How fair is the voice choice?
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How fair is the voice choice?

Was the VOI verdict fair? HT Cafe gets four people, vital to the Star Plus reality show, debate and discuss the issue.

tv Updated: Nov 27, 2007 15:28 IST

Were the Star Voice of India results fair? HT Cafe correspondentsRoshmila Bhattacharya, Rachana DubeyandJanaki Viswanathantry and find out..

Lalit Pandit, judge, VOI

The general consensus is that as with the other reality shows, in Voice of India too the less deserving candidate won?

I have to admit that I was upset. I wanted Harshit to win, but the world wanted Ishmeet. So be it. He's like a child to us too. He came so far, and you have to respect that.

How could someone who led in three zones East, West and South-be outpaced by a rival on the basis of the votes polled in just two states, Haryana and Punjab?
I wouldn't know since I wasn't in the closed circle when counting was on. The logistics are befuddling. It's not fair to Harshit since he wasn't even given a consolation prize. Abhaas got the jury award. Abhilasha got a car. Ishmeet got the title and a contract with Big Music. Harshit would have been better off if he had been voted out before the grand finale. This situation has come up with every reality show. <b1>

Isn't there some way one could remedy it?
The only way out is to give 50 per cent voting power to the judges. Lataji (Mangeshkar) herself publicly said that when you have such qualified and experienced judges around, they should have a say in the final results. But the money that comes in from the SMSs is a determining factor as far as channels and producers are concerned.

We also have our contracts with the channel but certain clauses and check-ins need to be incorporated if results are to be fair.

It's interesting that even Ishmeet's mentors seemed to favour Harshit more?
Harshit has a ‘film' voice. Even Alka (Yagnik) agreed on that. Only Abhijit (Bhattacharya) who's threatened by Harshit's voice quality, wouldn't back him.

Abhijit didn't back Ishmeet either. In fact, after strong contenders like Irrfan and Toshi were eliminated, he raged that a candidate who should have been out in the earlier rounds had stayed on because of voting power.
Woh bhi ek chaal thi. It was a plot to project Ishmeet as the underdog and get the sympathy votes in. And it worked too.

But Abhijit wasn't at the grand finale.
He's gone abroad for some shows. (Laughs) He's busy making money But it was a grand finale nevertheless with Lataji and Madhuri Dixit. <b2>

Madhuri Dixit asked the gathered audience for their choice of winner a loud roar went up for Harshit.
He was the winner.. I wonder where things went wrong for him. Just before Lataji opened the envelope I asked her who she thought should win, and even she felt it would be Harshit.

Just before the results were announced we were told that we'd get to hear a special song that had been recorded with the winner. Was the song recorded with both Ishmeet and Harshit?
No, it was only recorded with Ishmeet as far as I know. That's quite a coincidence, right?

What happens to Harshit now?
He'll get what he deserves. Vishesh Films will launch him. He'll sing for their next production that should start a month from now. I'll work only with Harshit.

Voice of India broke the ice between you and your brother Jatin. Can we now hope to have the Jatin-Lalit team back?
Being away from each other, our love and respect have grown. That's more important to me than professional success. It's better that things remain this way I have . seven films on hand including a Shah Rukh-Sushmita-Fardeen Khan film, Dulha Mil Gaya and Vishesh Films' Showbiz.

Would you be open to judging the second season of


on the same panel?

Whether it is the same panel would depend on our schedules. But I'm open to it. Had I not been on the show I may not have noticed Harshit.

Would you want to be a part of any other reality show?

Why not? They are good for the industry and the money's good too.

Harshit Saxena, runner-up, VOI

Your loss came as a shock to many.

Yes, I've been told I polled the maximum votes throughout the finale. I don't know what happened at the end. I have to accept it and live with it. I have the satisfaction of knowing that I performed well.

You didn't even get a consolation award..
I'm flooded with offers from the industry I've started out well.

Apparently, you and Ishmeet are no longer on talking terms.
Nah! We hadn't slept for four nights before the finale. We were constantly rehearsing. You can't imagine how tired we were after it was over.

We had no energy to talk. Besides, both of us are very reserved. We don't talk much anyway I'm in touch with all 12 finalists.. we'll always be there for each other.

Ishmeet Singh, winner, VOI

Your victory came as a shock to many.
Really? I don't think so. I agree Harshit was leading the first three rounds. But numbers can change anytime.

Please elaborate
See, the south, west and east were neutral voting zones for both of us. Usually it's the north belt that , contributes maximum to the votes. I raced past Harshit in the last round because I bagged most of the votes from the north. I don't know the exact division though.

Weren't Harshit and you giving each other the cold shoulder at the postevent press conference?

What rubbish! We're friends. The result can never alter this equation. We didn't even have a tu-tumain-main while the show was on. Harshit was happy for me. I'm sure I'd have been happy too if he'd won.

Both of us have benefited equally from the show. He's got offers and so have I. There's no reason for rivalry.

Prem Kamath, Head of Marketing, Star

How did Ishmeet Singh win, despite Harshit Saxena beating him in three regions?
It's the cumulative votes that matter. It's very possible that the north outvoted the other regions. Then why the controversy?

I guess because Ishmeet was an unexpected winner. Many feel he should have been eliminated in the fifth round itself.
Hey, that's unfair! Ishmeet is very talented and deserved to win. The judges did protest when Abhaas was voted out but that's the format. You can't change it.

Just after the results were announced a song recorded with the winner was played. Was it recorded with both Ishmeet and Harshit?
I can't comment on it. All I can say is, the show wasn't rigged. The voting lines were open till 9 pm.

Even though VOI borrowed hugely from Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge 2007 in the concept, judges and even the anchor, Shaan, it trailed way behind in the TRP ratings.
I don't agree. VOI was a spectacular success. True, we weren't able to beat Sa Re Ga Ma Pa.. but that's because they went on air weeks before we did. Throughout, VOI had TRPs between 4 and 4+. The most popular show has a rating of 6. If the show was disappointing, why would so many of our sponsors offer to return on VOI Kids?

First Published: Nov 27, 2007 14:10 IST