Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge 2009: The Final Eight Contestants

Say what you will but Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge 2009 has better singers overall than last year. I'm not surprised - the music industry now has genuine money in it, creating a swell of new talent willing to exercise patience for a break. SRGMP has now become one of their premier platforms to get noticed. And its driving them all to the show.

Plus, SRGMP has the concept of judges right - they pick music directors. It works on so many levels that I'd have to write a new post just about that. So back to the contestants which is the focus of this post. Here are the remaining seven in order of my own level of anticipation when they come in to sing.

Yashita Yashpal Sharma

Every year SRGMP throws up a winner and a breakout singing star. Often they are not the same person. This year's singer who will get much roji roti in Bollywood - despite where she finishes - is Yashita. She has a strong voice that can be downright powerful in a few years. As far as I am concerned her pitching is a work in progress. But she has great focus and spunk.

Vote Appeal Angle: Bindaas Mumbai babe ke liye vote karo!
Sounds Like: Sunidhi Chauhan on a pub crawl with Suzanne D'mello
Among her best: Yashita sings Suneeta Rao's Pari Hoon Mein, Vaishali Samant's Aika Daji Ba

Pratibha Singh Baghel

Easily this year's most accomplished voice, Pratibha is genuine talent blended with early training and hard work. She seems incapable of singing badly - her worst performances are better than anything you would hope to hear on say Indian Idol. Lately SRGMP has rather amusingly been pairing her up with a fellow contestant - they've been doing it with the roving camera, the TV equivalent of the filmi akhiyon ke isharo se.

Vote Appeal Angle: The girl from the Heartland needs your help to win!
Sounds Like: The love child of Shreya Ghoshal and Shobha Mudgal
Among her best: Pratibha sings Abida Parveen's Baghban

Debojit Dutta

The Virender Sehwag of the show - capable of monster performances and dismal failures. Interestingly with Debojit you can tell he'll bomb within the first few lines. He might be great economic option for some music directors if they pick the song carefully.

Vote Appeal Angle: I'm adhura but I'm happy!
Sounds Like: Suraj Jagan imitating Kishore Kumar on one of their saner days
Among his best: Debojit sings James' Hamari Adhuri Kahani

Sara Raza Khan

Sara sings in two voices - one is a kitchy-koo girly voice that entirely limits her range. Once in while she'll break into a full throated voice which sounds terrific. Unfortunately that doesn't happen often. But forget the consolation praise the judges heap on fellow competitor Asma for marked improvement, the fastest improving singer on SRGMP is Sara.

Vote Appeal Angle: Vote for your cute neighbor from up north!
Sounds Like: Suraiya before she hit puberty
Among her best: Sara sings Himesh's Mashah Allah

Soumen Nandi

Vastly underrated as a singer on the show, if Soumen (who I like to call Chow-mein) has a killer voice in the middle octaves, his low notes ain't bad either. But he gets a little screechy on the high notes, which limits his appeal as a playback singer.

Vote Appeal Angle: Please, I'm trying really hard to look cool here. So vote for me!
Sounds Like: KK. But on the high notes, sounds like KK after he just found out he lost another song to Shaan
Among his best: Soumen sings Kailash Kher's Saiyan

Vaishali Made

Vaishali's excellent range if somewhat shrill voice texture is an indicator of how deep talent runs this year on SRGMP - she's barely been among the top singers. Sure Himesh is building a rather eye-roll worthy back story for her (she sings for her husband!) and she sings boring songs, but her approach to life and singing are both genuine and touching.

Vote Appeal Strategy: I worked really hard all my life, now its time to be a star!
Sounds Like: Lata Mangeshkar Lite
Among her best: Vaishali sings Lata Mangeshkar's Der Na Ho Jaye

Zaheer Abbas

Hugely capable, wonderfully dedicated, refreshingly down to earth. He's a niche singer who hasn't yet found his precise niche. If he finds a supportive music director, that niche can be found.

Vote Appeal Angle: Vote for the god-fearing bandaa!
Sounds like: Sukhwinder Singh after riding a bike with a very small, hard seat
Among his best: Zaheer sings AR Rahman's Khwaja Mere Khwaja

Asma Mohammad Rafi

Easily the weakest singer on SRGMP, Asma is the train wreck of the season. But she has a vulnerable, semi-loony personality that audiences seem to connect with. And riding that wave, she has negotiated repeated finishes in the bottom three with safe passage into the next round.

Vote Appeal Angle: I'm a ditzy Arab girl with an amusing accent. Vote for continued humor on the show, I mean me!
Sounds Like: Mauli Dave on a cell phone
Among her best: Asma tackles Himesh's Jhalak Dikhla Jaa


Anonymous said...

While i somewhat agree with your thoughts, there is one small disagreement(if your list is to be considered as a ranking of the contestants).

So here is my ranking for the remaining singers on the show

1. Pratibha
2. Vaishali
3. Yashita
4. Soumen
5. Zaheer
6. Debojit
7. Sara
8. Asma

I would also like to mention here that the eliminated contestants Mitika, Naina & Shashi were better than the bottom 3 in my list.

Anonymous said...

While i somewhat agree with your thoughts, there is one small disagreement(if your list is to be considered as a ranking of the contestants).

So here is my ranking for the remaining singers on the show

1. Pratibha
2. Vaishali
3. Yashita
4. Soumen
5. Zaheer
6. Debojit
7. Sara
8. Asma

I would also like to mention here that the eliminated contestants Mitika, Naina & Shashi were better than the bottom 3 in my list.

Unknown said...

anon I don't disagree with you at all. My list is purely personal - often I like to see what a contestant will do regardless of how well they sing.

But based on what I've seen of Yashita so far and the type of talent the music biz looks for - she seems most likely to make it big. I don't see that happening with anyone else on the show.

Anonymous said...

Yashita and Pratibha pretty much share top slot for me...I like different songs from each of them, and eally, I don't look for personality (As defined by these shows, i.e. able to dance, please teh crowd etc. ) in my singers, I just want them to sing well! :-)

That said that Debojit guy confuses the heck out of me - last two weeks I thought he was horrible, then he blew me away in the qawalli (that's the last episode I watched) don't know.


Kanan said...

Aspi, they look like lil school kids, or are they supposed to look like that? may be because of the uniforms?

Not read the post yet but I think that Pratibha Singh Baghel gal looks like Padmini Kolhapure's younger sister.

Unknown said...

They were all supposed to be paying tribute to their parents. So they dressed up like school kids!

I can't wait for the episode where they pay tribute to their swimming coaches.

maxdavinci said...

wah sirjee! fantastic research on the youtube vids!

I'd say the winner is either from the shankar or the pritam camp with aadesva crying sour grapes.

The dark horse however is himess b hai ka gharana that has 3(had 4) singers. The dude is totally a media mogul, look how he single handedly brought down the others last season.

He has this 'chanakya buddhi' like the weird hair judge from the 'Jai Ho' gharana says!

the next 8 weeks look very promising!

Anonymous said...

Sara is the only singer worth listening on the show any more..well not for long

*spoiler* apparently she's out this weekend

my ranking

maybe Pratibha

then the rest of clone factory

Anonymous said...

Himmi's Best Ever Performance
* Special Dedication to Aspi Havewala
a Must See

Anonymous said...

Sara is Good but Not the Best and one can see some Childishness in her singing ( Reminds me of Richa Sharma from II3 )

Pratibha is Queen followed by Yashita but both have their own strengths and are the Finds of 2008.

* Rest is Routine and addition to locl concerts singing crowd.

Unknown said...

Thank you for the youtube link firstdisagreement, I saw that over the weekend - I never watch Boogie Woogie but chanced on it. One more reason to believe The God of TV really loves me. Loved the nakal of Hari Om.

On the other hand, that bald judge - someone needs to tell me to that you don't tuck your ears under a hat.

Anonymous said...

I agree, SRGMP has a very high quality of singers......Indian Idol doesnt come anywhere near it.M, u r right, Sara is out this weekend. A news channel showed a clipping of Salman and Katrina on SRGMP, and it had all the other singers.....And I believe Salman was saying its terrible that stars use music shows for promoting their movies(?).
I think Asma is cute,Ipity her for her family problems, but I think she is putting up a big farce now. Her spoken-Hindi with the gender confusion was amusing initially.....I am sure she has learnt the language by now....atleats while referring to herself. I guess people react to her differently. My husband thinks she provides good entertainment, but my kids hate her, saying she is acting and that its disgusting:). I would prefer to give her the benefit of doubt, but I agree with Bitterlemons, I watch the show for the singing, and sadly she is far far behind the others...Hey, maybe she should have tried for Indian idol instead......I am sure she would have won hands down.I can imagine her saying 'Annu, tu kaiko aise bolti hai':).

*~mad munky~* said...

i'm finding the srgmp set really claustrophobic this time around...they all seem to be sitting on top of each other :o\

mad scheduling means i now flick between srgmp, II4 and VOI without ever really watching any of them!!

talking of indian idol, hussain looks like a chipmunk :oD *pulls those ears*

Unknown said...

~mm~ buy a tivo yaar! Although you'd still have to miss at least one show.

Anonymous said...

Asma is gud.. being a Arbi, she still carry hindi songs so well.. tht's wat we need to appreciate, all others are gud but they knw hindi or urdu... so thts wat seperate Asma from others..

Anonymous said...

ASMA you are the chosen one. no one like you. you are the brand of happyness. you will be the champ...

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