Thursday, July 16, 2009

Music talent shows getting in-authentic

Ever since Sonu Nigam brought SaReGaMaPa to us many years ago, there has been a flood of music talent hunt shows. Some good, some average, but many terrible. The record for the most pathetic one is surely held by Sony's 'Fame Gurukul' that came on sometime in 2004-05 if I remember correctly. It should have been named FAKE Gurukul, honestly.
Recently, the episode of Marathi SRGMP - Aajcha Awaaj - concluded and am I glad it did! It was simply going from bad to worse with every passing day. The last episode of Li'l champs was a super hit and I think Zee Marathi wanted to ride on that wave of success. Unfortunately, it boomeranged completely. It was nowhere close to the Li'l Champs. (It is another matter that the five eventual winners of Li'l champs are suffering from over-exposure now and are themselves going downhill - but that's a digression. i will write more about that some other day.)
If anyone wants proof of the deterioration in quality of the program - here's ample of it. The same song - sung by Shamika Bhide of Li'l Champs and by Vibhavari Joshi of Aajcha Awaaj. See and hear for yourself. Shamika is flawless. Ok, nearly. Yes, in the last stanza she has slipped once, at the words 'mrutyunjay veera' but I don't hold it against her. Consider her age.

And now compare it with Vibhavari's rendering of the same song. Don't forget that she is supposed to be an accomplished singer who performs regularly on stage. In this performance she only quivers along throughout the song - and guess what, the judges are full of praise for her ! I am convinced (and I know there are many others too) that these shows are rigged. I never expected any authentic honest judgment by Suresh Wadkar and Hridaynath Mangeshkar anyway. They were in the show only as a mutual admiration society. (for Hridaynath, it was self-admiration society) But Ashok Patki also??? I definitely expected better from him, really.

One thing that really ticks me off in these shows is this business of sms vote. Yes - I understand the economics behind it - but does it not make the whole thing a farce eventually? The judges (and I am NOT referring to Wadkar and Mangeshkar!) toil through all the episodes to select candidates based on merit and after all this - the award goes to someone who gets most sms. Thats silly. It renders the whole purpose of these shows meaningless. Of course - maybe the purpose of these shows in the first place is only to generate revenue for the cellular operators and TV channels, and not to search and appreciate good musical talent! That way, they are doing an admirable job.....
I must acknowledge the two kind souls who have uploaded these videos on YouTube - metab25 for Shamika's and Bipolbo for Vibhavari's. I don't know who they are - but thanks!


Prakash said...

Well said.. I agree.
Its a war between authenticity and economics... unfortunately we all know who is superior.. I watch it these days only for the musicians..they do fantastic job all thru...

Pushkaraj said...

@ Prakash - Thanks for the comment. You put is aptly - a War between authenticity and economics. It is a one-sided war, whether we like it or not. It is further proven by the blatant copy of western TV programs - starting from KBC of yesteryears to the new Mujhe is jungle se nikalo. There are a host of really good shows on western channels. Why do our channels copy only the silly ones? Because they sell!