Television’s favourite host is back. Shaan is returning as the anchor of the second season of Star Voice of India on Star Plus, starting today.
And despite the fact that he has hosted some of the most successful musical reality shows, Shaan has not got over the surprise of making it so big in television.
“I never thought I’d be an anchor. I speak very bad Hindi, can’t string two lines together. I just did it for Gajji (Gajendra Singh, producer of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa and Star Voice of India).” Singh, he says, is also behind his switch from Zee TV to Star Plus. “There was no problem with Zee, but Gajji offered me the position and I moved,” says the singer. Talking reality Reality TV, especially music shows, have been receiving a lot of flak recently because of judges’ comments and also because they are being accused of scripting fake dramas for TRPs. But Shaan dismisses the idea of lines and fights being scripted by producers.
“It’s not possible for producers to go up to judges and other celebrities involved with the show and ask them to say scripted lines,” he says. “And,” he reasons, “even if one is given a script on the sets, there’s too little time [for the judges and participants] — even actors like Shah Rukh Khan can’t deliver their lines on the spot without any practice. Jo bhi hota hai, sare aam hota hai. It’s not a secret. The public cannot be cheated.” But what about the voting system?
Shaan doesn’t think there’s any choice but to go with what’s in place. “Hume iss cheez ka koi tod nahi mil pa raha hai. The decision should rest on both the judges and the audience in equal proportion,” he feels.
“We put the contestants in front of the public and this gives the show a larger dimension and hence impacts the janta.” As a popular anchor and singer with so much experience, Shaan is emphatic that “one must be a good singer to be a judge”.
What does he have to say about Javed Akhtar and Farah Khan being judges, then? “Javed saab is a great composer (sic) and Farah is a great choreographer. Unhe music ki pehchaan hai,” he counters. Anchors aweigh Aditya Narayan has taken over as anchor of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, and Shaan is all praise for the young host.
“He is a grown-up boy now,” he says of singer Udit Narayan’s son. “[He’s] a friend of mine. He has been doing very well for the show. I wish him all the best.”
He is also fond of Abhaas, the contestant on Star Voice of India who hosted Chhote Ustaad. “He is a great person. Everybody knows that I love him.” Besides his 24x7 involvement with Star Voice of India, Shaan is also working on an album.
All this must be quite a challenge in terms of time. Not really, says Shaan. “It is time management — I enjoy whatever role I take up.”