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Indian Idol 6

’Indian Idol’: The untold story

sonalkhullar IF-Rockerz
sonalkhullar
sonalkhullar

Joined: 02 February 2006
Posts: 7686

Posted: 16 March 2006 at 7:12am | IP Logged
'Indian Idol': The untold story



Expect the unexpected seems to be the mantra on reality shows. Ameya Date, one of the frontrunners on Indian Idol 2, has been voted out this week.

Although his 'fans' are sorely disappointed, it couldn't have happened at a better time for the show.

Indian Idol 2 has its loyalists but has not quite managed to catch the wider public imagination. A little dramebaazi and controversy at this stage - like judges walking out - is sure to boost viewership for the remaining weeks!

Why we vote: Idol enthusiasts say they were looking forward to a final showdown between Ameya and N C Karunya. That Anuj is the one who should have been shown the door. But the show's voting process is not designed to eliminate the 'worst' singer. Instead, viewers are asked to send in votes for their favourite singer - like in a popularity contest.

You might say it's one and the same thing - that the person with the least number of votes is eliminated and that's fair. But think about it more closely and you'll see that the 'elimination' approach may well produce a very different result.

The 'popularity' method often attracts people to vote for all the wrong reasons. As in the case of 'Sa re ga ma pa', it could be a case of regional/ home state voting. Or just a case of people getting obsessed with a particular personality whom they will support regardless of the quality of his/ her singing - as happened with Qazi on Fame Gurukul.

And it's not a problem peculiar to India alone. Commenting on the voting pattern on American Idol on MSNBC, Linda Holmes writes,"People don't really care about the performances week to week. They treat "Idol" like a horse race. Pick your horse, bet on your horse, cheer for your horse. And, in some cases, carry your horse across the finish line. Above all, tolerate no suggestion that your horse has shortcomings.

He acted like a jerk? He's misunderstood! He sang badly? He has a cold! He has irritating, cloying, obnoxious mannerisms? That's what you love about him! No one understands him! Everyone is jealous of him!"

Sigh! Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

She goes on to observe that people love geeks, underdogs, losers. And they love everyone who is picked on by Simon Cowell.

Well, we saw that kind of thing happen here as well with Ravinder Ravi - the painter from Ludhiana - getting votes week after week in Indian Idol 1, despite his atrocious singing. Conversely the people who are perceived as 'smart' and 'good singers' often don't get votes because:


a) The average not-so-smart and talented bloke who comprises the mass of voters does not identify with that person
b) The rest think woh to itna accha hai, usey meri vote ki zaroorat nahin. With the result that a deserving singer loses out!

Listen, don't look!: One problem, however, that seems to be peculiar to India is a general lack of sms support for female contestants. I'm not saying women should be promoted if they don't deserve to be, just that there is something strange going on here.

Indian Idol host Mini Mathur http://indianidol.sifymax.com/anchors/ hit the nail on the head when she wrote in the Indian Express, "While a male contestant is judged on his vocal talent and the 'X' factor, for a girl, the audience will also note whether she's wearing too much or too little, got attitude, if her hair is too straight, or whether her eyebrows are plucked."

The girls certainly think appearance can make or break their chances. In the previous Idol season, when Prajakta and Aditi wore Western outfits they emerged at the bottom of the pile. Apparently from then on, they stuck to Indian clothes....

In fact, after Idol contestant Meenal's performance Farah Khan observed: "Because she's good looking and sang a song that's unusual and sexy, she probably won't make it." And she was right! At the semi-final contestant stage, Idol 2 turned into an all-male contest.

Indian Idol host Mini Mathur http://indianidol.sifymax.com/anchors/ hit the nail on the head when she wrote in the Indian Express, "While a male contestant is judged on his vocal talent and the 'X' factor, for a girl, the audience will also note whether she's wearing too much or too little, got attitude, if her hair is too straight, or whether her eyebrows are plucked."

The girls certainly think appearance can make or break their chances. In the previous Idol season, when Prajakta and Aditi wore Western outfits they emerged at the bottom of the pile. Apparently from then on, they stuck to Indian clothes....

In fact, after Idol contestant Meenal's performance Farah Khan observed: "Because she's good looking and sang a song that's unusual and sexy, she probably won't make it." And she was right! At the semi-final contestant stage, Idol 2 turned into an all-male contest.

Similarly, anyone who heard Himani sing 'Jiya dhadak dhadak' on Sa re ga ma pa would agree she deserved to be in the finals - if not the ultimate winner. But, she did not get the required sms support. She was talented, confident and beautiful - all of which probably went against her. A relatively frumpy small town girl with less 'talent' would have stood a better chance. Like Fame Gurukul's Rooprekha.

Interestingly, 3 out of the 4 American Idols chosen so far have been female - Kelly Clarkson, Fantasia Barrino and the latest winner, Carrie Underwood. Carrie, in fact, scored an upset victory over Bo Bice by an extremely slim margin - just 134 votes.

While the guy or girl factor may not be that important to Americans, they too are influenced by 'other' criteria. The fact that Bo Bice has a drug-related arrest to his name is thought to have tipped the scales in favour of Carrie. Coz at least 134 Americans do prefer their idols 'squeaky clean' - quite apart from how well they may sing or perform.

Win-win for the channel: Whoever wins or loses, 'reality shows' are essentially rigged to maximize benefits for the channel. The smses sent in for the finals of 'Sa re ga ma' raked in Rs 30-35 crores, shared between Zee TV and its cellphone partners.

So inducing people to vote more is the real objective. An 'eliminate the worst singer' voting method will never attract the same fervour as the current 'support the contestant you love' proposition.

As they say, all's fair in love, war and SMS voting.




Edited by sonalkhullar - 16 March 2006 at 7:13am

karunya_forever IF-Dazzler
karunya_forever
karunya_forever

Joined: 28 February 2006
Posts: 4042

Posted: 16 March 2006 at 7:29am | IP Logged
THX nice article
k_luckyreddy Groupbie
k_luckyreddy
k_luckyreddy

Joined: 05 July 2005
Posts: 82

Posted: 16 March 2006 at 7:57am | IP Logged
the article was really good..
komalash IF-Rockerz
komalash
komalash

Joined: 16 October 2005
Posts: 9305

Posted: 16 March 2006 at 8:03am | IP Logged
thnx!!!

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