Was having one of these discussions with a friend on the week’s episode of the music show – Star Voice of India. We have these talks on and off, about the different singers, their choice of songs, the rendition during the week’s episode, if the decision of having someone eliminated or return back to the competition is justified, so on and so forth.
I watch these shows – Indian Idol and VOI, only for the joy of listening to a handful of really good quality singers that it throws up amongst all the hungama and the drama that ensues for several weeks before a winner (who in effect is mostly the undeserving amongst the lot) is finally selected. It’s really sad actually – the way how almost always the best singer loses out in this crappy system of letting the audiences vote and choose the winner.
Right from when it began, with Indian Idol 1 – where Abhijeet Sawant walked away the winner over the much better singers Amit Sana and Rahul Vaidya to Sa Re Ga Ma Pa – where Debojeet won over Vineet and the latter versions of Indian Idol – 2 (Sandeep Acharya over Karunya) and 3 – (Prashanth over Amit Paul), I have noted this time and again, that the best singer never wins these shows. The trend hasn’t changed in VOI as well – the best singers Abhaas and Toshi were voted out and needed to be brought back via a wild-card entry round!
Somehow, call it the twist of fate, or whatever, the weakest link in the top ten walks on to reach the top, only on the basis of the votes that he garners. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if this person had never been selected by the judges into the top group, would a better singer have won then? Can the studio judges do something about this? But then, I guess, the difference in the quality of the singers really comes to the fore only during the final stages, when the selected ten are pitted against one another. May be, before this stage, the judges too are equally not clear on who is the best; they bring all their experience and knowledge into the act and choose what they feel is the crème-de-la-crème among all the participants.
The other alternative would be to not involve the audience/public in the selection and get the qualified studio judges to do it by themselves. This would atleast ensure that the regional and communal politics do not enter the picture and a singer is judged purely on his/ her singing merits. Agreed that there might be internal differences in opinion owing to their personal favourites, but I guess finally sense would prevail and the best would get selected.
But there is one strong and simple reason why this format wouldn’t work – the audiences wouldn’t be participating and all the moolah that the producers and the TV channels rake in – thanks to the lakhs of sms-es and phone calls pouring in, would disappear. Also the TRP ratings of the show might not be as high as it is with the previous format, which might cause the channel itself to reconsider its allocation of the prime slot to the show.
So, what can be the solution to this problem? Frankly, I don’t know; but it sure pains me when a undeserving candidate walks away with the accolades while a clearly better singer ranks second or even lower. But then again, there arises the question of what these winners actually gain/ achieve after winning the show – just one or two albums, a couple of stage shows in the different parts of the country, a couple of insignificant songs for the music director judges on the show, to their credit and then they disappear without a trace – take Abhijeet Sawant/ Sandeep/ Debojeet as examples.
So maybe it doesn’t really matter in the bigger scheme of things – and there’s an equally good chance that the good singers do actually get noticed by the judges/ the celebrities visiting the shows/ people concerned, who can do something for them and get their voices and talent to reach the wider audiences. After all, that is what these shows are meant to be – a platform for the talent from the various non-metro and small towns/ cities to be brought to the fore, for everyone to notice and appreciate.
Well, on that note, I guess one should just enjoy the shows while the good singing lasts and not worry too much on who wins/ loses!