Zee Marathi – One week of little champs wasted

We all knew that Radhika Nande was definitely not the candidate to be selected in the final 4-5. Last time I wrote about the mockery of call back episode on Zee Marathi Saregamapa Little Champs. It is really proved beyond doubt that earlier decision to move Radhika out of competition was right. In this whole process now we have lost one more week and the telecom companies have gained additional revenue.

What has surprised me even more is the % of SMS messages Avanti Patel has got in last few weeks. She is getting almost 2.5 to 3 times of Mugdha who was supposedly SMS champ. This is mind boggling. This is once again proving that SMS is a fraudulent mechanism to prove merit.

One of the quickest suggestion I can give is to enforce one vote per telephone number. Now someone can say that we want one vote per family member but in today’s time almost every senior family member has a cell phone and 1-1 ratio can be moved up to let’s say 2-1. But there has to be some limit. This will ensure that there is no rigging and the wealthy or unnecessarily passionate people wont be able to chose less talented contestant.

I am also surprised that Arya & Prathamesh, despite singing extremely well and consistently all along are not getting enough share of SMS messages. I am their fan but I wont go overboard and pay the telecom companies. I will generally vote only 2-3 times once in two weeks and I am sure there will be many like me who will talk, write and support these children but will not rig the competition. Hopefully my above suggestion will bring some fairness to the entire system. If that happens I will feel positive about voting every week.

Reality TV hates creamy layer

If you are fan of reality TV or not, you can not escape it these days. Almost all television channels depend completely on reality TV. Despite all of these shows people are taken far away from reality but that is another point. May be some other day.

I have been keenly following some of the music competitions for quite some time now. Earlier it was Hindi Saregama which then turned into Saregamapa. I lost interest the day my dear Sonu Nigam left that show. Shaan did a decent job after couple of other hosts but it really did not get my eye balls like earlier. I followed Indian Idol for few episodes and I am sure you all must be following some such show or other. My top favorite these days is Zee Marathi Saregamapa Little Champs and it is but obvious from all my previous posts. What I have observed in the last so many seasons of this program and like wise other programs is that now the times have changed so much that if you are from a well to do family, have got good upbringing, you are well natured, well cultured in short you have the best one can ask for in life, you should not participate in reality television. They will not only hate you, they will hide that hate, they will praise you to begin with because they cannot ignore you but finally they will dump you like trash. Also remember, if you are not one of these and you win, you become part of the creamy layer and then they will dump you.

Now to support my arguments just have a look at these examples: 1. Zee Marathi Saregamapa season 1 – Anagha Dhomse had a personal tragedy. She show courage to stand up to that and I really appreciate it. But was she really the best of the lot? I still feel that Anandi Joshi was really good. But she was consistently hammered by the judges. Same may be case with Mangesh Borgaonkar 2. Saregamapa’s last season – Sayali Panse and Sayali Oak both got lower numbers to some extent due to their good background. 3. In current Little champs, Shalmali, Arya, Prathamesh are getting hit because of their background. Prathamesh is not really hit that hard but Arya is definitely. Kartiki is getting promoted to some extent because of her background. Same is case with Rohit Raut.

I definitely *do not* want to say that the fault lies with the contestants. They are really great talent and they are putting their best foot forward. I have not seen any of the contestants in Zee Marathi taking advantage of their background yet. May be there are some persons spending on the SMSes to promote the non deserving but then that is what is the point. The situation in Hindi is far worse. I have recently started following Hindi Saregamapa once again primarily because of Vaishali and Shankar Mahadevan. To my surprise, I found the story of Vaishali, her husbands illness and her tearful eyes all being used to promote the serial. In earlier days these were part of the media news and gossip but today it has become part of the mainstream event. I am not sure if all this was done purposefully or is it real. But how come every show has such story? It is no longer just the music competition. You have to compete on your background, your family, your emotions. In short it has to be a complete competition. What is the reason for Asma Mohd. Rafi to be in Hindi Saregamapa? She is a complete package of entertainment. Who cares about how well she sings? She is from a gulf country, she is from minority community in India, she makes you laugh, she has fought with her mother to participate in this competition, she can also sing without being ashamed of her bad sur and still has will to be in the competition. What more masala you want for a reality TV?

I don’t have to really write about how SMS and the commerce around it has changed the television industry. Ample has been written and will be written and nothing will change till people get sick of sending SMS and stop sending them. What hurts me more is that there is no place for a person with smooth life who has equal will power, has taken equal effort and has equal talent to survive in this situation. I am not able to forget the expression on Arya Ambekar’s face when one after the other, Suresh Wadkar, Vaishali and Avadhoot started dissection of her beautifully sung “Jahalya kahi chuka” May be she was half note high, may be she was little fast but she did not lose control of that song even a bit. I never felt what Suresh Wadkar felt while I was listening. For her age she is just too good. I have been to my daughter’s annual social and I just could not stop appreciating these little champs (All of them and not just Arya) after I heard the school’s best talent singing. Not that the school children were bad but these little champs are ALL OF THEM are well ahead of the crowd. When you have gone miles ahead and only one of you gets beating for not doing that last one centimeter of the 100 meter race, I feel that it is unjust to do it in public. They could have done it after the show. I also feel same was the case with Prathamesh as well but not as serious as Arya.

Now the question is should I vote for Arya or not? If I will, I am paying the telcom company and not sure if the channel really cares about it. If I don’t I am not supporting my favorite little princess sent by God. What are you doing? Do we have enough evidence to trust Zee Marathi? I don’t have it for any other Hindi channel at all but being from my Marathi culture, I would like all Marathi channels to build that trust that they are driven by principles and not by money. If they care about our votes, they should care about our emotions too isn’t it. They are not like politicians… or are they??? I am confused…

Zee Marathi Saregamapa – Mockery of callback

Did you see yesterday’s callback episode? I was completely frustrated since the beginning. We all were waiting to see the finalists like Ketaki mategaonkar, Shalmali Sukhtankar, Shamika Bhide, Kartiki Gaikwad and not so keen on Sagar Phadake, Radhika Nande and Neha Karmakar. Yesterday itself when Shamika was out of the competition, one more down due to good voting to Rohit Raut who is in parallel improving his singing skills, she was not crying because she was going to appear on the callback next day. But then suddenly we saw only three of the seven and announcement that two of them will go ahead!!! What!!!! I said.

Though Pallavi cleared that the rest 4 did not come due to personal reasons, it was not convincing enough. After all a day before Shamika says she will be there tomorrow and the next day she is not there! Who in the world will lose such an opportunity! Things look suspicious here. However the episode went well with a great contribution from Honorable Yashwant Deo. His comments were really guiding at the same time had perfect balance to tell you who is where. Kartiki’s first song looked like it is copied from some Hindi song but then it was sung by Dnyaneshwar Meshram – another Saregamapa champ. She sang with lot of energy which I felt was unnecessary but for her age she was good. Radhika Nande was a complete surprise. Although she still needs lot of work on pronunciation, her singing has really improved and she was showing that she is not going to go without a tough fight. Shalmali as usual was great but the comments given by Yashwantji were really apt asking her to reduce some of the over expression. I personally feel that with lot of emphasis from Avadhoot & Vaishali on expression, these children are trying to bring that in without really understanding it. Same is happening with Arya Ambekar as well, I feel. With this guidance, they should be able to come back to normal.

But in the finals, the entire result was a great disappointment. It was difficult to send one person back so the start itself was on wrong footing. With great singing from Radhika, the decision was even tougher. Finally when all were declared winners, I said, why bother with the 1.5 hour episode? They could have straight away declared that result in the beginning. I was also surprised that Kartiki went ahead straight and there was a tie between the remaining two. All in all I felt that because of public pressure, zee had already decided that Shalmali and Kartiki need to go ahead. And I guess when they declared that two of the contestants will go ahead, those who did not agree with it or read between the lines simply dropped off calling it waste of time. Zee Marathi needs to come up with lot of explanation. Off course if they feel responsible. Like Deo saheb said, in old times, Radio officers would ask them even if the recordings were short by 1.5 minute. I feel the same commitment should come from Saregamapa Little Champs’ producer/director.

Zee Marathi Saregamapa – Arya Ambekar pays a great tribute

I know I am a bit late on this but today I got a mail for my You Tube subscription. Our friend ahonkan is back again and he posted all the videos of the tribute given by our

Saregamapa Little champs and I was once againg zapped. Saregamapa team did a wonderful job in paying a great tribute to our heroes. No other channel or program I saw that (except news channels off course) did an episode like this. I concept was really touching our heart and the execution superb.

While every little champ sang from bottom of their heart, it was Arya Ambekar who won our hearts. Not because she is from my home town but she was outstanding. Watch this for instance… “वंदे मातरम्”

And the others too. No wonder Pt. Hridaynath called her Aryaputra. Here is another one… “ए मेरे वतन के लोगों”

The start from Prathamesh was also equally good. “शूरा मी वंदिले”. But he did not get much opportunity after that. Since this was not a competition, it is not fair to judge the children but I am and my entire family is Arya’s fan. I wish we also had Shalmali Sukhtankar in that episode. We all miss you Shalmali. On the second day we felt that even more when they showed best of finals. I hope she will be back after the callback episode.

UPDATE [9th February]