Sunday, September 23, 2007

Indian Television Singing Competitions are a big SHAM!

People, I am back from a sabbatical – and needless to say it was good! On with the blogging then :-

For the past few months I have been watching a few episodes of Indian television singing competitions like Indian Idol, Star Voice of India and Sa Re Ga Ma Challenge! Now I'm not a guru on Hindi music although I have been known to occasionally pop in an RD Burman CD every once in a while and while the singing talent at these contests is extraordinary, what pisses me off is the amount of emotion and drama that is weaved into the shows. First it was the weeklu serials, then it was the soaps and now it's the singing contests. They just don't know when to stop.

It's not like the soaps have given us respite from all the emotion (that in most cases doesn’t make much sense) but now the producers have succeeded in making these talent shows emotional as well. Talk about one of the contestants recently getting his old grandmother on stage to get some sympathy votes. (With all due respect to his grandmother who was really very sweet) Or the contestants getting overly emotional and sobbing their asses off when they're eliminated! Get a grip on yourselves people, I know to some it may be a dream to be on television but don’t you believe in the saying "all good things come to those who wait"

I find most of the judges of these shows extremely unprofessional (except Alisha Chinoy on Indian Idol). The judges don't seem to know what kind of behavior is allowed on screen. If they're trying to be controversial like the nut-jobs on shows like Pop Idol and American Idol, then the producers should know that there is a difference in being controversially fair and insanely stupid! Our Indian judges don't seem to be able to make that difference. There is a certain unwritten code of conduct judges need to follow for these kinds of shows. They can't be putting down other contestants and side with their favorite in the manner that some judges on Indian television have been doing for the past few weeks now. They can criticize but they can NOT be biased towards any candidate. Last year American Idol saw Paula Abdoul severely reprimanded by her producers for her (supposed) partiality towards one of the contestants and this wasn't even proved, it was just a speculation!

Another thing that annoyed the hell out of me is that these shows have mentors and once their candidates get ousted, the mentors get all loud and emotional themselves and start canvassing for their students and do silly things like vow to never come back to the show again. Some mentors have even gone on record to say that Indian viewers don't know how to vote! Come on people, the concept of the show demands that the people vote for their favorite contestants and if the Indian population has voted for their choice, they do it out of their own judgment. If the judges or mentors want the candidates of their choice to win the contest, perhaps the lame-brain producers should think twice before making it a voting show for the masses and just let the judges decide themselves.

Damn shame!