Sunday, December 02, 2007

Voice of India: The final show is a winner

Saritha bids adieu to Voice of India

A huge set in Andheri Complex,Mumbai, fewer back-up dancers, decent clothing, little confusion or chaos, periodically inserted crane views – all this made Voice Of India’s Grand Finale lot classier than I’d anticipated given that the other two shows II3 and SRGMP ended on such tacky notes.

Most interesting aspects

Watching the rest of the ‘Bemisaal Barah’ perform on stage was the most delightful part of the show, which perhaps was one of the reasons why many might have watched it in the first place. The prerecorded voices, that matter the most, were finally heard on the big day and clearly, Arshpreet and Irfan came out winners. To my surprise, Toshi screeched more than Alka did and Sumitra looked (and sounded) out of place - as if she didn’t want to be there.

Madhuri (probably wearing Manish Malhotra) showed up with hubby Sriram (who never got introduced), spoke about ‘Aaja Nach le’, sang Richa’s ‘Show me your Jalwa’, plugged her ears when the confetti blasters went off, mouthed the ridiculously line ‘I think both are winners’ before helping Lataji open the all-important envelope.

Lataji gifted Harshit and Ishmeet diamond studded watches designed by the Mangeshkar sisters – how I wish someone had gifted me something like that

Moments sponsored by the Jury (?!)

The Jury decides to give an award to their choice: Jatin even mentions that he convinced the rest to do so and the award goes to, ahem, Abhaas! Abhilasha gets the award (a car, in fact) for potential. No surprise for anyone who's followed VoI this season. (And if you didn't, good for you!)

Abhijeet either didn't care about the eventual winner or might have been in Dubai for you-know-what. Who knows? His absence was conspicuous.

Celeb Spotting

Ismail Darbar, looking a lot younger after a John Abraham type hair cut, Anandji in suit-boot, Pritam, Shreya who showed up to talk about the upcoming VoI Chotte Ustad ( which never happened) and Shveta Salve who was spotted with Aadesh’s family. Here I was hoping to see Shveta dance again, but no dice.

Of all the celebs, Madhuri, of course, got the most attention. I only wish she had used a hair spray because her hair refused to behave after 3 hours of blaring music.

Burning Questions

Why didn’t the girls sing their best numbers, just like the boys?

From where do they get these gori back-up dancers? Foreign Exchange students working part time?

A question I always wanted to ask, how many people who voted (day-in and day-out) for their favorite contestant will actually go and buy their album when it hits the market?

The Penultimate Episode

Just like many shows that would spruce up before ending as a damp squib, VoI stimulated the dull atmosphere with the graceful Kavita Krishnamoorthy, Kunal Ganjawala and Gayatri Iyer. The ‘Goal’ team joined them, and they forgot to shill for a while enjoying the music like they would do in a concert. John for once spared us his ghasi-piti line about his love for soccer and bikes.

Boman sang brilliantly, director Vivek was in need of a shower and Bips and John behaved like roommates who share a katti-meeti relationship, more like you are pissed that your roommate didn’t do the dishes today, but happy that he paid for the gas when you both went out.

Any show that is losing it’s momentum should rope in Kunal to arouse audience interest with his zingy singing - I want to do what Bipasha did to him, hug him while he is singing - a huge singing teddy bear, what more can one ask for.

And by the end of the show I’ve become a huge fan of Shaan and here’s the last phaltu Drift advice for Shaan - you have contributed more than just playing the role of the host to this show and now, if you are asked to sign the contract for Season II, ask for a raise. You deserve it and if you need any more lessons on how to deal with the situation, please don’t hesitate to write to us here.

Also:

26 comments:

Aspi said...

All right Saritha! Thanks for covering VoI for us so diligently!

Hopefully you'll come back and write something for us or maybe find a show to get all excited about.

leera said...

I had completely given up on VOI in the last couple of weeks leading up to the finale, whose winner once again came as no surprise.
However this review made it sound a heck of a lot more promising than SRGMP or the Idol finale. Thanks again Saritha, you have truly been a trooper reviewing some very punishing episodes of VOI for us in the last few months.
I read somewhere that Abhaas is the new host of VOI, I can't imagine they would be dumb enough to replace their USP, but who knows they still have those ridiculous judges, don't they?

anu g said...

Saritha I am not going to miss the show....but I am certainly going to miss ur comments on it. Of course since VOI kids has just begun, I hope u start ur column on it. I am told Abhas is the host...one kid hosting the rest???
Aspi a big thanks to you for ur captions!

Sidekick said...

Bravo Saritha, yr roundup ends with a bang even if the show didn't match up.... actually the finale wasn't too bad. Anyway, like the others i hope u continue to post on something - u may get me to add a new interest to my stable. it was yr writing that got me to try VoI :)

I agree with you that the final weekend's shows were pretty decent and avoided the huge drop in quality that Leera mentioned that II3 and SRGMP suffered - perhaps bcos our expectation of VoI weren't too high in the first place! For me it was worth it to continue on the nostalgia trip that madhuri's return has sparked off. I thought she looked great and played her celeb role in announcing the results very well. Her hubby OTOH hand looked tortured and gamely tried to hide it - great captions, Aspi.

As for Shaan, I thought he was a little off in the finale. He seemed to forget his cues and didn't seem to recover fm his missteps as he usually does. Maybe the poor guy is wearied fm the VoI circus. Overall i agree that he was the linchpin of the show and it's one reliable, competent, positive note. As for Kunal G, I saw very little of him but he struck me as someone who is perpetually on one too many Red Bulls! The excess of perkiness seems in danger of being a tad wearying. Saritha, if u continue posting on Chotte Ustad, I'll tune in to find out :P

On another note, wonder if anyone is planning to catch Mission Ustaad which seems a somewhat "hatke" show in the crowded music reality show landscape.

http://www.missionustaad.co.in/2007/11/29/mission-ustaad-will-air-on-1st-december-at-9-pm/index.html

Also if anyone has watched (or is planning to watch) Aaja Nachle this week, I'd love to hear yr impressions. The film seems to have drawn brickbats fm the critics and is mired in needless controversy thanks to meddling politicians but it does star bollywood's original dancing queen!

anu g said...

Saritha, yenti? Kannupisthaleru?

Aspi said...

Yaar, I'm not going to be able to go see Aaja Nachle until much later this month :(. On the other hand, I might catch it on my India trip then. I'm sure there'll be at least one guy trying to impress some girl with terrible PJs. That's always fun to listen to.

Saritha said...

Aspi,

For all the support you've provided all these weeks, ek bada wala thank you.You know that,nahi?but you know what,Iam going to miss 'Saritha's VoI Drift Ticker' on the top right side of the site which made me an inseparable part of this blog.

Leera,

Thanks to all of you,for being with me on this journey,for someone who was new to blogging,the comments by the precious few here(to know that someone is watching this)helped me sail through some of the painfully boring episodes.

I wanted to send few pics for the final ticker to Aspi,but my system was in a terrible state.Putting it in words,anyway-

Voice of India Show, on the whole - Thumbs Down
My fellow Drifters - Two Thumbs Up

anu g and Sidekick,

You guys rock.I always,I mean always thought of you when ever I sat down to write the review.I am going to miss anu's excellent previews of the show, sidekick's brilliant dissection of the same.I want to borrow,your(both) sharp eye for details,that helped bring in those tidbits which made the round up so juicy...hmmm.

Joules said...

Hey Saritha, do you think the show is going to be back next season? Would love to hear from you as to who should be the judges in the next season. Also any ideas if the judges are the same for the VOI-kids?

leera said...

Mission Ustaad does indeed sound interesting especially with the reclusive A.R Rehman as the host.
Btw has anyone checked out the show on Sahara with Shabana Azmi as a judge? It has singers and non singers (all 'celebrities') paired up together.
I am waiting for Aaja Nachle to be available on Divx anyone fineda a good print on the net let me know.

Sania said...

I want to join in on the love-fest! :) Btw, where is Miss Megan nowadays?

Aaja Nachle - saw it this weekend, but it's hard to succinctly say how I feel, possibly because I'm not quite sure. But I'll offer some disjointed thoughts nonetheless..

The film, much like most Bollywood fare nowadays, requires a healthy suspension of disbelief on part of the viewer. Not that's necessarily a bad thing, in and of itself. Some of my favorite Bollywood movies every are truly built in a fantasyland -- it's what adds to the charm.

My main problems with the film lay with the construction of the story. It's a classic tale of NRI comes back to India, brings culture and sanksriti back to the town. Nothing new or exciting. But the screenplay didn't really explore any of the threads they started - whether it be Dia's (Madhuri) old love interest, Dia's potential new love interest, Dia's family, her relationship with the estranged townspeople, or even what happens after she succeeds in the challenge. Everything was resolved without protracted examination, and was tied nicely with a big red bow. The movie wasn't super emotional, the relationships that were shown were a bit shallow - mere cardboard cutouts.

But Madhuri is a delight to watch. She's very self assured, and you almost feel as though she walked into the sets of the movie like she owns the place. In the presence of anyone else, this movie would have fallen flat on its face. But you feel satisfied even after leaving the theater because your adrenaline is pumping after having seen her dance, and smile, and offer encouragement. It's almost as if she's patting you on the head and saying it'll be okay, there can still be glimmers of joy in Bollywood.

Akshaye Khana is cute and it was nice to see him on screen again. Kunal.. smoking hot. Konkona did great in the acting department, but her role was very much a caricature.

The Laila Majnu tale in the end of the film is lovely and riveting - you could hear a pin drop in the theater while it was going on (except for the jaanwar baccha munching popcorn behind me - a story for another time). Even though you're not quite confident in the struggle that it took to get from start to finish, the first 15 minutes and last 30 minutes make it all paisa vasool. Stay through the end of the credits for some cute vignettes.

Sania said...

By the way, please please cover JDJ this week - way too many faux pas moments for the caption win!

Saritha said...

Joules,anu,Sidekick and Leera,

VoI Chotte Ustad, is being hosted
by Abhaas b'coz Shaan needed a break.His reasons are more pc,but the real reason is he's grossed out.

Chk the link

When the team was looking for an alternative,Jatin probably asked Gajji to consider Abhaas-you might hear him say this on "Ustaad' grand finale.


Gajji directed an 'I-dont-want-to-sing' act on the stage and a poor girl was asked to play a drama queen on her first ever appearance on TV.Apparently,her mom came onto the stage and informed Kunal G who was hosting the show(prob the team didn't decide on Abhaas until then) that the kid would perform only with some spiritual support from her fav deity.As much as I respect her sentiments,this was appalling.I shudder to think,what all these innocent(some of them are not innocent)kids have to go through to increase the trps.

And Pritam,Kunal and Shreya are judging the kids version.

Saritha said...

Wow that's a good review,Sania.I have no option but wait for the DVD:(

Aspi,I've seen NB and it was annoying to no end to see everyone call her 'Ma'am'.She's not Hema Malini or Sharmila Tagore,she's in her early 40's why don't they simply call her 'madhuri' or furthermore,Madhuri ji was OK.

Though I was never on time when I was reviewing,I love to sit here and say "Bhai,woh NB/JDJ review ka kya hua?"

Sidekick said...

Sania... thanks much for the AN review. Professional critics seem unreliable these days so it helps to have the thoughts of folks one trusts :). i hope i get to see this soon --- either here or when I visit India this month. Based on Madhuri love, which I have in spades, I'm guessing this is worth a dekko.

Leera, I think the torrent sites usually have the pre-DVD releases fairly early on. However, perhaps Madz dancing deserves the big screen :P

saritha thanks for the VoI kids update. During his final hosting duties, Shaan defi lost his voice a couple of times and was subpar. I think he is wise to bow out now. Gajji's now using kids to play the religious card???? Yuck! How low can he and channel stoop? Chotte Ustaad is sounding even less appealing now sans shaan and with the communal slant continuing.

Btw, All you NB watchers is it worth it to source the NB Madhuri epi just for her? --- does she dance on the show?

Saritha said...

Yes,Madhuri did dance along with Vaibhavi.

Aspi said...

Arre Saritha, I'm glad you chose this blog to write about VoI.

Also even more annoying than this "Ma'am" business to me is the overuse of the word "Diva". If everyone is a diva, why have the word to begin with?

Next you know: you'll all be called blog divas.

anu g said...

Hey Saritha, thanks for all the nice things u had to say!!!!And dont worry, I am sure once u start ur roundups on VOI kids , we will see ur name right up there on the drift ticker.
I missed watching the whole finaleand all the progs this week(except the Lilchamps episode where Soha came on) thats why no comments from me.Am lookign forward to the updates here!!

anu g said...

I like that name,,,,,Saritha, the blog diva!!!

Sidekick said...

anu g, i agree that blog diva is a great title for saritha :)

Sania said...

Oh - Nach Baliye with Mads is amaaazing this week! Do watch! I swear, my heart stopped when Madhuri and Vaibhavi danced together - but then again, everyone knows about my girlcrush on VM. :)

Saritha said...

Sidekick and anu,

Iam far from being a diva!!!oh but that name is fanciful:)I couldn't stop laughing at two things-egg and blog diva.

anu g said...

Saritha, I am wary that Aspi is ditching the desi shows for some international netflix!! So u r the only hope for desis like us!!Please dont give up ur blogging!

Sidekick said...

sania, thanks so much for yr enthusiastic recco of NB's madz spl. i did manage to source and watch it and it was paisa vasool for a Madz enthusiast like me. the dance to the AN title track was lovely. at the risk of earning yr ire, i'll say abt VB what i did abt suresh wadkar. VB is better off choreographing than performing. She has the steps and rhythm right, but just not the ada. Madhuri's thumkas pack a punch, not so VB's!

Sania said...

sidekick, without a doubt I agree with you - Vaibhavi should stick to getting Bollywood beauties to dance. I believe I had asked on one of the Nach Baliye posts whether a choreographer, by necessity, needs to be a great dancer? I know that Vaibhavi's kathak in the first episode blew Aspi away, but I thought it was good, not amazing. And can one ever, ever, picture Saroj Khan dancing? I mean, come on.

Criticism aside, I heart Vaibhavi because she's just the type of person I would love to be friends with - she just strikes me as so talented and beautiful and personable.

Aspi said...

Actually outside of those super-pursed Vaibhavi lips I do enjoy her dances. And watching her dance with Madhuri was interesting to watch - Madhuri is a much more graceful and laid back dancer but boy Vaibhavi is a really compact one.

Joules said...

At the risk of annoying Madhuri and Vaibhavi enthusiast here, I am not a big fan of the aaja nachle steps. I haven't seen the movie, so this is what I gathered from the trailor and Madhuri on various shows.

I blame it on the song - its not catchy enough but I cant see people/kids dancing on this song trying to copy Madhuri just like they did on her more acclaimed numbers.

Vaibhavi has done better numbers before (Kajrare being one of them). She may have caved in here under the pressure of working with the dancing diva.

Saw Saroj Khan dancing on the old Umrao Jaan song (Dil Cheez Kya Hai) on NB2 and it is a delight to see her dance. Her style of dancing is more traditional while V. is more contemporary.