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Article: Regional SMS voting worrying

mans IF-Rockerz
mans
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Posted: 29 March 2006 at 7:30am | IP Logged
Reality shows: Regional SMS voting worrying

New Delhi, PTI :

While audience polls through SMS on Reality TV have succeeded in making this visual medium truly interactive, the emerging fact that not talent but voting on regional basis decides the winner is a worrying trend, experts say.

So when a Kashmiri won a contest on a channel, the ULFA is reported to have put its muscle behind a contestant from the north-east on a rival channel to make sure that the region finds its share of glory on reality TV. In another instance when Diya Mirza was on the jury of one such show, the contestant spoke to her in Telugu, while another thanked his parent in Marathi.

"It is true that more votes come in from the region of the contestant, but then all of them face this bias. In that sense all are on an equal footing," justifies a spokesperson of Sony Television. Their popular shows 'Indian Idol' and 'Fame Gurukul' garnered close to 5.5 crore votes a piece.



"At our end we have tried to convey through our hosts and judges that people should vote for the best contestant, irrespective of where they come from. If people still choose otherwise there is little we can do." "Regionalism plays a role in promoting a candidate only to some extent. It cannot stop the real talent from emerging at the top," says Navjot Singh Sindhu, one of the judges of 'Laughter Challenge' on Star One.

In the penultimate stage, it's really about choosing between 500 rupee notes. All the contestants are good," says says Ashish Kaul, Senior VP, Zee TV speaking in the context of 'Sa Re Ga Ma, a show that raked in 10 crore votes through the course of its run.

Professor Anand Kumar, a political sociologist says that globalisaton is increasingly leading to ethnicisation.

"Earlier people aligned around nationality but with boundaries getting diluted, regional identity has become a rallying point.

For all its faults, it is a welcome relief from the "saas-bahu serials" which are "full of negativity and "put the nation in a strange remorseful mood. At least the reality genre is dominated by song and dance based shows that bring a sense of joy and provide wholesome family entertainment," Kumar adds.

He further makes the point that owing to a colonial legacy, India as a society has been "socialized into silence. So either we agree or keep quiet. At least people are voicing their opinion and taking a stand." "SMS is a great way of empowering a consumer. This way they feel connected to the product and can make a choice either in its favour or reject it," P N Vasanti, Director, Centre for Media Studies questions the very premise of the Reality TV format saying that presently, news alone qualifies as reality TV. She goes on to add that that the programming goal of most of these serials is not to provide a platform to talent but entertain.

At best, these serials on air are really pre-recorded reality or rather entertainment packaged as reality. Factors like regional biases, humble backgrounds and sob-stories are played up to make for compelling TV. After all, there can be no hero without a villian, she points out.

Another important sub-trend of this genre has been the lack of women contestants emerging winners unless the format explicitly demands so.

Vasanti says that it is a part of the larger strategy to sustain viewer interest. Sony, however, says that they prefer women contestants for the "glamour quotient. We did try to bring in six men and six women but people somehow seem to choose the men."

Prof Kumar sees it in a slightly traditional context of "opportunity, The women on the shows tend to hail from small towns and appear homely while the men seem to have more personality." Zee on its part attributes it to the fact that women control the remote in the house. "Women will win in a situation where there is no vote-in. Women are women's worst enemies," Kaul says. He says that they are trying to rectify this by bringing in a show where a people have to vote in for couples. "This should somewhat negate both the regional slant and the bias against women."

In the light of these trends and considering that our cultural sensitivities and reactions are different from the Western formats that these serials have been borrowed from, is there some tinkering required ? Sony feels that so far the show has done very well and there is no change required. "The goal of Indian Idol was to provide an icon with an X factor and charisma. There was a buzz that Amit Sana was more deserving but the fact is that Abhijeet Sawant has to his credit the highest selling record in the past five years. Ultimately the consumer is paying to listen to him."

Kaul warns though that if reality TV formats continue without changes, it will lead to a disconnect between aspirations of the channels and the contestants.

Vasanti predicts the death of this genre soon. She says that TV serials follow a trend-mythology, thrillers, saas-bahu. "I think the genre will get much worse before it sees its death."



mans IF-Rockerz
mans
mans

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Posted: 29 March 2006 at 7:34am | IP Logged
High points of this article
1.SaReGaMa receieved 10 carore votes alone and Idol +FG received 5.5.

2.Reality shows also have some kind of preplanned drama which we all know anyway

3.Most voters are gals thats why Girls geting out early ..which also we know

4.Now days while buying album its not only about singing but about the singer looks /image also ..hmm quite american way now
Good artilcle though

Edited by mans - 29 March 2006 at 7:36am
Sunitha.V Senior Member
Sunitha.V
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Joined: 30 January 2006
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Posted: 29 March 2006 at 7:46am | IP Logged
Alas, it is sad but true. Like it or not, regionalism and some other factors(not related to singing) do play in this, which is why the format must be revisited and modified if convincing results are to be expected. I disagree with what Mr Siddhu and Mr Kaul have to say on this because we have witnessed the best of talents being voted out (even before coming to top 3) in every show.

Thanks for the article, Mans.
mans IF-Rockerz
mans
mans

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Posted: 29 March 2006 at 7:50am | IP Logged
Originally posted by svm73

Alas, it is sad but true. Like it or not, regionalism and some other factors(not related to singing) do play in this, which is why the format must be revisited and modified if convincing results are to be expected. I disagree with what Mr Siddhu and Mr Kaul have to say on this because we have witnessed the best of talents being voted out (even before coming to top 3) in every show.

Thanks for the article, Mans.

you welcome ...Yeah Sidhu and Kaul are saying bookish lines ..now days thats not the case .Its all about oppurtunities and luck I mean talent matters but just think the guy with little less talent gets 1 carore contract plus album and talented ones goes home empty handed Who is in better situation? Hope they change this format..I really feel sorry for Amey and other talented singers in reality shows
karunya_forever IF-Dazzler
karunya_forever
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Posted: 29 March 2006 at 7:52am | IP Logged
i agree
checks IF-Rockerz
checks
checks

Joined: 21 February 2006
Posts: 5100

Posted: 29 March 2006 at 9:02am | IP Logged
Originally posted by mans

High points of this article
1.SaReGaMa receieved 10 carore votes alone and Idol +FG received 5.5.
2.Reality shows also have some kind of preplanned drama which we all know anyway
3.Most voters are gals thats why Girls geting out early ..which also we know
4.Now days while buying album its not only about singing but about the singer looks /image also ..hmm quite american way now
Good artilcle though

Good job Mans....first witht he article and then with a crisp summary.....
you rock mans!!

and regd the issues talked here, therez no immediate solution...and I'm glad that ppl are now atleast talking abt this thing.....and may be, we cud get something for this problem soon as well..

peace
mans IF-Rockerz
mans
mans

Joined: 05 October 2005
Posts: 5141

Posted: 29 March 2006 at 9:09am | IP Logged
Originally posted by checks

Originally posted by mans

High points of this article
1.SaReGaMa receieved 10 carore votes alone and Idol +FG received 5.5.
2.Reality shows also have some kind of preplanned drama which we all know anyway
3.Most voters are gals thats why Girls geting out early ..which also we know
4.Now days while buying album its not only about singing but about the singer looks /image also ..hmm quite american way now
Good artilcle though

Good job Mans....first witht he article and then with a crisp summary.....
you rock mans!!

and regd the issues talked here, therez no immediate solution...and I'm glad that ppl are now atleast talking abt this thing.....and may be, we cud get something for this problem soon as well..

peace

thanks man... I know there is no immediate solution but as we already know trp of Idol is going down every week and they are trying hard to make it successfull.I always feel no matter what but people should always care bout talent or dont call it Indian Idol.Smile
checks IF-Rockerz
checks
checks

Joined: 21 February 2006
Posts: 5100

Posted: 29 March 2006 at 9:42am | IP Logged
Originally posted by karunya_forever

i agree

and I dont agree LOL

peace

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