Jun 25, 2009

Music Reality shows: Some observations


One of the most popular and common programs on any entertainment channel nowadays seems to be Music Competitions involving celebrity guests. Amazing publicity, super corporate sponsorships, outstanding sets, the best of orchestras and whatever else you can think of. I have not followed these competitions religiously but of whatever I have seen, sure, it keeps the viewer rooted to his seat and provides some entertaining music most of the times. It is again nice to see so many new faces who can genuinely give the popular singers a ride down the wrong lane. These singers now have a platform to perform and show case their skills at a level which they could have never dreamt of otherwise. The classiest example is Naresh Iyer. I am also told that one of the participants in Idea Star Singer, that comes on Asianet, Sri Sachidanandan, has his calendar booked with shows after he made a good case for himself in the competition. Also many professional musicians, like the orchestra members for example, now have a major source of regular income. This is heartening to see.

However, I do feel, one particular part of the competition where the singers are asked to dance (jump?) and act, while singing, is nothing, but, utter stupidity, for want of a better word. How on earth can you expect a person to sing and act well at the same time, especially when he will be judged by his probable child hood heroes within a matter of a few minutes, and with a whole world of pressure that stems from thousands that are watching him live and on TV. And I am sure most of them would have never done this before, as in, most of the singers would rather prefer to close their eyes for a melodious or soft number. Even if some singer enacts a lot of drama on stage and pumps the adrenaline level, this has to happen naturally and not thrust upon. Imagine a four foot five inches short and thin framed man given a jacket and a sunglass, and the most Hip hop outfit, making him look like a joker and totally out of place just because he is singing a song acted on screen by a Rajinikanth, Amir Khan, Mohanlal or even T. Rajinder if that’s his fate. I bet even the most versatile playback singer will falter if he is asked to do the same. I remember seeing one of the participants sing a very sad melancholic number and on being asked to act sad as well, made a big buffoon of himself, that even though the song was touching, it had most of the viewers laughing their hearts out. Poor thing and the media supposedly gets a lot of mileage out of this. Now, this makes me wonder as to the extent these competitions can spurt growth in a budding artist. For any budding singer, confidence is the surest and fastest way to set him on to the big stage. On the other hand, I did see certain episodes where the comments by the judges bordered in humiliating and insulting the singer. This is unfair, in spite of the fact that the judges are extremely knowledgeable and the fact that all this drama creates a huge favorable response from the viewers. It is always nice to sit back and judge and for the viewers to see what the judges have to say about a singer, especially when it is a bit dramatic. The more dramatic and critical, the better. In fact if the judges can make the participant weep in public they become heroes overnight. And yes, I forgot, they will have a sad music, specially practiced by the orchestra for this golden moment. Nowadays even the parents, brother, sister and friends of the participants are shown weeping. Crazy!!!. But of course that is the life blood of any reality show in India at least. Very unfortunate. For me, this definitely takes away the crown of an otherwise excellent competition.

Dramatically yours, :-)
Srikrishna Mohan.

1 comment:

Jay said...

I completely agree with you. It is one thing to get the emotion and mood of the song in your voice, but completely something else to enact it.

I thought these singers lip-sync'ed the songs. It is impossible to start singing and dancing one fine day.