The elimination of Mohit Chopra has made one thing very clear – the Indian Idol season 9 winner will definitely be someone whose mother tongue isn’t Hindi. That’s quite something for a show, which is a hunt to find the next Hindi song-singing idol.
Of the four finalists three are from South India – LV Revanth from Vishakhapatnam, Maalavika Sundar from Chennai, and PVNS Naga belongs to Hyderabad. While the contenders have a hold on melody and rhythm and their effort to mug up and belt out Hindi songs is appreciable, their attempt at crooning Hindi Bollywood songs does not always hit the mark. I’m sure some of them would definitely be wishing and praying if only they had studied Hindi in school.
The closest to Hindi language is the fourth finalist – Khuda Baksh from Punjab. He also has a distinct and beautiful Punjabi accent. However he has been playing safe by choosing to sing Sukhwinder Singh’s songs; songs which have a hint of Punjabi in them. The producers have also been giving him a good build up, what with Shilpa Shetty, a guest on the show asking for his autograph.
The last episode had his sisters visiting him on set. On Sonu Nigam’s request, they broke into a song and blew us away by the sheer power of their singing. His mother too had sung a Punjabi folk song when she had visited a couple of weeks back. Singing seems to be in the family genes.
As per judge Anu Mallik, Vishakhapatnam’s LV Revanth has already done enough to win the title and has assured him of a chance to playback in one of his movies.
Mostly opting to sing songs of the current Lover Boy Arijit Singh, he amuses the audience with his unabashed flirting with every heroine who comes on the set as a guest. His request to Farah Khan, “Madam, I want to meet every heroine” when every contestant was telling their one favourite actor who they would like meet, still makes me smile.
Revanth is a front-runner to win the title. He sings like a dream, can grunge like a rock star, doesn’t hit a wrong note, plays to the gallery coupled with his persona all make him a complete package. Of course at times you’ve to ignore the slight hint of Telugu accent.
Not far behind is Maalavika Sundar, who also has all three – Awaaz, andaaz and riyaaz. She has received compliments not only for her superb singing but also her beauty and vivacious screen presence. The contest is not about gender, but she happens to be the only female left in the race and can easily give any of the boys a run for their money.
A girl who speaks her mind, she had acknowledged her fondness for Hardeep, a fellow contestant on the show. I thought it stemmed from the purity of her heart. She could just beat them all to the title. I will be one happy person when that happens!
Hyderabad boy PVNS Raga is a terrific singer but at times he falters in an attempt to display his entire range in one performance; which is tough to pull off every time.
The judges and even the guests have warned him against this; Rekha Bharadwaj had told him that sometimes when you take too many harkats in the song, you end up killing the emotion or the feel of the song.
All of the singers add their two bit to any song they choose, which helps them to showcase their hold on their craft and at times raise the song from ordinary to extra-ordinary. Their value add –be it adding a sargam, or some variation within the framework of the original song earns them the appreciation of the judges as well. But the key is to not go overboard.
It is a just a couple of weeks more and the nation will have its ninth Indian Idol singer. We have three from South and one from Punjab. I would place my bets on LV Revanth. But at this stage it could be anyone’s game. May the best singer win!