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'I’m like a layman celebrity'

Bollywood actress Sonali Bendre who's judging Indian Idol 4, speaks to Bidisha Singha about the television show.

tv Updated: Sep 27, 2008 20:23 IST
Bidisha Singha

Why take up Indian Idol?
I thought if I was doing a reality show why not do the original? Besides I’ve worked with the channel for Mr and Ms TV.

Did you catch any of the previous seasons?
Not really but my mom-in- law is a big fan. She supported Prashant Tamang last season.

What are you looking for while judging?
I’ve always said I’m looking for the X-factor. But now, since I’ve judged a few episodes I can say for sure that it’s not just that.

I think I’m like a ‘layman celebrity.’ I may not know much about music but I enjoy good music and I can differentiate between who sounds good and who doesn’t. I’m like the public’s representative.

So, you haven’t given extra marks for the more presentable ones?
X-factor is not about just being pretty. Some of the most flawed faces have amazing character. Besides, this show is about singing. And I haven’t yet rooted for someone just because he or she looks good.. they need to be talented enough.

What do you have to say about the fight last time between Annu Malik and Alka Yagnik over some participants?
As judges we are bound to have some difference of opinion. But all that remains only inside the studio. We have never carried it outside.. there’s no spill over.

A lot of these disagreements are said to be staged to garner TRPs..
(Cuts in) I don’t think senior people like Javed saab (Akhtar) or Annuji (Malik) would stoop to such levels. They
wouldn’t put their reputation on line for TRPs.

How would you describe your co-judges?
Annu is a mad genius. Javed saab is dignified. And Kailash (Kher) is immensely talented.

Girls haven’t won it yet. Any advice for them?
I keep telling them, “ Don’t slacken.. don’t slacken.”

Okay, your husband’s (Goldie Behl) movie, Drona, is releasing next week. How is he taking it?
Oh.. don’t even remind me of that. I guess I’m going to see him only after the film releases. This pressure is going to kill me.

Have you seen it?
No.. I haven’t, that’s why I’m so tense. But it has shaped up well. People have been talking about all the special effects but I think the emotional quotient is even better.

Will you promote the film through your show?
See, I’m just the director’s wife. I’ve no role in deciding all that. It’s between the filmmaker and the channel.

There were rumours about Aishwarya Rai and you doing an item song for the movie..
(Cuts in) Oh no.. who told you that? I left movies so that I didn’t have to do all those dancing numbers. You think I’d get back to do an item number?

The movie has been stalled quite a few times. What do you have to say?
I don’t think it was stalled.. it was made in 110 days. Only the release date was postponed from August 15 to October 2. I don’t think that’s a big deal for any film.

What about the shooting location being shifted from Rajasthan to Namibia because of the death of a horse?
Those are natural impediments, which we can’t do much about. But I believe it’s been for the good. Because Namibia was a much better place to shoot than Bikaner.

Buzz is that your son’s playing a role in the film.
No, he’s not.

But does he aspire to follow your footsteps?
Right now, I feel he’ll be getting into sports. But it’s too early to say.