Monday, September 17, 2007

Indian Idol 3 Top 2: Saved by His & Her Hotness

Forget Abhiwarya, for me John Abraham and Bipasha Basu have always been Bollywood's First Couple. Why? It's hard to imagine two people without too many filmi family connections bucking the odds to emerge with successful careers and a long-standing relationship.

John may not win an Oscar but he is a fine physical actor if you ask me: he's terribly underappreciated in Bollywood where you have to act with every fiber of your face (exhibits A & B: Shahrukh Khan and Ritwik Roshan). Bips on the other hand managed to look graceful even in the high-crass No Entry - an outstanding achievement in the face of overwhelming odds like Fardeen Khan and Celina Jaitley.

Plus, there's always the Building gossip that tells me that John shows up 10pm-ish almost daily and takes Bips on long motorcycle drives in the night. Such romanchuk behavior is noteworthy.

And I was double glad they showed up on Indian Idol 3 on the second show of the weekend because Rubaroo and the show has lately been putting me to sleep. I'm not sure what did it but it started with last week's Rubaroo in which the rather unfortunately named JoJo showed up wearing a fanny pack and revealed a penchant for pointing everywhere, especially up (hey, didn't your Mom tell you its rude?). Then this week the Top 2 featured a "live" performance vibe, Hussain yelling into a mike (like my Dad on the phone whenever someone would call from London) and a rather sweaty Sanjay Dutt looking like he had arrived straight from the gym without stopping at the showers.

But in the John & Bips episode, this whole soccer theme to tie in with their new flick Dhana Dhan Dhan...Goal was pretty crafty. If you're going to shill, this is the way to do it. Work hard to do something creative and then give us two lovely people with great chemistry to look at.

On to the singing: Amit Paul delivered fine performances and looked very much the Indian Idol that the judges have been hoping he'll become. However, two things happened that rocked Amit's boat and neither of them was the terrible headband-wristband combo that I thought had died out since Mark Knopfler left Dire Straits and wisely embraced Alt Country.

First, Prashant Tamang happened. Evenly and quietly, the guy has been weathering all the storms that come his way. His good-natured straight-lacedness has allowed him to motor along at a fine mid-tempo and avoid the peaks and valleys that other contestants suffered from. And on this week's show his song selection was outstanding. In particular, "Aashiq Banaya" not only suited his voice and stretched his range, but it is sure to be a hit with the SMS generation.

Second, the dog ate Amit Paul's lyrics. Pretty badly. So badly in fact that Javed Akhtar's comparing that gaffe with Prashant's earlier missing of a single beat and calling the score even was scarcely credible.

Time and again Amit has bombed at critical moments. Is he afraid of success? Does he have ADD? Did he forget to turn his cell phone off? Who knows! But add to all this the fact that Prashant has always been a storehouse of SMS votes, this could well be the slip that cost Amit the Idolship.



Anonymous said...

Too good! Ur blog has been a treat to read every week. Keep it up. I cant wait to hear ur comments on this week's SRGMP wedding nautanki.

Anonymous said...

Aspi, You hit the nail on the head...the II3 competion was won by the two "hotties" last night. Awesome and supremely funny post.

Anonymous said...

aspi, your blog is the greatest thing to happen to the internet.

looking forward to your review of one night in paris

ppl said...

Whew BipAbrahim (Not as good as Abhiwariya or Jam) really saved the finale week from tanking. However, even though Friday's episode sucked (unknowns+ritesh deshmukh and sanjay dutt??) Prashant upstaged Amit a little, he seemed to connect better with the crowd.
Do we have another upset on our hands? Will Anu malik try another tired 'jhagda? Only time will tell.

Anonymous said...

Yep.... John and Bips scored the goals and saved the final showdown fm descending into mediocrity. Boy, this is a tame finish for a show expected to build to a tense finale. The cafe round was a real snoozefest! They ought to bring back some of the spark plugs who've been voted out and have them perform to spice things up.

BTW, I think the first round song choices were fm winners of a radio contest. I don't think Prashant or Amit had much to do with it. I'm a little surprised by Prashant's progress. His graph in terms of quality of performances has been rising if somewhat unspectacularly.

The judges gave up on any semblance of fairness a long time ago. To equate Prashant's missing a couple of beats with Amit's total miss of a stanza, is a travesty of fair judgment. Another strike against Judge Javed!

Amit does seem to have a death wish at crunch time, but heck he's led a charmed life thus far so perhaps fortune will favor him one last time :)

Finally maybe the maali does do more than blow hot air --- saw this article in the ToI.

Sania said...

Aspi, that was a spectacularly short visit to the homeland. Hope all is well, and we're glad to have you back! :)

Didn't Amit get eliminated in the Piano Round because of missed lyrics, but got brought back as a wild card? Methinks that was his one karmic chance.

I agree that I was astonished at Prashant's crowd-power during the Mumbai concert. He almost upstaged Amit to the point where I don't think I would mind him being the winning Idol. Although I certainly wouldn't mind having some of the past sparks of the show come back. I hope my sweetu Parleen will be seen in the finale. ;-) Yes, I have a crush on a 20-year old boy. Shame on me.

Haven't watched the John and Bips episode yet, but will report back once I have. And I'm at least 2 weeks behind on my SRGMP.

Anonymous said...

great post n had a great read bro! bipasha has always been my bomb and the hunk is too good to be true. guess he is cool and calm like prashant. Could see bipasha dogging him :). hope its not the same as rakhi sawant and her bf's case.

Anyways, my fav was amit and is still but i have to admit that prashant had been struggling and i have found out that the struggle has highly groomed not only his personality but his voice. I really like his throw of voice and the vocal tone. its so unique. amit should have made the mistake, because forgetting lyrics is the worst weakness a singer can have in him.

I was a little disappointed with Javed's comparison of songs because missing "A" beat and forgetting the whole verse - a hell lot of difference is there. Ya me too, if prashant wins and takes home the title, no hiccups, he is worthy and ideal. its the result of his hardwork, if i may say.

keep posting bro

Anonymous said...

Megan Jodha Bai would be glad that you spelt Duggu as Ritwik Roshan or RR. HR stands for Himesh Reshammaiya today and certainly not a good idea to share intials with him.

Anonymous said...

I was this close in launching a blitzkreig at Aspi's way when he spelt duggu's name as Ritwik but you have made a good point there, Manish.

Yeah!! can't compare Du to Besharmiya. One is a sight for sore eyes and the other is the cause of the soreness.

Anonymous said...

Hi guys
I know most the time I post useless things in jest but this time I am serious.

Arshpreet from SVOI will be filming an episode on tuesday (the show will be shown this weekend) and then we'll be getting a chance to vote for a wild card candidate so i urge any music fan to please please vote for her. She deserves another chance.

Thanks, Megan

Unknown said...

I call him Ritwik to annoy his fans - which is pretty much all the women I know.

Sania, all is well. I do these week long trips just to spend time with the parents and enjoy India at different times. Why make money if you can't blow it all on feeling good?

Anonymous said...

What cuties :). John and Bips sure made it a great episode. They both are looking better and better everyday.

In Javed ji's favor I think Amit's slip up was very difficult to recover from. Tanhayee is not an easy song to sing. Plus the music of that song is so dramatic.

Both Prashant and Amit are far better than last year's Indian Idol. Although I prefer Amit's voice to Prashant's and would buy his albums anyday.

On a separate note: Do you notice that for some reason Raja has fallen from grace? I wonder if it is because he is not doing as much chamchagiri or is it because his mentors do not believe in obnoxiously promoting anyone? If that is the case, tells you a lot about the aam-janta.

- Joules

Anonymous said...

Don't you think that Alisha is going to kill herself if Prashant wins? What the hell judge she is? I cant believe that why she is afraid of telling the truth? is there anythink like infatuation again? This indian idol show is really killed by the wrost judges I have ever seen? From next session, Sony should give a separate training before the show starts for the judges like Alisha and Javed.
For the favourite candidate, I wrote here about my favourite was AMIT but now I started to dislike him. He has the voice but what the hell he is doing if he forgets lyrics everytime? this is not his first time. Prashat came really improved, good luck Prashant. Wish him all the best. raj

Anonymous said...

I actually had liked KK as well as Shankar Mahadevan on Fame Gurukul.

My choices for judges for next season are KK/Shankar, Sonu, Javed and Vishal-Shekhar.

- Joules

Unknown said...

Meg, I'll vote for Arshpreet but from what little I know about the show, she won't have a chance against that Toshi guy.

raj, Alisha has become completely irrelevant on II3. For a judge to have designs on a contestant - even in jest - sounds way out creepy. Imagine Anu Malik leering at Deepali.

Unknown said...

Joules, I think Raja overplayed the seedha-saadha gaav ka chhora bit. Which then led to his plunging popularity. You have to careful these days about pacing yourself on these shows. No one stays popular forever.

Anonymous said...

I am bookmarking your comment Aspi. I'll be back with a gentle reminder three weeks from now...

Unknown said...

Hey I like Raja, man. I'm just analyzing his public persona and its ebb and flow. I'll be happy to see him at the top again.

Anonymous said...

I agree Aspi!Infact,the previous week after messing up 'Pardesi pardesi' when Raja was asked by Himesh if he thought his performance was upto the mark,the guy could have said 'may be not'instead of saying 'agar mujhe pata hota toh main competition mein kyon aata'.

Come on,that can irritate anyone.(Sorry Manish).And went on with it for a while.Still it doesn't give Himesh any right to rip the kid like that - 2 times.

Last year we had singers like Amey (amazing voice) and Karunya (technically flawless).It's sad that neither of them won II.

AS far Amit this season,the guy has such soothing voice that I'd love to buy his album for all those long drives.

raianj said...

I thought we are friends! But seems like we are not, covered too little about prasant, I know judges are bias, but I hope you are not. I am very upset for last episode, Alisa Chinnoy is going crazy, she was off limit. I love your column, so please do not dissapoint me. bye

Anonymous said...

The problem with Indian Idol crew (judges and hosts) is that they show their biasness and make it so obvious. Last year they treated that dude who won (whats his name again) really badly and totally put all the focus on the other dude with long nose (the one who was supposed to be the better one).

They think that by them doing it, juntah will think "OMGGGGGG everyone on II are biased towards that dude, imma vote for him"

It doesn't work like that, in fact it backfires.

I would like to see that Prasant win just because the look on these b*tches faces will be priceless.

Altho i like Amit better too, but i suppose not that much.

raianj said...

M A Dit,
Actually that is what I wanted to hear, Thank you, but my best friend aspi also pretty diplomatic, but it's ok, Idol is almost over. Both of them are equally talented. I wish them good luck.

Anonymous said...

I agree whole-heartedly with Anon's comment that the judges need training on what it means to be a judge....In that arena Anu Mallik has shown the least amount of bias. Javed has been surprisingly regressive and Alisha is not worth commenting on. Aspi, Anju is right. You should spend more blog space on Prashant.

Anonymous said...

John and Bips are so awesome!!!
I took my a** to the gym after watching their II3 episode.

I loved the way they treated amit and prashant and added charm to the whole show.

I have been Amit's fan right from the beginning. But after seeing Prashant's steady improvement and his calmness inspite of being not appreciated by any of the judges until now, I have a new found respect and admiration for Prashant.
Now I would be happy even if Prashant wins....for his mental strength.

Anonymous said...

amit should have done a better job with tanhayee, but that doesn't take away anything from his fabulous singing. let's not forget that amit has given us 'nasha ye pyaar ka nasha', 'pehla nasha', 'maeree', 'meri soni meri tamanna', 'kora kaaghaz', 'gustakh dil' and last but not least, the best performance of the season in 'bulla ki jaana'. i don't think prashant's recent improvement can match up to amit's consistently good singing week after week. it's sad how quickly people forget the amazing performances belted out by a contestant and instead choose to dwell on his one slip up.

@ sania, amit didn't forget his lyrics in the piano round. he forgot it in his last wildcard performance. he explained everything in the II special episode last night, but i don't know how many of you watched that.

raianj said...

OMG, yeah John Abrahim I am talking about, he is so goodlooking or good looking is understatement, he is beyond that. Actually I have met him once when he was in Rockstar Concert, he is mind blowing, down to earth, I can go on and on. You can watch them on, coffee with Karan, don't you think he is bit nervous in front of Bips?

Priya said...

Mero Indian Idol

When Bipasha Basu was openly supporting the “right” Indian Idol, Amit Paul, I felt like giving her one “tight slap” (figuratively) in return. Why not Prashant Tamang? Hell yeah!

The judges have continued to deride Prashant based on his weak singing, his diction (he speaks Nepali at home after all), his losing of “sur” and “taal” and whatnot, and have openly come out to say that Amit is their Indian idol. Throughout the program, they have added insult to injury by repeatedly saying that only the police force and Darjeelingees (read Nepalis) are keeping him afloat.

I normally would have agreed – yeah, the other singer is better, and as a purist only after “talent” I would have said “vote for Amit”, and that Prashant is an “affirmative action” story not to be taken seriously. In addition, I would have also said why should we care? It is a popularity contest after all, and if the worse singer wins what can one do?

However, there are a few important points to be made here that have made this competition more relevant for me, and also the issues less trivial.

Firstly, maybe because it is I am Nepali, but I just love his voice even though his singing is not entirely consistent. Supporters have continued to say that if he gets more training and with some studio help, he will sound fantastic. And I tend to agree.

Secondly, I love the way he is – so unassuming, calm, good looking etc. etc. He’s made it up from such humble beginnings and his behavior has only made me like him more. When he went back home after three long months, all of Darjeeling, starved for an icon along with all other Nepalis worldwide, were there to greet him. His mother made an emotional speech in Nepali, he wore a Dhaka topi and danced Nepali-style. He sang with such conviction in Nepali on a Roobaroo episode that it melted my heart. He has also started saying that he will do “things” for his people – with enough sincerity and self confidence that I really feel like believing him.

Thirdly, and most importantly, when I hear him sing it feels really good. I guess his singing never fails to touch a cord because I react to this combination of things.

The turnout of this competition has made me reflect on the concept of affirmative action. If my reaction to him is not just based on his singing but because I am cognizant of the way he looks, the way he talks, and the way he proudly identifies with being Nepali, what is wrong with that? Let’s not call this “affirmative action” in the derogatory sense of letting someone inferior through in order to fill some representation quota. His voice resonates and reverberates within us more because of what he is in totality and he seriously rocks! I will listen to him sing, buy his albums, and go to his concerts as much as I can. And so will Bipasha in the years to come. Mark my words.

raianj said...

hello priya,
If you like Prasant, please vote for him, you can send free sms. I have done so far 2000 sms and I will do it again tonite. and don't mind Bips, she has a same soft side for Amit, Amit is Bengali and so Bips, but she was sweet enough to tell her mother about Prasant. I am just upset with that crazy women Alisa. But again prasant is leading on votes, he will be in Kathmandu shortly after that coming to US.

Unknown said...

Priya, I think you captured Prashant's appeal beautifully! May the best SMS vote magnet win.

Priya said...

thanks a lot aspi!

i love reading your blog. will be more regular soon hopefully.

what did you think about chak de? i've got a great review lined up for that one too...