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Stars through SMS or by judges
Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
Bappi Lahiri staged a walk out when her protégée Mauli was chucked out of SAREGAMAPA. Same kind of indignation was experienced when the clouds of dismissal started hovering over Toshi's head. In the Amul Voice of India also quite a lot of churning is taking place and the three major lady singers were put in the Chakravyuh i.e. in the danger zone, which had prompted Alka Yagnik to occupy the fourth chair so that the last lady present in the contest is not forced to occupy that chair. The business of SMS is playing havoc and the audience based on the SMS based voting for a candidate chucks out the singers whose voice is found acceptable to the judges. Therefore Javed Akhtar expressed an apprehension whether this SMS based voting system should become the deciding factor in allowing or removing a contestant from the programme.
Since the time when Abhijit Sawant became an Indian Idol, there has been multitude of programmes, which have embarked on the quest to search an idol or a new voice, or a new acting face that would create magic and mesmerize. But the actual situation is totally different. Abhijit Sawant also has not got the desired breaks and the euphoria that he generated is slowly-slowly withering away.
On the other hand are discoveries like Shreya Ghosal, Kunal Ganjawala and Sunidhi Chauhan who have carved out a niche for themselves in the singing world of Hindi cinema primarily because the SMS based voting was not the deciding factor as it has become now. The judges in all these cases were the deciding authority and so they were able to chafe out the grain from the husk.
The moot point then is should the SMS based voting be the deciding factor in selecting a star from various searches that are being launched on the multitude of television channels. There would always be an inherent bias from the metropolitan cities and big cities as they have got the larger bandwidth so there always is a clear cut chance of more SMSs originating from these centres, that would tilt the balance and could be a detrimental to the cause of the budding star from a small town, as the limitation of bandwidth would serve as a stumbling block in propelling his case to the deciding stage.
Besides, the voting public may not have the subtle understanding of the nuances that is expected to make a decision about the qualitative-ness of the performance. To judge a performance against a certain benchmark, there has to be either some basic training about the profession or understanding on par with that of the judges or even comparable to the understanding that the judges have of the performance. This is what brings about a feeling of despair and despondency among the judges when unexpected happens, like what happened in case of Mauli or in the case of all the three female singers in Amul Voice of India.
While the talent hunt is a godsend opportunity for those who otherwise could only dream about carving a miniscule personal space in the stardust, the deciding criteria being governed by voting rather than being left to the qualified judges to do so, sometimes leaves a question mark as to whether real talent is coming up or has been pushed aside by the onslaught of voting. Judges must have the decisive vote, which ought to have the overriding authority in case of consensual difference between what has emerged from the voting and what the judges think about in terms of the quality of the performance. Once this is done, then the talent of the real variety could always have a chance to sail through, and the level of despondency could also be mitigated.