wrestler, I literally have to beat up others to attain the goal of my life, To be the best in the world!. Being cricketer, on the other hand, I would be considered wrong if I am sabotaging everybody’s career to fulfill my yearning to attain my goal, again To be best in the world!
Entertainment industry is no different when it comes to competition. All broadcasting channels are in the race to succeed. They want to be at the zenith of TRPs! Always on the look-out for ideas to launch shows which will help them remain ahead of others. Although, one such opportunity was grabbed by Zee TV in the form of Sa Re Ga Ma (now Sa Re Ga Ma Pa), one of the first musical singing reality shows, to garner the plethora of talent in our country, it was not until Indian Idol came into the picture which was touted as the best platform for the common man of India, every person who can try his vocal chords thought of becoming the Indian Idol! Ironically, Sonu Nigam, who hosted the first season of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa was one of the judges on Indian Idol which aired on Sony TV.
Pyaasa kuen ke paas aata hai… kuan pyaase ke pass nahi!
For the first time it was the other way around. All these platforms were reaching out to common people of India, giving them a ray of hope. Helping them realise their dreams, their desires of becoming the voice of India. A hope to be the ROCKSTAR we all aspire to be!
“Mohabbatein Lutaaunga…”, the song that gave confidence to millions of people. Their dreams will come true. Surely, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa winners deserves a shout-out who went on to become big in the industry as well. But, Abhijeet was a rockstar selected by us. For the first time in the history of Indian television the audiences were really excited. Be it the the people standing outside the city studios waiting for auditions or the viewers behind their television boxes watching the auditions. Indian Idol Season 1 was hit!
The format chosen by the makers was outstanding. Portraying the journey of the contenders was important to get the emotional connect with the viewers. When you see people like yourself standing in thousands, the small screen act as a mirror. You start seeing yourself in those as the stories of all the contenders resembles yours. You find your favorite and you woot! Another master stroke was enacting the humour quotient while selecting the candidates. It has to be fun for the spectators, the journey. And fun it was! It was quite evident in the TRPs of the show whereas other reality shows were failing to attract more bids.
Abhijeet’s journey was one to be witnessed. He didn’t become the favorite overnight. A kid with inclination towards music got professional lessons from his gurus Mr. Bhavdeep Jaipurwale & Mr. Raju Singh, was a regular at local events as well. I asked people about his performance. Here is what they had to say:
“He was always goods”, said one of the viewer. “Others evolved, but Abhijeet had it in him from day 1”
“I was a kid back then”, said another. “But, even though Amit Sana was better singer, Abhijeet was more popular”
Another avid viewer said “He picked up along the journey. Evolved with every passing episode. Mumbai votes made him big!”
First man to moon was Neil Armstrong! Who was the second one? Not many people will know. It’s interesting to know that after 13 years people still remember Abhijeet Sawant. That has been the power of Indian Idol. It has set up a stage to recognition. His story from rags to riches is a true testimony to that.
What followed was certainty! Season after season the audience grew, along with the drama. People will go crazy during the auditions. Viewers started waiting for new seasons to start. The makers were happy, so was India! A new rockstar every season. A contract with Sony TV, a solo album and lots of opportunities to perform in live concerts, movies, talk shows, other reality shows, hosting and what not. Indian Idol became a launchpad to showbiz for most of the commoners willing to make a big name in the fraternity. Of course, not everybody went on to become as big as the others.
“There is no pleasure in having nothing to do. The fun is in having lots to do and not doing it.” -Mary Little
What Abhijeet Sawant started was followed by Sandeep Acharya, Prashant Tamang, Sourabhee Debbarma, Sreeramchandra Mynampati, Vipul Mehta and recently LV Revanth. Prashant Tamang being a clear rags to riches story for me. Took up singing as hobby and use to entertain his superior while he was a constable of Police.
Post Indian Idol, he went on to become the most celebrated names of the state and took up acting as a career in Nepalese films! Apart from LV Revanth who will be starting his post Indian Idol journey, all of them tasted success at some point in their life. Although, for him it was already different! Revanth had already tasted success before coming to Indian Idol and knew what works and what doesn’t in the industry and what audience wants unlike other contestants who learn over the journey
As soon as the news of Indian Idol making a comeback started making the rounds, the show was a hit even before the first episode was aired! Almost 22 years now, these platforms have proved, time and time again, that they have provided dozens of playback singers to the industry. And arguably the best of them was making a comeback with the same set of judges who set the stage on fire the first time they were paired together, it was supposed to be a super hit!
Honestly, I never followed Indian Idol regularly. I know bits and pieces of it when it had started. I liked to see the auditions and once in a while I will watch the whole episode when it was playing on the TV. This year, though, I wanted to give it a try because of following reasons:
The show was making a comeback after a hiatus of 4 years (2 years being Indian Idol Jr.)
The same triplet of the judges, Anu Malik, Farah Khan and Sonu Nigam, who had great on-screen chemistry and very witty with the contestants which was fun to watch.
I am a big Bollywood buff! I follow entertainment industry and wanted to be a part of this show’s journey.
Indian Idol 9 was a big disappointment! The show was unfair to all the participant and people who have ever thought of becoming the IDOL!! LV Revanth doesn’t even deserve to be competing against the other singers!!!
Instead of disqualifying Revanth at the first place, the makers decided to make him the face of Indian Idol by playing Baahubali’s background score while giving him his Golden Ticket. “Are you kidding me?”, I thought. Excerpts from his Wiki page:
“He has sung around 200 songs for Telugu and Kannada films, one of the most popular is ‘Manohari’ from the hit film Baahubali: The Beginning, for which he received IIFA Utsavam and MAA Music Award nominations for best male playback singer.”
The ultimate goal of each and every participant so far in all the similar platforms, let alone Indian Idol, has been to become a playback singer. The guy already has WON Best Playback singer (twice, debut included). Even though it was Tollywood, he has a visible advantage and edge over everyone else:
Talent: He has sung for films, so he has proved his metal already as far as calibre are concerned.
Experience: Most of the finalist feel much confident post the competition like Indian Idol, which to start with is not a training institute but you go through such rigorous singing day-in/day-out amongst the greats like Sonu Nigam, Anu Malik and Farah Khan, you are bound to be more knowledgeable post the competition. Think about Revanth’s confidence level after singing more than 200 songs in multiple films. The latest being one of the blockbusters of all time: Baahubali – The Beginning! The way he entered the auditions, I knew they are selecting the winner of Indian Idol!
Contacts: The guy has been in fraternity for some time now. “I am only the upcoming playback singer”, he said. It is only fair to assume you have contacts at your workplace and his being, ‘the Film Industry’!.
“I want to rock Bollywood as well”, was his reason to come on Indian Idol. Is Indian Idol a platform for strugglers in the industry or common people of India? If you want to rock Bollywood, go and audition for films, meet music composers in Bollywood and come the prudent way each and every artist this industry has. There are no shortcuts in life! More importantly, the makers of Indian Idol should not be promoting this.
When you arrive like Baahubali you are going straight to the hearts of the people. The makers knew it. Farah Khan constantly praising him with phrases like “You have a voice of a hero”! The guy has a swag, alright, but to make him the face to promote their own show clearly indicates that the winner is decided even before the competition began.
“Yeh manch nahi rishta hai.. Jo Bharat ko Bharat se jodta hai!” was the motto of season 9. They started playing with emotions as soon as they launched the tagline of the show. The show was returning after 4 years – although they had goodwill of the show to make it a hit, but, they still needed the connect with the newer audience. Today’s audience wants glamour. 8 out of 10 shows are successful because of the buzz created by drama around the show. Content is still the king, but, the buzz on social media plays an important role as well.
Once the ideal platform for singing that Indian Idol was supposed to be, was clearly leaving no stones unturned to make him the superstar. I mean, come on, you are giving him the “Face Showing” entry on Gerua as if telling people that you have your Shahrukh Khan. Go and vote for him! And if that wasn’t enough, he is dancing with Shahid, Alia and Shilpa, performs a solo with Anushka, calling Indian Idol his girlfriend, Farah Khan saying “I am watching a movie” when he sang Judaai with Malivika or “tu Arijit ke har gaane ko gayega and acha gayega”, “You are a star in a making and personally my Indian Idol!!!”, said Anu Malik and what not. It was as if the makers were creating a brand image for the audience to vote!
And they voted! Why wouldn’t they? He sings really well! After all, the guy had already sung 200 songs, got the awards in Tollywood, while the show was airing he got an offer from Sabse Bada Kalakaar to sing the title song, got an offer from Anu Malik to sing for him. The way he mesmerized week after week, with each and every song he got closer to the audience and they showered all their love in making him the Indian Idol!
When the platform is modeled according to a contender to make the role model for others, you tend to miss the talent who is really deserving! Although, Revanth sung better than Khuda Baksh, he also had more limelight than the latter. It’s like Yuvraj Singh selected ahead of MS Dhoni after their historic match where Yuvi scored more than latter’s team total. Although, Yuvi did play better than Dhoni then, it was because of his swag and limelight he was preferred over Dhoni!
To me KHUDA BAKSH IS THE REAL INDIAN IDOL!!!
THIS ARTICLE WAS FIRST PUBLISHED HERE
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