Thursday, November 22, 2007

Star Voice of India: The winner and the rookie

The race to the finish heats up and Saritha is here to tell us about it

When I was a kid, I had a chance to visit many places in India thanks to Dad’s LTC and in the process I have come across a few airports named after the Gandhi family. So when I saw Varanasi’s Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport on last week’s homecoming episodes, where throngs turned up to see Harshit, it took me on a nostalgic trip where Dad used to talk to me about the heroes of Indian politics like Shastri and Sardar Patel.

Processions, garlands, huge hoardings, people taking Harshit and Ishmeet’s autographs, kids cheering for their favorite, firangs taking pics, bhangra on the road, all of this was more amusing than the actual singing on the show.

Harshit's awkward attempts to connect with the crowd, the security guards’ expressions ‘stage pe gaanaa!’, toddlers running around the place giving their mom's a tough time, with Aadesh and lalit around, Ishmeet feeling like a shrimp in the big blue sea - it was pure comedy.

Thankfully the crowds did not get unruly and proceedings stayed under control.

‘Zindagi chandva, phir bhi gamandva’ Bhojpuri superstar and guest Ravi Kishan spoke in such chaste hindi/bihari/lucknowi that I had to check Google for the translations. I am amazed at his ability to put across a simple thing like ‘you were good’ with a resonance that transfers his energy to the listener. He made me believe that the singers had just gave the performance of their lifetime and that we were naively ignorant of music until today.

If anyone did ‘hadkam’ on the show, it was Ravi.

Aadesh has now become the official hooligan of the show. He asked the audience to bless Harshit through votes – the enactment of the same looked like ‘hafta vasooli’. He hogged mike time from Ravi and despite speaking in Hindi he didn’t make any sense to me. Lalit, who sat between Aadesh and Ravi - realizing that with a just a week to go, the judges comments would have no effect on the voting pattern - was distinctly low key. It seemed like finally doing a show outdoors had done some good to him.

Both the participants played their cards well, choosing the numbers they could do justice, thus ensuring that they would reach the finish line with the least road bumps. SRGMP always had the edge over the other musical shows, so it was not a surprise that it finished first in the TRP race.

But I always wondered how II3 secured second place ahead of VoI, where a bunch of young boys and girls barely out of their college were crooning to become the next big thing in the music industry. Like fellow Drifters have said, may be that’s what worked for them, not to mention the target audience who loved them for what they are and not for what they will be.



Unknown said...

Thanks for taking us to the very end on this Saritha. This show seems to be following the same Grand Finale formula established by II3 and SRGMP.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Anonymous said...

Saritha,I bow to you....I am left amazed at how beautifully u r able to write a column (and make it intersting and funny too) on something for which there is actually nothing to write about!!!I also admire ur patience to go thru the entire show! U deserve a huge round of applause.
But dont worry! U will have lots to write this weekend..and I assume the Kids VOI will begin soon, so can breathe a little easily then!!!

Anonymous said...

Btw, who is leading officially? Saritha, u mentioned that u read somewhere that Harshit is the nephew of the AJL.Is it really true? If it is, then he is sure to win.

Anonymous said...

I think RaviKishan was the highlight of the show. His Bhojpuri was excellent. You can see confused look on Shaan's face whenever he spoke Bhojpuri.

BTW, In the beginning, I think he said,

'Zindangi Zhandwa (Not Chandwa), Phir Bhi Gamadawa.' I am wondering if the word he used is the same one which we use in Surat [Hint: It's a 'bad word'].

Anonymous said...

aiyyo,anu!Iam overwhelmed!sob sob,thanks.

I take this op to thank Aspi for all the hilarious caps.Aspi,this wouldn't have been possible without you.(yikes,this sounds like vote of thanks)

I read the whole nephew thing on,but that was long ago,so Iam not sure how true it is.


uh-oh! did I just use the abusive lang on this blog?Sorrrrryyyyy

Anonymous said...


As per the last episodes's stats Ishmeet is leading.

waiting for ur statistical repo:)

Anonymous said...

Saritha, as the show drags along in snooze fest zone, u only get better :). Aspi of course is the champion caption-eer! In all fairness though, VoI hasn't flat lined yet or shown the alarming downturn in the final epis that II3 and SRGMP did. The show is steady – it’s always barely has a pulse :P

Saritha, StarVoiceofIndia: I agree that Ravi Kishen was the real deal! He infused life and energy into the show and he did so with much panache in Bhojpuri no less. When Ishmeet bombed in his Qawali, Ravi obfuscated so gently and masterfully that his intent was clear yet kind. At first I didn't know who this Ravi Kishen was, so I googled him even as I watched. I now have a new found respect for Bhojpuri cinema :)

Anonymous said...

Sorry Saritha, I am intruding on VOI comment-space, but I read these comments by Nana Patekar, and found it qite amusing. Thought I'd share it with drifters.

Anonymous said...

Oops, hers the link:

Anonymous said...

No intrusion,it was interesting.Surprisingly,Sanjay Dutt,Aamir Khan and now Nana have all recorded a song each with Jatin-Lalit (only,I think) and Amitabh has now restricted his singing to Aadesh only.Between the brother-in-laws,yeh majra kya hai,choosing actors over professional singers.Why not their fav Harshit?

Anonymous said...

that was funny! saritha, actors bring star power --- who cares abt the quality of the singing? :) and well, harshit is clearly not all that in aadesh and lalit's books.

anu g, the mumbai mirror seems a killer site for filmi g. every time u've linked to it, i've spotted a gold mine of time-pass news.

Anonymous said...

Sidekick,so true.All the talk about how good their chela is doesn't seem to transcend into any real time work.

btw,I've first seen Ravi Kisan on Big Boss.After Rakhi,he was the only guy who entertained the audience.He finished 3rd on the show,though acted indifferent,losing the game had affected this superstar's ego.It was bound to happen.

Anonymous said...

Saritha,do u remember the way Kashmira behaved on Bigg Boss.Came across as a very vampish character playing politics and backbiting. I just read in the news that now she is announcing that she was paid to act like that. She says that every person was given a different role-the entertainer,the stud,the demure girl,the superhero etc etc!!!!But the others say that s not so.
Possibly she is saying all this cos she is on Nach Baliye and needs audience votes, or more possibly she is trying to act as the demure bahu of Govinda's nephew.Didnt they show her shopping for 'Inki' mami and mother!!!!!!!!