As usual, the sideshow of the judges threatened to overwhelm the singing show put on by the contestants. Alka Yagnik, the sole female judge, was persuaded to return after leaving the show in a huff a few weeks ago. The first 15 minutes of the program were nauseatingly devoted to her comeback, with every single one of the show participants and organizers putting in their 2 bits about how much they missed her( I was surprised they didn’t let the audience in on the act too!). Since I record the shows and watch them later, this is a real bummer because invariably, the show goes over time and the crucial final minutes are usually cut off.
I have to wonder, is this kind of drama just natural to the Indian psyche or is it crafted carefully by the producers? We have similar judge fracas in American Idol here, but the repartee is mercifully kept short and there is a level of professionalism in the interactions. Somehow, the behaviour of the judges in VOI is so crass that even with the missing minutes, I am glad I watch the recorded show and can fast forward to the actual singing. If the group dynamics of the judges is stage managed by the producers, my respect for the Indian audience has hit a low. Or maybe the quality of singing is so high that people tune in in spite of the off-stage theatrics.
The voting mechanism is also strange. I am glad I can vote online from the US and my votes count but when the voting starts and when it finishes seems to be really fluid. I just vote on Saturdays, hoping I’m doing the right thing.
As for the singing itself, thankfully this week there was a return to melody, with the participants singing composer Pritam’s songs.I almost gave up on the show after last week’s episode with Govinda. No one denies his comedic talents but the songs he has been associated with have been so bad( sarkaye leo khatiya, anyone?) that the poor singers had a hard time showcasing their talent.
My picks for the ultimate winners are Harshit, Irfan or Toshi. The girls just don’t stand a chance.