Joined: 13 July 2005
Idol judges walk out
Sonu Nigam explains why
Subhash K Jha
Sonu Nigam and his co-judges Anu Malik and Farah Khan staged a walk-out from Indian Idol on Tuesday after talented contestant Ameya Date was eliminated.
Sonu explains, "As a judge on Indian Idol I realise that I can't afford to be particularly fond of any contestant. But yes, I do feel Ameya has a great future. He got eliminated because he didn't sing well enough on Tuesday. However, having said that, I must say I don't regret walking out after Ameya's elimination. We had to ring a warning bell in the audience's mind. We don't know what stand to take now. We're confused. The channel (Sony TV) say that we have to go by audience poll since that's the format for Idol all over the world."
"Our walk-out had nothing to do with Anuj. For, it isn't Anuj's fault if he got more votes than Ameya," he adds. "I apologised to Anuj. I know our walk-out can't bring Ameya back. But they cannot disqualify good talent like this. In fact, rowdies at the recording got very aggressive and said, 'This is Sony channel, not Sonu's channel'. It's foolish to choose talent based on region and caste."
Sonu admits that he supports talent like Ameya because he never got similar support during his struggling days.
Meanwhile Ameya Date sees his ouster from Indian Idol as a challenge. "As far as Indian Idol is concerned I've come as far as destiny had to bring me. That Sonu Nigam, Anu Malik and Farah Khan actually protested on my behalf moved me deeply," he says. "I want to apologise to them for not having lived up to their expectations. At the same time I feel happy to have got as far as I have. I feel I've received more love and attention from people than I could ever dream of. It's just my bad luck that I got eliminated. Every day can't be the same. And maybe on Tuesday my performance wasn't up to the mark. I was eliminated as per the rules and regulations of Indian Idol. So I've no reason to complain." Ameya hasn't yet decided on a course of action. "I'll do something in the field of music, of course," he says. "I want to do playback singing for films. After I was eliminated on Tuesday Anu Malik promised he would look out for me. I'm happy that I reached the Top 4 in Indian Idol. I feel I've gained from this in ways that this immediate defeat of elimination can't take away from me. I may not be the Indian Idol, but I'm the people's favourite."
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