There’s been a deluge of shows on the small-screen post the fourth season of the Indian Premier League. Over half-a-dozen have been launched across channels and almost all of them are big-ticket shows. I must confess that I haven’t tuned into all of them but the few that I have watched have evoked mixed feelings. First-up I saw X Factor India on Sony, and I thought it was Indian Idol all over again, albeit, on a bigger scale. Having caught a few of the audition episodes, I was unimpressed, but for a few singers. There was a girl, Sahiti, from Hyderabad who turned up in a salwar kameez and belted out Jhoom jhoom jhoom baba with such gusto that I was pleasantly shocked. Shreya Ghoshal aptly voiced my thoughts when she said, “Aapko dekhke aisa nahin laga ke aap Western gaana gaayengi!” Then there was an old man Kartar Singh who crooned Abhi na jaao to his wife so romantically that now he is among the top 12 contestants. Having said that, I am still wondering what exactly is the X-factor. A guy whose singing is mediocre but dances fantastically is on board for the next rounds. I wonder why, because in a musical show, I still think the quality of singing is paramount!
On the other hand, in Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, the talent of the Li’l Champs is to be seen to be believed. Two boys, Sargam and Emil, sang Arziyaan from Delhi-6 so well that it prompted a stunned Javed Ali (who has originally sung the song with Kailash Kher, both judges on this show) to say, “It is difficult for trained singers like us to do what you did with such élan and ease.” Another little girl, Priyanshi Shrivastava, all of nine years old, rendered the complicated Saiyaan pakad meri baiyaan from Nayak effortlessly. One thing I have observed is that children on any musical talent hunt easily score over seniors in every department.