Saturday, September 29, 2007

How to be an Indian Idol

While Prashant Tamang's win on Indian Idol 3 wasn't a surprise coming when it did, the fact that it came against a strong contender - Amit Paul, and that this "upset" happened for the second time in a row should be enough to make you wonder what it takes to be an Idol.

There is no formula or even multiple formulas, but we can attempt to look closely at why Prashant scored to see if there is something worth emulating for contestants to follow. Note other explanations about regional voting abound - I'm going to ignore them, they aren't interesting enough for me.

Have at least something worth talking about. Prashant's ability to hold sur and taal might have been second best to Amit Paul's but he did have an extraordinarily sweet voice. When he got everything right, he sounded terrific and the junta was willing to forgive everything else.

Have a decent backstory. Member of the Police Force is a nationally unifying theme that everyone can identify with - especially now that Manmohan Desai isn't around to abuse them in every movie.

Make mistakes, just keep them under control. Prashant sometimes would miss a beat, he would lose sur, his taal would go for a six. But these were minor infractions that humanized him - making him an underdog to root for.

Keep a low, steady profile. While other contestants jumped up to grab the limelight, Prashant plugged away steadily - concentrating on singing and making sure he only projected one personality - his own. Significantly this allowed him to ride out the natural ebb and flow of popularity that all other contestants were subjected to.

Set a standard only slightly above average. In other words, stand out but don't head to the top of the class early on. This allowed Prashant to escape the harsh standard of judging from the likes of Anu Malik and Javed Akhtar that saw Emon and Deepali getting braised and eventually kicked off the show.

Be nice and smile a lot. This simple dudeness that Prashant projected endeared him to many. More importantly in the later rounds when he became a serious contender, it allowed him to ride the judges taanes with grace. As the judges got into their own popularity ebb, this then developed into a serious "lets vote for Prashant and stick it to those judges" feeling that ran through the fans.

Will Prashant make it big as a singer? Going by the law of averages, the chances are slim. But in the end its an irrelevant question. The whole "Bharat ki Shaan" is an artificial sleight of drama given to what is essentially reality entertainment. And for us to see it as anything but would be deluding ourselves.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

hmmm... those rules don't seem to work on SRGMP... otherwise Poonam would have won!

Aspi said...

Quite right. I forgot the biggest one of them all: Be a male.

anu g said...

'Simple' and 'Smiling' are the two basic requirements.....The judges used to rave about the smiles of Abhijeet and Sandeep......
Hey come to think of it, I am simple and I smile too (esp after reading the blogs here)......maybe I can become II4...I cant sing well, but then thats not important at all!!!!

Aspi said...

Fair enough anu g, we'll encourage you to participate and you can give us the inside scoop once you've infiltrated that gang on II4.