One of the most accomplished voices in VOI, Toshi, got eliminated today. No one can deny his talent, but his showmanship could be off-putting at times. But the real reason I think we had such a strange result is what I call the 'Reality Show Syndrome' – which is that viewers, instead of simply voting for the performance they like best, try to game the system by voting for the people who have performed poorly before and ignore the favorites. "Prosperity destabilizes itself" says Robert Samuelson in the latest issue of Newsweek, talking about the boom-bust cycle in economics and this could well apply to the sympathy/complacency factor that is the undoing of many a talented singer, as years of American Idol have clearly demonstrated.
One piece of info I wish they would reveal is the break-up between internet and phone votes and regional impact. Even if people did not naturally gravitate to singers from their state, the judges keep making sure they remind the voters of the participant's hometowns. Pretty irresponsible, if you ask me.
Of course, unintentional comedy( or maybe bathos) was provided by the judges as they rivaled the contestants in bursting into tears as Toshi's loss was declared. I wonder, whose exit would they have been ok with? Or is the high level of drama written into the script? The hapless Toshi was promptly adopted by one of the judges, as his surrogate friend/nephew/son, in an escalating burst of emotion.
To one accustomed to Simon Cowell's acerbic detachment over the last half a dozen years, the sight of grown men and women crying bitter tears was a source of squirming embarrassment. Or maybe this is the way we Indians are – loud, opinionated and weepy. Well, can't blame anybody but ourselves for the melodrama in our movies – after all, art just imitates life, doesn't it? 🙂
Oh by the way, one thing I learned from VOI is that people do say things like "Main Ganga Ma ki saugandh khakar kehta hoon ki…" in real life! I am never questioning the credibility of a a Bollywood B-movie again.