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'Indian Idol's finalists are amateurs'

tv Updated: Sep 19, 2007 13:26 IST
Anil Merani
Anil Merani
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

He is counted among the popular singers of India. Now, anchoring the reality show, Voice Of India (VOI) on Star Plus, Shaan lashes out at rival shows.

What according to you is the role of an anchor?
An anchor's job is to bead everything together. I've got to make sure that the audience is always entertained and anxious. However, talking too much is a big no-no.

You started out with anchoring Sa Re Ga Ma Pa and now you've shifted to Voice of India. Have you worked to bring any difference in your style?
Somewhat. Earlier, I was a little apprehensive of the judges. Also, there was a wall of formality between me and the contestants. I'm more relaxed on Voice of India.

<b1>Do you think having a singer as an anchor really helps?
Of course! Especially if it's a musical talent show. When I praise a contestant, I know what I'm talking about. How can a non-singer anchor understand the finer nuances of music?

Despite all this, VOI's TRPs remain low..

Well, if the public likes the frivolity and garish drama of the other shows, then so be it. I've been told that most shows record the music later. Apparently, even the contestants' voices are dubbed at times. Our job at VOI is to find a true playback singer, period.

What do you think of Indian Idol 3 and Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge 2007?
The lesser said about Indian Idol 3, the better. The top two contestants this season are rank amateurs. Sa Re Ga Ma.. is better. Amanat, Raja and Poonam are good.

But Abhilasha, Harshad and Mohamad Irfan are better. The Sa Re Ga Ma Pa group seems to be well-versed in only sufi music, while our lot is more versatile. And that's what counts in the film industry .

<b2>Isn't the audience responsible for bringing bad singers to the fore?
What can the audience do if you give them only bad choices? But yes, regional voting does irritate me.

How about the judges' disagreements on the show?
Look, they are human and if they feel something is going wrong, they will voice their grievances.

True, they do get a little loud but that's only because all our judges have a certain comfort level with each other. But a lot of the catfights in the other shows seem instigated. How can they quarrel over sur and style?

At the end of the day, is it important for the VOI (Voice of India) contestants to look good?
We don't scrutinise our contestants' appearance. They just have to look presentable.

What songs do you listen to when you are free?
God, I'm singing all the time, so when I have any time off, music is the last thing on my mind.

Name a yesteryear singer who is your inspiration.
Kishore Kumar and Pandit Madan Mohan.

What kind of songs turn you off?
Songs like Mard tange wallah. Basically, the period after Kishore Da's demise was the low point in Indian music. Songs featured on Govinda and Neelam.. ugh!

Which music do you love shaking a leg to?
Hip Hop.

Your best song sung till date?
Suno suno na.