A few surprises, some artificial insertions and plenty of participant-induced drama later JJWS is now left with eight champions. Who are these singers and what are they like? A closer look (in alphabetical order)
Winner of the first Indian Idol and India's only bona fide CD seller outside Bollywood, Abhijit has shown sky rocketing growth as a singer lately. Delivering fine performances on some very challenging songs, he's managed to stay honest when judging his fellow contestants and focused when singing to head to the top of the class. Besides the judges seem to love him.
Chances: With the kind of vote bank and on-show support he has, the crown is his to lose
Kishore-lite in terms of the jonar he plays in, Debojit is fairly experienced and has the uncanny Udit Narayan-like ability to pace a song unhurriedly. He's a class act but he remains suspect outside of pop songs - he recently bungled the sufi episode. Plus he has a tendency to put people to sleep when he sings.
Chances: Not too shabby, but Abhijit has to go first
Probably an undeserving loser on Star Voice of India as first runner-up, Harshit possesses an excellent range - able to deliver softness and throw in one package of decent voice quality. He is also hugely ambitious and plays the competition like the game it should be played as. But he's been accused of too much chatoing - based on charges that sound a bit naive.
Chances: Good to great
Winner of Star Voice of India, Ishmeet has a pleasing voice and seems to possess a hard working, laid back personality. Unfortunately his voice comes with a clutch of limitations which force him to adjust his key on several songs, resulting in loss of respect from the judges. Its beginning to show in the scores.
Chances: Diminishing, especially if the judges have given up on you
JJWS's only remaining female contestant seems to be pretty popular with the remaining champions. She is a fine singer in the traditional mould. Tendency to get nervous on big occasions and shove that mike virtually into her teeth, but that doesn't stop her from showing the judges her range with carefully picked songs.
Chances: Puh-lease, not unless she finds a long-lost Y chromosome in her DNA
Hugely popular loser on the opening season of Indian Idol, Rahul is a Sonu Nigam type of singer. Which means, he has super voice quality and he makes up for his lack of range by displaying a dumdaar ability to connect with the song. His song selection is excellent but he tends to come across as smug - which could turn voters off.
Chances: An Indian Idol redux waiting to happen unless Rahul discovers an ability to maro achha insaan dialogs
Toshi left mid-way on VoI but the drama he generated was testament to his fan following. In general most singers who can kick butt in the sufi genre tend to whip up all kinds of frenzy (see: Raja Hasan). Toshi doesn't have great voice quality but he has excellent control. His uncompromising tendency to improvise with a song leaves him a rewarding, but unpredictable performer.
Chances: Mediocre, unless he hits levels of consistency not known to him till now
Loser to Debojit in Sa Re Ga Ma Pa 2005, Vineet has a tuney voice that can scale up and down quickly, excellent clarity and lungs of steel. Vineet also has the ability to bring youthful exuberance to a song (see his work on that dance-bhajan Koi Tumsa from Dashavtar). His playful personality comes across as juvenile on screen - and we all know goody two shoes tend to get more love on these shows.
Chances: Talent-wise, his only competition is Abhijit. But he probably needs to also see the back of Debojit to stand a real chance.