Now that the popular music contest Sa Re Ga Ma Little Champs is approaching its finale on October 28, the three-pronged contest among Sanchita, Sameer and Diwakar also reaches a feverish flashpoint.
While most of those involved with the show believe Sanchita to be far superior to the two boys, Diwakar is said to have an edge because of his talent and physical handicap.
In fact, one of the judges, Abhijeet, had a noisy showdown with Diwakar's father some time ago when the camera was switched off. Matters almost came to a violent head.
The programme's producer-director Gajendra Singh didn't deny it.
"It's true that Abhihjeet and Diwakar's father had a massive showdown. For this I blame Abhijeet. He does tend to speak out of turn. He has constantly expressed his displeasure at Diwakar getting votes because of his handicap. And that day, things took a very ugly turn between Diwakar's father and Abhijeet," Singh told IANS.
Singh also admitted that Abhijeet tends to be rude to fellow-judge Bappi Lahiri.
"But Abhijeet doesn't mean ill. He's hot-headed and outspoken. I doubt his vocal opposition to Diwakar's support on humanitarian reasons will affect the boy's performance in the grand finale."
Alka Yagnik, who's also a judge on the show, agreed.
"It breaks my heart to see one of these talented children being eliminated every week. But what to do?"
She refuted the charge that the verbal tug 'o' war with fellow-judge Abhijeet is pre-planned.
"Nothing of the sort! The arguments between us started from his side. Somewhere along the way audiences began enjoying it. But yes, his comments do annoy me, and I give it back to him. He thinks he's very smart, coming up with wisecracks all the time. I'm the peacemaker between Abhijeet and Bappida."
Alka firmly criticised Abhijeet for his comments on camera against Bappi Lahiri (Abhijeet ridiculed Bappi Lahiri for his Hindi and girth).
"I told Abhijeet if he has any grievances he should speak to him off-camera. It's very embarrassing to be caught in the crossfire. You'll be shocked to know what goes on behind the camera is far more aggressive and rude.
"That day when Abhijeet was rude to Bappida there was a war-like situation in the green room. Let me reiterate, whatever you see on camera is heavily edited. Abhijeet just doesn't stop talking. He goes on and on even in his comments on the contestants."
Speaking on the sympathy votes for the blind contestant Diwakar, Alka said: "He shouldn't be given votes for his handicap. It's a singing and not a vision contest. Diwakar is an extremely talented child. His singing deserves votes."