Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L'il Champs: Kids do the darnedest things

Without social expectations of how to behave weighing them down, kids can be fun to watch a lot of times. And I enjoy doing that whenever I tune in to SRGMP L'il Champs.

Take for example Raja Hasan on SRGMP. Every time he would get asked a controversial question he would come up with something dreadfully diplomatic (in Gujarat this is called dodh daapan). If he got low marks, he would smile like Arun Govil in Ramayana and walk off in good humor.

But the kids on this show haven't been fully socialized yet. Sometimes they'll bawl and mention how their parents' expectations put pressure on them to do well. Often, they'll stand there and demand marks from the judges. Some have worked out how to make cute faces for that extra bit of candy. And despite last time's alarming Lalita Pawar moment, Suresh Wadkar and Sonu Nigam keep loading up the marks for the kids.

Now the marks are give as grades - from C to A+. And these grades dance across the screen until they settle on the final letter. So you'll see this highly amusing ritual: the judge will start with C and keep looking at the kid. The kid will beg for grades, the crowd will egg him or her on. The closer the judge gets to the grade he wants to give, the warier his expression becomes. And the more furtive the pleas from the kid.

There are two ways this ends: (1) the judge says the equivalent of "ok, you are too cute to pass up and I don't want to be meanie uncle or (2) the judge says "enough is enough, you truly blew, so you get just an A (or B+)"

This brings back high school memories - really bad ones. But because Vishal and Shekhar were on, I watched. And I must say Vishal was a total surprise for me. Dressed like Prem Chopra from the 70s and free from having to deal with Himesh, he seemed relaxed and clearly enjoyed being the alpha cool one.

At one point Head asked him about his role in Om Shanti Om. He started off with a mock Oscar acceptance speech and noted that it had taken Farah about 6 seconds to narrate the role to him. "My role is so small" he joked, "that let it not be an excuse to not go see OSO".

All through, he was laid back, generous without being pretentious and pretty funny.

Geez, Vishal has been holding out on us. More importantly, it told me how caged in he must have been in the presence of the House of Reshammiya on that other show.

Finally, since Head insists that each kid get their own unique line of introduction (remember the Royal Cub of Bengal?) one kid was given the label "The One Whose Parents Think He Looks Like ET Alien". Along the Mir Ranjan Negi scale of entertainment, I must say this ranks pretty high. Especially since the poor kid finished singing and complained that he had no idea why his parents were trying to sabotage his dating future in this manner.



Anonymous said...

ah, it was gooo good to see VS on the show again. A great new years gift for me (we see the show on Sat and Sun here in S.A)

Anonymous said...

Lil Champs , A great beginning for the Kids . Vishal and shekhar in full form , good to see them coming on the show and looking comfortable without the shadow of Reshammiya , just goes to tell us , how a big tree overshadows all other small tree . These kids are really talented at such young age , and fighting for the grades is kind of funny.. reminds me of my childhood when i used to fight with my teachers for few marks that will get me to the top of chart..but they will just not give me the marks .

Anonymous said...

hey guys
i got a treat for all the vishal shekhar fans

a new website dedicated to them!!!!

come over and join and have fun!

Anonymous said...

hahaha..loved de episode...both of them actually luked like puppets made to dress up like de way Farah wanted...ahahaha...the blanket thing was too gud im not the only one who thinks dat was a chalta phirta washing powder nirma ad...hehehe....shekhar luked like some smuggie offense absence of Himesh clearly made Vishal dominate de rest [as usual]...he keeps reminding me of Alpha males in gorilla mom did not allow me to watch de remainin bit after de 'one pack' PJ by Vishal...i refreshed myself later...

Anonymous said...

Loved the comments Aspi...especially the Shekhar looking like a blanket one! My thoughts exactly!

I dont usually watch this show, but how can you pass it up when Vishal and Shekhar are on there! I thought Vishal looked so cute, all dress's the most dressed up I've even seen him! He totally rocked the Jitendra-style white suit!! :D

Unknown said...

Saregamapa of 9th Oct was a fun episode. Enjoyed some great singing by those little “bundles of joy”. But also because Vishal Shekhar made it soo watchable!!!

Aspi, you have an excellent observation – both Vishal and Shekhar seemed so relaxed and clearly enjoyed the show unihibited. Earlier - was it Him-mess’s ‘hairy’ presence that weighed down on them? Was it the ‘sic’ love story (Vishal’s expression was always one of disdain while Shekhar just didn’t want to have anything to do with it) that kept them aloof? Was it the “rigging” (sorry Vishal, your quote “they cheated…” seems such an expression of reckoning) that exasperated them? Or is it simply that OSO music is top of the charts, and has stayed there, that brings them in the true blue league?! Actually, even towards the fag end of SRGMP they did not seem to care a lark about the HB-IR nexus. They danced, sang, held hands when a pretty damsel was around, even gave it back to the nastiness of other judges. Whatever it is, they seem to have come into their own. And that feels good!

Aspi – three cheers to you, for deciphering Suresh Wadkar’s expression. The mouth is eternally on a downward curve. Must move a mico mm, which is not discernable to the naked eye. But you have been able to identify those micro movements and made those expressions easy to understand! (The captions as always are mindblowing). I had begun to believe that he suffers from some sort of facial paralysis. He is such a great singer, but devoid of any expression, whatsoever. It sounds so ironical when he sometimes tells some kids they did not sing with “feel”.
Both Suresh and Sonu do/say some really endearing things; if only it was backed up with someeeee expression on SW’s face!!!

Anonymous said...

So how many times did Shekhar say mind-blowing? Missed the episode - busy weekend. Havent been able to catch up.

Thanks Aspi, for the 70's style picture of VS. They are in great spirit and why should'nt they be.
They are in bed (figuratively) with the a-list actor.

Anonymous said...

My fave kids are

Vibhore - such a cutie pie..
Rohanpreet - cuteness and i love his grand dad's dancing..
Tanmay- CUTE but i seriously thought he was like 5!!!!!!!!! can't believe he's like 12!!!!!

I dont like
Vaishali- gosh what a spoilt little brat. I dont like the tantrums and she is so ANNOYING. not cute

rest of the kids are aight

I miss Sahil.

i rly like this show. don't knock it cuz their kids

Anonymous said...

Hey, who said VS in bed with me figuratively only?
I have done them 5-6 times during the course of the movie.

mimi said...

I read in an interview with Head that this whole weird naming thing, Royal Cub of Bengal etc is part of his whole branding strategy. This intrigues me, though I don't quite understand what kind of brand he is trying to identify himself as. Also what is with all the nuke/explosive related nicknames? All these 'dynamites', atom bombs, H-bombs...

my own faves are rohit, tanmay (I agree - soooo cute, I could sneak him home and feed him cupcakes for ever!) and rohanpreet. Also Aamir - Sonu, you bastard, why were you so mean to the little thing?

I really loathe Vasundhara though. She sounds like some chipmunk who sucked the life out of some party balloon shop. Maybe I am really un-pc and evil for thinking this, but it feels as if she is there more as the cute token disabled girl than anything else. and the hypocrisy of all that mooning over what a brave girl she is etc just revolts me.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to this show I think Vishal is going to be the new Bollywood discovery of the silver screen. The man can sing, make music, be funny and now act! Total package, that man!

Anonymous said...

Shahrukh you beyotch - you were having orgies with those hip hop fakers while I was in pain and recovering from my face lift and cellulite removal surgery!

By the way! I was getting it on with Dr 90210 in the recovery room and he knew what he was doing and I didn't have to FAKE IT! FOR A CHANGE! and he didn't call me Ka Ka Ka Ka Karan during climax either..

Anonymous said...

OMG ! where has sharukh and gauri come up here discussing their personal bedroom tales ..

anyway whoever it it , quite funny gauri post..

fake orgasms .. talk about one

Anonymous said...

Gauri, Actually Shahrukh goes Sh Sh Sh Sh Shekhar now when climaxing.I love it!

Anonymous said...

Videos of Vishal Shekhar in Om shanti Om

Vishal's cameo

VS during end credits

Anonymous said...

I agree with Megan on the SRGMP kids.Vaishali seems so much like an adult.There was an interview with her on a news channel on Childrens Day, and she came across with some very politically correct statements.It was quite unnerving.

I was also shocked to know Tanmay is 12. I thought he was a really small kid.

Megan, I had mentioned earlier that even i felt so bad about Sahil. He was from a small town where I am sure facilities are not available. he seemed so nervous and lost on the stage. These guys should have offered to help polish his skills. Ifeel so bad for him.

As for Vasundhara, she is a very good singer though her voice is nasal.But I only hope the judges dont do what they did to Diwakar last time. For those who didnt watch the earlier Lilchamps, Diwakar was a visually challeged boy who got all the judges really impressed. But as the show went forward, he seemed to falter often. Yet the audience kept supporting him at the cost of good singers. So the judges (Alka amd Abhijit) started passing rude comments.They also said Diwakar was getting sympathy votes. This disturbed his father who said they could comment on his singing, but shouldnt have spoken about sympathy. He finally came second(or was it third?).
I hope something similar doesnt happen to Vasundhara. Its not fair to hype one person, and then realise that that person is not as good as u thought he/she is.
I think Sonu is also getting a wee bit irritated with Vaishali.He was so impressed b her initially that he carried her (and got a slipped-disc in the process).Now he realises that she seems like an adult.
Kya zamana aa gaya hai....sab kuch ulta-pulta ho raha hai....u have an18 year old Prachi behaving like a 10 year old, and a 10 year old Vaishali behaving like an 80 year old.

Anonymous said...

I started watching L'il Champs a three weeks ago with much trepidation.... I'm sucker when it comes to kids; my eyes well up at every elimination much to my husband's amusement! But I underestimated the kids --- I've been blown away by their talent, their unscripted reactions and their overall cuteness.

I've discovered I don't need the saas bahu drama that the judges usually feature in to add pep to the show. If anything I've been very impressed by Suresh Wadkar and Sonu Niigaam (still can't over the numerologically dictated spelling!). They've managed to play good cop-bad cop pretty effectively to manage the kids' expectations on grades. I was worried abt Vaishali's ultimate ouster -- the kid is cute but she is not among the most talented of singers. It seemed to me to be a setup for tearful drama (which it still maybe), but thanks to the judges' machinations the 10 year 'adult' has seen gently dropping grades so that ultimately it won't come as a complete shock.

The best part for me is that the kids have interesting voices ---- they're at a stage when they aren't assiduously aping their idols and their voices - quality/ texture ---seem original. Mercifully the girls aren't going all shrill and squeaky.

My fave - Tanmay --- not bcos he sings the best, but bcos the kid is uber cute. and yes, anu g its a shock that he is 12 years old! I love the kids who don't get into a pitched battle over grades! Anu g, the story abt Diwakar is interesting. I don't see it repeating coz SW seems like a nice guy and SN seems like he manages his image. In fact I think Vasundhara may have an unfair advantage --- she is a good singer, but has the least interesting voice. It's a little thin and reedy --- which is ok for a kid, but some of the others have lovely voices and are just as proficient.

My prescription for SRGMP C09, bring on SW and SN as judges. Maybe a pair of judges in each gharana - a singer and a composer. SW though expressionless (aspi loved the caption!), is the voice of reason and has great tips on technique and Sonu needs to be on just to hear him sing occasionally :)

Last word: It was great to see Vish-Shek. Vish is my fave and it was nice to see him in his element.

Anonymous said...

Sidekick,nice to see u again. Saritha was wondering where u were.
It was certainly lovely to watch VS again.What impresses me the most is their genuine appreciation of good singing. I loved the 'Jack in the Box' action of theirs whenever someone sang very well on Challenge.My husband and I had a bet whether they would do it here too. He thought they wouldnt rise and stand for a kid. I was hoping they would, and I won:).
S&S certainly make the programme interesting without being rude.I hope they dont bow down to the channel's demands for action and drama to increase the trps.
But what irked me this week was the way Sonu and more so Suresh said C, C plus in a rising tone which my son used to use when he was 3 years old runnign around the house with his toy aeroplane.....even my daughter got irritated...said Suresh is trying to be funny, but just cant.
By the way, do u know that Suresh is married to one of the first few contestants of SRGMP. Whether he met her on the show, or she was already his fiancee when she came on the show, I dont know.I read about it some years ago.Ok, Ok, Aspi, now no wisecracks please about the encyclopedia!!

Anonymous said...

anu g, that was an awesome bit of news on SW --- some authentic romanchuk (to use an aspi-ism) moments on SRGMP, perhaps. b4 aspi can say it, i'm totally in awe of yr encyclopedic knowledge of showbiz esp. the uncanny ability to pull out just the right story out of the hat :) .... that was not a wisecrack, just a straightforward compliment :D

yep, i agree that wadkar' attempts at comedy fall rather flat --- that annoying grade unveiling in sur is particularly painful. His attempts to speak in punjabi and other vernacular (except of course his own marathi) is unintentionally funny! But the guy is just so well intentioned and solidly likable that haar gunaah maaf!

Unknown said...

That's it! I'm calling her Sherlock Khan from now on.

Anonymous said...

Aspi, in all of my catching up I forgot to add: that name is pure genius :) .fm the looks of it, she has just as magnetic and mesmerizing a presence on this blog as king khan himself! and anu g, that is yet another compliment - not a broadside of any kind :D

Anonymous said...

Aspi and Sidekick, u r thoroughly embarrassing me.Sidekick I cannot accept the compliment(?) cos its just not right.I prefer to be just plain old anu g. Any other titles, and I quit!And mind u, my kids r having exams again(why do they stress kids out so much in india) so I am spending more time on the net(one of the many ways I try to keep myself awake without disturbing them) and I may be finding some inane info....but u r making me so conscious that I may just refrain from posting its ur choice--its Sherlock or my talk!(I told u I was terrible at poetry).

Unknown said...

anu g, some day when you get older you will embrace the love your fans have given you on their own terms. Kind of like how Jeetendra now refers to himself as Jumping Jack.

But please, posting on the blog doesn't need any excuse. Perhaps your kids will keep you awake a lot of night so you can spend it keeping us informed about happenings.

Anonymous said...

Aspi,I hope that with age (er, more age)will come maturity to handle compliments... but being called Sherlock Khan???

Btw, I am not giving excuses to be here.I am just warning u that u may be flooded with loads of gossip.Lord!Where am I headed?

Well, I just remembered in what context I read about Mrs.Wadkar....I just cant resist sharing the news:).Sidekick,dedicated to you!
His wife appeared on the Fame Gurukul show as one of the teachers alongwith Ila Arun, where the Kashmiri guy finally won.I watched some initial episodes, where they introduced her.I never got to watch the show.Though nowI guess that would have been great fun to disect here. Aspi would have loved it.

Anonymous said...

anu g --- tfs for the spl nugget on Mrs Wadkar. Underscores how appropriate Aspi's nickname for you is! Until you take a crash course in how to accept compliments, 'anu g' it is (although i think the title Drift Sweetheart is equally appropriate!) :D

Anonymous said...

Oops, Sidekick, ur title is too personal, so Aspi;s is more acceptable (sigh!). But please, only when I am older.

Anonymous said...

Poor Little champs have had a terrible time this week with the Kapoorsisters.Check out this article.How mean!!!'§id=30&contentid=20071123200711230442584216fe30f55

Anonymous said...

anu g, thats awful. sonu gets brownie pts for standing up for the kids. i don't get why they couldn't just do the karisma songs and announce that she couldn't make it bcos she's sick. they could've made it a cheesy get-well gift fm the kids to her. any adult worth his/her salt would see thru that fabrication, but at least it would've saved the kids fm torture!

Anonymous said...

Sidekick,I just read that Asha Bhosle is coming on as the guest this week. So sweet of her to fill in(if the earlier report was right).
And surprise of the evening...Mauli is going to be singing her 'ghisa pita gaana(her words, Mauli fans).....Is that supposed to be a surprise or a yawn???
U r right about the sites. Thats what i mentioned to Aspi.There r just 3 sites where I get all this info..and then proudly announce it here!!!!I have got used to it, cos my kids have so many projects to do; to save them time, I surf the net, find lots of info, cut and paste it..They copy it down and pass it off as their own.!!Oops, hope none of their teachers r on the drift!!!

Anonymous said...

anu g, 3 cheers to Ashaji for stepping into the breach. also 3 cheers to yr sterling effort as a mom - drifters are reaping the benefits of some fine showbiz gossip :). This week's l'il champs sounds like a "must see". i shd make sure my trusty DVR is on alert.

Unknown said...

Something tells me if either had a movie opening this weekend, they'd have popped a Tylenol or two and showed up.

Anonymous said...

And thats what impresses me so much about Priyanka Chopra. Apparently she is coming on Sat on Nach Baliye only to support her friends Amir and Sanjeeda!And she doesnt have any movie coming up.Thats such a refreshing change.