Thursday, November 01, 2007

L'il Champs: Selection Round

Last week on SRGMP L'il Champs a rather tremendous moment ensued. Unfortunately it was all too brief but it went something like this. Normally the parents on the show seemed to have absolutely the kind of attitude I'd want to go in with - which is: have fun, enjoy your kids' singing and be glad they got a great chance. (Given that anu g has been constantly telling me that it is unforgivable to make fun of kids, I'll take her advice as always and stay away from doing that.)

One parent, however, had different ideas. When her daughter got knocked out, she challenged the judges. Poor Sonu blurted out some iffy sounding explanation not wanting to level the poor girls' self-esteem. Another parent immediately tried to smooth things over by mentioning that they felt lucky that their kid was performing in front of such mahaan kalakars. Yet, disgruntled mom remained unconvinced.

And then just as the show was ending, she showed up in the last shot and issued a rather Lalita Pawar-like dialog. "I still can't believe it" she said "if only someone could hand me that sheet the judges were scribbling on!" Fade to black.

Now this amused me no end, not in the least because it reminded me of the senkdo movies in which a dinosaur pops out of an egg in the end or a hand emerges from the grave before the credits roll. A shot that leaves the movie wide open for a sequel.

Whether this has a sequel or not remains to be seen. But outside of that, L'il Champs is full of good vibes - most of which come from the personalities of the two judges - Sonu Nigam and Suresh Wadkar.

I've heard a lot about how annoying Sonu is. But on the show - my only prolonged exposure to him - he comes across as knowledgeable, polite, empathic and willing to learn. At one stage he made the point that it was somewhat ridiculous that they were expecting kids to sing like adults on a kiddie show.

Suresh Wadkar, on the other hand, is uncompromisingly even-handed. He seems to have discovered the trick behind finding fault with little kids without sounding like a turd - a considerable achievement. He also has some funky analogies to go with singing that I'm sure he's used numerous times in that school he runs for vocally gifted children. Thus, he often describes singing in terms of climbing down ladders, or flying a plane.

The show is hosted by Head in his usual bland fashion. Only this time the camera often seems to be shooting him from a low angle - making Head look like he is about to pounce on us. And he does some little wave with his hand before calling a break - a variation on his highly amusing "let's rotate..." on SRGMP.

In these early days, L'il Champs has emerged as an entertaining, if highly tame show.

Also:

26 comments:

m said...

I hate how Head goes "TIIIIIIIIIME PLEASE"
and he wears pink clothes almost every show now
or metallic pants and sci fi -esque jackets
WTF?

when sonu and the other dude said "now we got chocolates for all the "bachchas"", how come Head missed out?

meena said...

Both the judges seem to have a great way of handing out fair and objective critique of the kids' performances without at any time sounding patronising.

thats quite an achievement. But what made me really uncomfortable was the way they were dwelling on the poor sobbing kids who were eliminated. They should avoid the drama usually associated with announcing the chosen. These are little kids..for heaven's sake!

Aspi said...

I guess the Lions versus Rabbits elimination technique didn't work. Especially when about a third of the way through, any kid who could do the math knew where they were ending up.

Funnily enough because the losers were crying, one of the winning kids got confused and started crying too.

meena said...

This show has got to take the prize for the most ill-conceived way to announce eliminations. makes you long for the 'Wheel of fortune' days by Head!

SkD said...

i hate dis...Himesh pleeejh come back...:(..i promise ill send u rotis evryday....

OzAngel said...

Sonu's the best, even if his animal themed elimination attempt didn't quite work very well. You know what we need: we need a clash of the titans, a good ole good vs. evil battle, that is VS vs. Himesh... yes, that would scare the little kids and provide some good entertainment to us lowly viewers.

:P

Aspi said...

OzAngel, brilliant idea. You should be writing this show.

anu g said...

Hey Aspi, u want to make fun of the kids, go ahead and do it!!Ur blog is supposed to be fun,so some ribbing should be okay!Now u have my name on headlines, I can just see this long list of drifters saying 'now why the hell has this boring auntyji come here to spoil our fun'!!!And as u mentioned many kids are almost adults. So I guess its ok!!Permission granted from the seniormost(?) drifter!!!!!

Mind Rush said...

Aspi, now that Anu Ji has given her permission, please, pretty please...
I would love to read funny stuff about these kids. Not mean, mind you, just funny....

BTW, I agree with Meena:
Either have the kids watch from their mom's lap in the audience as results are announced (Oscar Style)
OR
Have mons come on stage with kids for the results. The current sobbing is a bit much. At that age the kids are like, well, babies! One cries, they all cry. I hate that because I can't laugh at the show when they cry.

Aspi said...

anu g, it was more advice that I was following than permission - I think it made sense. But I will try to walk a fine line, if you promise to pull me up if I step out of line.

anu g said...

God! Aspi! U make me sound like a wacthdog ready to pounce upon a drifter every time he/she goes overboard!!Please!!
I think Mindrush put it very aptly...be funny, not mean.....and by the way when I was mentioning time and again, that its not nice to be teasing kids,that was my personal opinion, not a 'nudge nudge hint hint' to u...so just go ahead!! I think u r doing a great job, keeping things in control..so go ahead and be urself!!!!I think theres been lots of serious talk. Waiting for some 'fun' talk on SRGMP now.

Aspi said...

Ok, ok, will do. Although I should mention that everyone made fun of ME when I was a kid :)

anu g said...

There was a similar episode last year on Little Champs, when a small Punjabi girl(Gurpreet?) was voted out. She was a late-child I think, so extremely adored by her elderly parents. Her mother created such a ruckus, it made good entertainemnt, and was flashed as the trailer for that week;s episode!Mind u, she was out due to public voting, but the judges got a real mouthful, Gajendra Singh had to come down and plead 'auntyji please....'.....and even then it ended with the black and white signing off. The next episode took off with a voiceover about what had happened:), and then the mother gave an apology, tho it didnt seem like one!!U missed this Aspi!U would have loved it, and we would have loved reading about it!!

headmistress said...

Lil champs is reminding me of my days of working in a nursery - that dreadful chain reaction when one kid goes off, and the rest start firing in unision too... I felt sorry for poor Head left to console the lot. He looked incredibly lost, like he was playing that worm smashing game... there is only so much childhood trauma you can stomach. both the judges are lovely though. I'm impressed with their ability to be ruthlessly matter of fact and subtly letting parents know they have some serious delusions, while still doling out the
sweeties.

and I agree with megan - why is aditya being dressed like some stale, crusty old Haribo?? and what is with his inane faux accent?? And why the weird Head shot - are we going to have some Sadako moment soon?
at least then I can dress him better.

Joules said...

Sonu was really good in Indian Idol too although the guy takes himself so seriously. A little sense of humor would'nt hurt him.

Hate it when little kids sing grown up songs. As good as they are technically they can never get the feel for the song.

Tania said...

Aspi
Looks like you have found your next murga after Hemu!:D
I like the show for its pleasentness, but will it become a hit compared to the nastiness and scheming vamps of daily soaps( read your fav Himmy ;-))
I am amazed how parents are making it a life and death scenario as if the kid will fade into the oblivion of mediocrity if he/she doesn't win it. chill mom and pops , the kids these days have better opportunities than what you had!So just enjoy the fulltoo dhamal?
BTW Aspi, do you think there can be one judge who can be nasty like the loudmouth HR? Do tell who can fit into HR shoes into kiddy SRGMP.
I will go with Preetam who has the habit of stealing tunes just like HR has the habit of stealing words from people's mouths.
And what is with Head and Timeplease?Its way too old school! or do they have it still in schools these days?

Joules said...

I think Anu Malik though not as loudmouth as Himesh can be equally obnoxious. Although Himesh is the only one capable of love triangle melodrama.

The other person that comes to mind is Ila Arun. She was so loud and emotional on Fame Gurukul (she was the principal at Gurukul) had her favourites and was quite vocal at defending them.

I had liked KK and Shankar on Fame Gurukul. They kind of fit in the Sonu/VS mould of making their point without sounding rude.

Aspi said...

There is a murga around every corner :)

Unfortunately for L'il Champs - or perhaps fortunately - there can be only one Himesh.

I haven't seen Ila Arun except on that one episode on II3, but Sandhya Mridul faintly reminds of her, not sure why. Probably because of the in-your-face thing that she does.

SkD said...

Wadkar is soo fake...like he tries to act dat hes attentive n all...most of the time the luk on his face is like "WTF".....whether hes jhappy or sad..same straight face...like dude, do u need isabgol???

Sidekick said...

This sounds incredibly promising! judges who focus on the music and no unnecessary nautanki or fake emotions. If the drama comes fm parents who jump into the sandlot to 'protect' their precious kids, I'm down with that. In fact I enthusiastically support making a target of such ridiculously ambitious parents :D - anu g, that incident fm last year is incredibly funny! The part that seems treacherous to me is delivering bad news to kids who are booted out. Putting the spotlight on weeping kids to generate drama for TRPs is not cool. i'm with anu g on this - exploiting kids' emotions is not okay. Put the bulls eye on their parents instead. If that results in a somewhat bland and tame show, it seems ok to me perhaps not to Zee. anyway, with some trepidation, I'm planning to watch this evening, so we'll see if I dissolve into tears with some of the kids (which I fear)!!

meg said...

all the kids are so good, i don't know who will go out tonight

I like Sahil the kid from Haryana, he always looks emotional. My mom has a theory that he was raised by single mom, she thinks he looks starved for love. AWWWWWWWWW the way he cried broke my heart. He sang well, why the judges were so harsh on him???? his mom also looks so paindu, i want him to win or be in top three heheheh

Rohanpreet sang well and it was so nice to see sonu try to remind him of the line he forgot. He is a cute kid.

Vaishali (??) seems annoying, yeah she is a kid but like i hate kids who try to act all adult.

Vibhore is a cutie pie too. He will be a heartbreaker when he grows up.

megan said...

OH NOOOOOOOOOOO I SPOKE TOO SOON

I AM SO DISAPPOINTED THAT SAHIL IS OUT

arrrrrrrrrrrgh

i don't like this at all

HE IS SO GOOD..

i don't wanna watch him cry again.. FARK

ozangel said...

I loved how Sonu made that Naak dig at Himesh. It was great, love sarcasm. Think it works. We need more sarcasm and taanas on shows like these.

meg said...

i still haven't watched the elimination episode, i don't think i can handle sahil being told that he has to go.

urgh i think his dad walked out on him and his mom, my mom thinks he's had a difficult childhood. he just has that look. I wanted him to have some happiness..

he was a rly good singer, way better than a few of the overrated contestants. UFFFFFFF

i hope he auditions for star voice of india or something

anu g said...

Meg I agree with u totally on Sahil.I felt so bad for that boy. I thought he had a good voice, sang reasonably well,but didnt couldnt pull it off cos he was totally untrained and nervous.A poor boy from a small place deserved more support and encouragement.

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