While he works on reviving the format of his much-loved TV singing competition, Antakshari, producer Gajendra Singh is currently focussing on the second season of Bharat Ki Shaan for Doordarshan. The show will be judged by vocalists Usha Uthup and Ismail Darbar. Composers Jatin and Lalit Pandit, who had split up professionally six years ago, came together recently and reunited as guest judges on the show.
“I’ve created a new way of auditioning, by not letting mentors and judges see the kids when they were performing at the auditions. They could only be heard and were purely judged on their voice quality,” beams Singh, who has created shows like Music Ka Maha Muqabla and Chote Ustaad in recent times. He reveals that he went to relatively unknown towns and remote villages to scout 32 kiddie singers for the show.
“I could have taken this show to a bigger channel, but the idea was to reach out to audiences in the smallest villages in India and that’s possible only with the national broadcaster,” Singh says.
‘I’m proud of Sur Kshetra’
One of Singh’s biggest reality shows, Sur Kshetra, which pits Indian singers against Pakistani vocalists, was apparently handed over by Sahara One to the Star network after it was nearly ready to go on air. The show headed to three Pakistani cities and conducted auditions there under tense political conditions. “I’m proud of Sur Kshetra. It’s my finest work to date. Boneyji (Boney Kapoor) went out of his way to make the show a reality. I think it’s still with Sahara One, and will soon be on air. The shoot is almost over,” Singh reveals.