So Music Ka Maha Muqqabala (Star Plus) finally came to an end, with Shankar Mahadevan and Shaan fighting it out for first place (Shankar won). Shaan of the big grin and floppy hair, was the surprise of the show — he showed a hitherto unknown and unseen aggressive side of his personality, as he argued and bickered with the other teams — not all the time of course but often enough to register in viewers’ minds with some force. Shankar was more affable but one of his team members — Rahul Vaidya — more than made up with his (Rahul’s, I mean) propensity to belligerence.
But even though Shankar Mahadevan won the contest, it was a young singer from Shaan’s team (Anvesha) who emerged as the biggest individual star of the show. (She wore a strange frock-meets-gown outfit for the finale but sang so divinely that all izz forgiven).
I was mildly disappointed — not because the finale wasn’t fun (it was) but because the show is now over and I'll miss watching it. But I needn't have worried. Star Plus immediately launched Superstars Ka Jalwa (Sunday evenings) to ensure that viewers continue getting their naach-gana fix. This is a show to raise funds for the Cine & TV Artists Association, and from I could make out, it features performances by practically the entire film industry, from Amitabh Bachchan to Shah Rukh Khan, including even Aamir Khan who almost never performs on stage (as anyone even remotely interested in Bollywood knows, this particular Khan doesn’t attend award functions, neither does he run around the world doing stage shows).
I saw the first part of Superstars Ka Jalwa (I believe there are many episodes in the pipeline) and enjoyed it thoroughly — from host Javed Jaffrey’s bad jokes to Rani Mukherjee’s dance performance (even if she was wearing what looked like mini armoured tanks on her feet instead of shoes). In between the dance performances were comic acts by funny men such as Sunil Pal (he brought the house down with wicked take-offs on Javed Akhtar and Himesh Reshammiya).
That I’ve managed to see these shows is something of a major feat considering our TV set is firmly tuned to Set Max every single day, all the time. I also managed to see a few installments of IPL Nights on MTV (that’s the after-match parties and fashion shows).
What struck me about these allegedly ‘exclusive celebrity’ dos: first, the ‘exclusive celebrities’ consisted of a few cricketers (apparently it’s mandatory for them to attend), team owners and hangers on (mandatory for them too, I presume?) and Lalit Modi (definitely mandatory for him).
Second, guests included vast numbers of blonde women. Who are they? Famous celebrities in the street where they live in their native Ukraine — or wherever it is they come from? The on-field cheerleaders doubling as party guests? Item girls (the ones the MNS wants to replace with Maharashtrian girls)? Random gatecrashers? (Somehow I doubt that). Only-invited-because-they’re-blonde guests? (Somehow I don't doubt that). Enlighten me, someone.
Third, the presenter, Anusha, insisted on hugging every single person she spoke to whether it was a rather startled Shah Rukh or a rather startled Arjun Rampal or a rather startled…
Also saw IPL Rockstars (Colors), the music contest that takes place at all the venues of the matches. The hostess is Hard Kaur (very jolly, with interesting tattoos on her body), the judges are Sukhwinder and Kailash Kher and the singers are the winners and runners-up of music shows such as Indian Idol and Sa Re Ga Ma Pa. If you enjoy Hindi film songs, you’ll enjoy the show.
Otherwise, stick to the matches.