Monday, August 22, 2011

Singing Your Way to Fame: Indian Music Reality Shows

By and large, music plays an important part in the lives of us Indians – from birth to death to festivals to prayer to marriage, music is usually incorporated in some form. Chances are, you yourself are into singing or playing or at least happen to know a few people who would love to take the stage if given a chance!

Well that explains why there have been a ton of music-related reality shows on Indian television. Here’s revisiting some of the major ones:

Sa Re Ga Ma Pa (Zee TV)

Sa Re Ga Ma Pa is one of the oldest and perhaps most prestigious music reality show contests on Indian television – several ex-Sa Re Ga Ma Pa contestants now have successful careers as singers. The first episode was aired in 1995. Hosts thus far include Sonu Nigam, Amaan Ali Khan, Avaan Ali Khan, Shaan, Adtya Narayan and Purab Kohli. A lot of OST launches happen on the show and many high-profile Bollywood celebrities have given guest appearances and have served as mentors and judges. There have been international versions of the contest, as well as Sa Re Ga Ma Pa seasons which offered children a chance to display their singing skills.

Airtel Super Singer (STAR Vijay)

Launched in 2006, this music reality show is in Tamil. Winners of the competition have sung for well-respected composers including Harris Jayaraj and Yuvan Shankar Raja.

Jjhoom India (Sahara One)

In 2007, Jjhoom India began and brought together celebrities paired with professional singers in a musical competition: Vinod Rathod and Roshi Chopra, Jatin Pandit and Chhavi Mittal, Varun Badola and Akriti Kakar, and many others. It sure was entertaining to watch celebrities trying to keep up with the professional singers! Judges included Mahesh Bhatt, Shabana azmi and Anand Shah.

K for Kishore (Sony Entertainment Television Asia)

From  2007-08, 12 contestants competed on one platform attempting to sound as close as possible to the much celebrated singer Kishore Kumar. Judges were Bappi Lahiri, Amit Kumar and Sudesh Bhonsle, while Rajeshwari Sachdev and Babul Supriyo were the hosts.

Music Ka Maha Muqqabla (STAR Plus)

Launched in 2009, this music reality show had an interesting concept of celebrities Mika Singh, Himesh Reshammiya, Mohit Chauhan, Shreya Ghoshal, Shaan and Shankar Mahadevan leading various competing teams, which each consisted of three well-known singers and one new singer. The show had its dramatic and controversial moments at time when celebrities had brief tiffs on screen.

Indian Idol (Sony Entertainment Television Asia)

An Indianized version of Britain’s Pop Idol and the U.S.’s American Idol, Indian Idol started in 2004 and has had five seasons thus far. The show has been hosted by Mini Mathur, Aman Verma, Hussain Kuwajerwala, Melyang Chang, Deepali Kishore, Abhijeet Sawant and Prajakta Shukre in the past. Judges for the show include Anu Malik Farah Khan and Sonu Nigam for seasons one and two, Malik, Javed Akhtar, Alisha Chinai and Udit Narayan for season three, Malik, Akhtar, Sonali Bendre,and Kailash Kher for season four, and Malik, Sunidhi Chauhan and Salim Merchant for season five. The show serves as one of the biggest competitors to Sa Re Ga Ma Pa.

Fame Gurukul (Sony Entertainment Television Asia)

In 2005, a mix of Indian Idol and Big Brother was created in the form of Fame Gurukul. Sixteen contestants lived in a music academy setting while competing with each other until the end. The head mistress was Ila Arun, and judges included Javed Akhtar, K.K. and Shankar Mahadevan. The show was hosted by Mandira Bedi and Maniv Gohil.

Fame X (SAB TV)

Following in the footsteps of Fame Gurukul, Fame X aired from 2006-07 with Palash Sen serving as the dean and judges including Nikhil Chinapa, Ganesh Hedge and Daler Mehndi. The show was initially hosted by Sophie Choudry but she was later replaced by Shilpa Sakhlani

Waar Parriwar (Sony Entertainment Television Asia)

Waar Parriwar was unique in the sense that entire musical families were competing with each other  instead of individual contestants. While Urmila Matondkar served as the host and Jatin Pandit as the mentor, several celebrity judges appeared on the show including Ismail Darbar, Daler Mehndi, Mika Singh, Aadesh Srivastav, Shaan, Jatin-Lalit, Bappi Lahiri, Roop Kumar Rathod, Kumar Sanu, Udit Narayan and Pandit Jasraj.

Junoon Kuch Kar Dikhaane Ka (NDTV Imagine)

Launched in 2008, Junoon Kuch Kar Dikhaane Ka had an interesting concept of dividing contestants into three teams of six players each based on music genre. The show was hosted by Annu Kapoor and the teams were divided into Sufi Ke Sultan, which featured celebrity singers Jaswinder Singh, Harshdeep Kaur and Kavita Seth, Bollywood Ke Baadshah and Maati Ke Laal. The judges included Rahat Fateh Ali Khan for Sufi Ke Sultan, Ila Arun for Maati Ke Laal and Anand Raj Anand for Bollywood Ke Baadshah.

Amul Star Voice of India (STAR Plus)

In 2007, Amul Star Voice of India brought together contestants from various music reality shows such as Ishmeet Singh from Indian Idol and Toshi Sabri from Sa Re Ga Ma Pa all onto one platform. Judges included Aadeshh Shrivastav, Abhijeet Bhattacharya, Alka Yagnik, Lalit Pandit and Jatin Pandit. Shaan hosted show. There was later a series for children between the ages of 8 and 14 called Chhote Ustaad judged by Shreya Ghoshal, Kunal Ganjawala and Pritam. The second season was hosted by Chinmayi and Omi Vaidya with Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Sonu Nigam serving as the judges.

Jo Jeeta Wohi Super Star (STAR Plus)

A bit along the lines of Amul Star Voice of India, Jo Jeeta Wohi Super Star brought together the winners of all singing reality shows that had previously been completed, as well as runners-up to compete for the title of “Superstar.” Mandira Bedi hosted the show, while Farah Khan and the Vishal-Shekher duo were judges.

If you are interested in other languages reality shows for music talent, tune into these programs.

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