Followers of this action packed show might know that Mika and Mohit Chauhan have been eliminated leaving the following semi-finalists: Shaan, Shankar Mahadevan, Himesh Reshammiya and Shreya Ghoshal. Their teams have some funky names but I can't remember them right now.
For the duet round, Shankar sent in Rahul Vaidya and Neethi Mohan. Both sang the flirtatious "Abhi Na Jao". Midway through the song, Neethi forgot the lyrics. Desperately she looked at her hand for clues, thus suggesting how she might be getting through her board exams. Nope, nothing written there. Fortunately for her Rahul showed tremendous presence of mind and rescued her with part nok-jhok, part cover up.
When the time came to hand them points Shankar made an impassioned case for his players. "This is a show!" he said "And how well they took care of that mistake and rescued it from disaster!" He asked for points for Rahul's chaturai. This seemed reasonable enough. All the judges agreed with Shankar. This left opposing team captain Shaan seething with anger.
Sensing Shaan's discomfort, Himesh skilfully maroed chaabi till Shaan cleared his tipping point. (Precisely why I love the Himesh so much.) Shaan took the bait and jumped up and down about how this entire situation was unreasonable. If singers forgot the lyrics, he argued, they shouldn't be getting good points. "I'm on the side of RIGHT" he thundered. "SOMEONE ACKNOWLEDGE WHAT JUST HAPPENED!"
Mika - India's own version of Snoop Dogg - arose, sending shivers through my spine. He argued for the contestants. Shaan jumped out with mike in hand and asked Mika if he had left his brains at home! Both rushed towards each other. Shaan shoulder thumped Mika. Wah! Music ka maha smackdown!
Shaan then jumped into the audience "WHOSE JOB IS IT TO REMEMBER THE LYRICS?" he implored "THE SINGERS OR THE AUDIENCE?" Several members of the audience muttered into the mike that Shaan shoved into their faces.
Shaan took off his jacket and thumped it on the floor. Then he stormed off the stage. Poor Neethi was in tears. Rahul Vaidya for some reason started taking everything personally. "Chup ho ja beta!" Himesh advised him.
Later Shaan argued this point again peripherally implying that Himesh was being dishonest with music. This pushed Himesh past his tipping point. The House of Reshammiya grabbed the mike and cut the air with TWO fingers instead of the usual one - conveying that he was twice as upset as he usually is (which is every time he is losing an argument). When he finished he had cut the air around him into ribbons. Hilarity all around!
All through this Shankar had been maintaining decorum. Clearly all this drama turned him off. His mood darkened. Mohit and Mika chatoed him rather cutely. He barely cracked a smile. He finally won the muqabala on points and ended up saying he wanted everyone to go home happy. He said this with such a lack of conviction that I felt sad for him and happy for what more is to come on the show.
Somewhere Ekta Kapoor must have furiously taken notes and wondered why her writers can't deliver such awesome naatak in her own shows.