Since SRGMP was so boring this week and my blasted DVR started acting up again (give humans something simpler to use and they'll find a new way to screw it up), I decided to tune in to Star Voice of India. And I must say, if I had time I would be watching this show every week!
Why so? Hold that chai a little tighter while I explain. We don't want any stains on the sofa.
Last year VoI played the regional card willy nilly down to the finals, issuing pukaars to the home states of the contestants to send in SMS votes. This year if you can believe it, VoI kicked it up a notch.
In its current format, VoI has contestants picked from each state called "Voice of this-state or that-state". Having established home (and vote) base as part of the premise of the show, VoI then allows itself to shamelessly play the Regional Vote drama.
Often someone on the show (like the host Shaan or an audience member) will take on an admonishing tone, implying that the people of a state are not patriotic enough or maybe they are just plain lazy.
Sweet Mother of God! Is this what India has come to? I mean people who won't be bothered to pick up a mobile - a mobile I tell you - and not punch in a few buttons to vote for their brother or sister? In the time it would take them to roll their eyes and switch to a different channel, someone could just as easily get suckered, continue to watch the show and spend hundreds on SMS votes!
Last week the Voice of Punjab (let's dispense with names shall we?) didn't get enough votes to keep him out of trouble. A bunch of people shook their heads and admonished their fellow Punjab ke vaasi. "Kya ho raha hai!" yelled one. "Its shameful" another shook his head.
Yet, I must confess this drama gave me pause. I even stopped eating my aloo bhujiya for a while. Judge Monty Sharma picked up the mike and declared: "Why Punjab!? All of India should vote for this boy!" Everyone shook their heads solemnly - the boy himself nodded vigorously - and applauded.
Monty laid down his mike and looked around as if the point had been made for the first time. And then it was back to more State-mongering. This bit of amusement made up for the fact that Monty did not say "Attack!" even once while I was watching.
Finally, in my opinion it is unforgivable for a show that is a singing competition to have its contestants lip sync. Sure SRGMP does it, but only for the opening act - and I can't say I like that either. But when the show kicks in, everyone sings live and lives and dies by it.
But it was Disco Night and the producers of VoI decided to have their singers jump and shimmy around in the name of top class entertainment. And in such a situation, we all know that singing properly is like chewing lohe ke channe. So every single contestant mimed - even the handicapped guy who sat it out.
Often someone would be caught napping and try to catch up with the words - they would dart off a guilty look and then immediately execute some exaggerated move to try and deflect attention. The camera would helpfully move quickly to a wider shot.
This provided continuous fun - I even rated the contestants on their ability to dupe the viewers. Voice of Delhi - great work!