Thursday, April 27, 2006

Indian Idol or Idle ?

I'm sure most of us watched the Indian Idol-2 finale episode last Saturday..plenty of drama..glitter..suspense. All the gossip and hullabaloo regarding Sandeep Acharya and Karunya, things like - who's the better singer, who's looks better, blah blah finally came to an end.(thankfully). And in the end, the usual melodrama over how the actual better singer (Karunya was the crowd favourite to win it i hear) didn't win it, was enough to set the runour mills buzzing full steam. Just like last year when Abhijeet Sawant upstaged Amit Sana to win the coveted prize! Anyway, the Indian public just love and adore all of them..and can't seem to get enough of them!

Sony Entertainment Television's Musical Talent Hunt is indeed a HIT for the second year running!

Or is it?

What HIT me the most while watching the finale was not the glitz or glamour of the show.
It was the talent on display.
Or rather, the lack of talent on display....

I mean..I might be wrong because I've hardly watched 2 or 3 episodes, but the finalists didn't blow my mind away or anything. In fact, they didn't even come close to it. And when the "oh-so-over-hyped" Abhijeet Sawant started singin Rang de Basanti, I changed the channel after forcing myself to listen to him for two minutes. It was such a poor rendition, I was left wondering how they allowed this guy to win last year! Was it his dazzling smile that did them in? "them" being the Indian judgin-threesome: Sonu Nigam, Farah Khan and Anu Malik, along with the millions of public voters. Okay...Mohabbatein Lutaaunga was good, his saving grace if I may say so, but is he good enough? Earlier winners of talent-hunts like Viva, Aasma are also pitiful, seriously!

Comparing Sony's II-2 to Fox's original American Idol 5 (airing in India on Star World), OMG -seems like there's a huge divide in talent between the two countries!
Just watching the performances of AI-5's Top 7 a week ago on TV left me amazed at their talent! They all sounded so good, and did amazing renditions..for example, songs like Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, Creed's Higher, Beyonce's Work it Out were performed so well, left you wondering why they weren't belting out albums in the mainstream music industry much earlier! Previous AI winners like Fantasia, Kelly Clarkson are already selling worldwide. Look at Kelly - Two Grammys don't lie!!


Ok..leave the contestants for now..looking at the two shows as a whole, almost everything is better in the original! Why do we Indians always go in for cheap remakes? Just like KBC a.k.a "Who wants to be a Millionaire?" indianised. But that wasn't so bad (atleast for Star's cash registers) mainly thanks to Bachchan saab! Now take a look at the judges panel. The American judge triad of Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul beats the hell outta the Indian ones!
Their personalities - ranging from Paula's 'caring pity', Randy's 'verbal-showboating' to Simon's 'suicide-inducing sarcasm' are major contibutors to what makes the show so successful. For example, Simon's sardonic remarks like "Pathetic!" or "Are you drunk?" accompanied by his eyeball-rolling smirk are hilarious! Do you get all that in our desi version?
Nopes! All you get is our typical bollywood masala, flashy dance sequences, people like Isha Koppokar and Alisha Chinai getting roped in to gain more viewer ratings. This was a talent-hunt if you forgot, not a filmy award show!


What's happenin here? Why aren't we seeing good Indian talent on show? Is it a case of our country not having any? Call me a proud Indian but I do not think that is the case! Is it cos the talent hunt show organisers are not doing enough "hunting"? tell me!


US said...

The posting time is wrong. Perhaps you should select the correct "Time Zone", if there is such an option in Blogger.

It is neither Indian Idol OR Idle, it is Indian Idiot.

One pinch - the winner got 1,00,000 contract + 3,00,000 Cash from VISA + Car ... The runner up got 50,000 ONLY.

This is a JOKE for enybody who is competing.

vinay said...

My dear friend,
What you were trying to say was, since the quality of judging is poor and the media uses this to earn big money, talented youth are not making into finals. In my opinion Sonu Nigam, is one of the best in the field. Though I don't know about the merit of others, I feel that they won't be different either. Regarding voice quality, I couldn't find any fault with finalists' voice. And this is not a Carnatic or Hindustani vocal contest. I enjoyed the show to the very end.
Abhijeet Sawant might have got nervous when he had to stand at the Indian Idol stage once again. I agree that Grammys' don't lie, but remember, Grammys are not awarded to Indian music legends.

stan_da_man said...

@us: yea...will correct d time-zone thing!

@vinay: I never said Indians didn't have talent.I was comparing the output of the talent-hunt in both countries. Might be my perspective, but it isn't very hard to differentiate the bad from the good.

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stan_da_man said...

THANX Mr.Anonymous..but no thanks!
@us: hope the TimeZone problem is solved now!!

Spartacus said...

I usually never watch these talent shows. Caught a few episodes of Indian Idol 2, and a few of a similar one in Zee (forgot the exact name). I must say that the participants in the latter were way ahead of those in the former. Indian Idol is a farce, just a shadow of the parent program American Idol.

I mean come on, I am sure there's better talent that what was on display in II2. You have shabby competitors and get a shabby winner.
If the Zee participants were to participate in II2, I'm sure they would have kicked II2 winners, semi-finalists, quarter-finalists, judges, etc all the way to Pluto and beyond.

And look who's judging - Anu Malik, no less.

There's no way you could have compared AI to it's Indian version. They're totally different genres. But if you ask me, AI has more audience appeal than II.

Anonymous said...

The indian idol shows sucks big time....One should be ashamed to even compare these to the originals.....
Its done only for the channels getting publicized in the prime time..They dont give too hoots abt the talent or performance etc...These are least in their agenda....
Hopefully we can see something original that start from here giving all the talented ppl to unleash their prowess...nd dat get remade elsewhere...Keeping fingers crossed...

Sneha said...

stan, i dint see Indian Idol, so cant comment on that front (though i can quite easily assume that ur opinion of it is pretty accurate) however i do have one correction to make or point to point out:

you referred to american idol as "fox's ORIGINAL". i think ull find that there's nothing original about AMERICAN IDOL, but rather that the americans copied the british POP IDOL. simon cowell realised how popular it was in the UK and went to the states to rake in more money. thats wat happened. trivial i know, but one has to correct misunderstandings that one notices :)

very entertaining blog btw..

stan_da_man said...

@sneha: hieeeeeeeee...nice to c ur comment gal!! hehe..yup yup i know about POP sumwher that AI was copied from it...i guess even the yanks are copycats! :)

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Guru Panguji said...

Dude, it isn't about copying and pasting, and then editing. That's how the world works remember - Driven by Ctrl+C, Powered by Ctrl+V.

It's about how good you are covering it up and adding glitz, glamour and of course your originality to it.

India is eager to participate and vote for the same, for the simple reason. It's Indian. You'd be surprised that the global perspective that you are talking about is not exactly popular.

If it were, why do cheap remakes of the quiz contests like even the Billionaire thingy be so popular in every regional language channels?

Well, you could argue that money was involved there. What I'd say is that as a viewer we critique and take it the next level and criticize. As far as you are a participant, you maybe willing to adopt it to the win the laurel?

But, apart from that, yes, I agree with you completely. We Indians are trying hard to ape and let our creativity dwindle down.

silverine said...

American Idol is watched by people who know their music . Indian Idol on the other hand is a tamasha. That's why Sonu Nigam was upset. Nice post :)

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Anonymous said...

you are very right, indians are corrupt people and belive me the corruption has entered such contests in the form of back door entries. the things we see on TV, i mean the frenzy, the crowd shouting and cheap gimmicks in form of participants are all made up. i couldnt belive it till i saw it with my own eyes. read my blog on this address.

its not about the judges, they are just show stoppers, or eye catchers, its the whole team who is out to make a fool of the whole public who spend their hard earned money in order to pursue singing dreams.

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