Some surpassed expectations while a few didn't quite live up to them. But, there is no doubt that with every passing week the performances are improving by leaps and bounds. If Abhishek performed like a star with Dus bahane karke le gaye dil, so did Charu with Mujhe mast mahaul mein jeene de. If Chang looked like a hero, then Ankita danced like she was born to do just that. If Deepali's performance on Mera piya ghar aaya was like a breath of fresh air, then Amit Paul had the judges gasping with his breathtaking performance of Nasha yeh pyaar ka nasha hai from the film Mann. Every contestant understands the importance of each performance. The do or die attitude is there for all to see. The judges saw, they heard and they passed their verdict. Anu Malik is no longer in the mood to spare the slightest error. He has started a tirade against young Emon. However, special judge Shabana Azmi and judge Alisha were really upset and felt that that the judge was coming heavily on the youngster. However, Emon sang as well as always. Even the otherwise mild Udit Narayan is getting tough these days. Alisha is more accommodating. But, it was guest judge Shabana Azmi who called a spade a spade. She stepped in to make up for the absence of hubby Javed Akhtar, who was away in San Francisco to attend a conference alongside Hillary Clinton. Shabana was full of praise for the deserving contestants. "Superb!" was how she described Ankita's performance. "Mazaa nahi aaya," she said to Prashant, and pointed out that Amit's singing had the precision of a surgeon's scalpel. Javed would have been very proud of Shabana's performance. With every round, the judges are getting more critical and severe with their comments. The fun and games are over. It is serious business, they reiterate . The judges have done their job and the viewers have done theirs. The results are in. Fortunately for the contestants , the viewers of Indian Idol have thus far voted out contestants purely on merit. But, the going is getting tougher every week for the viewers too. It doesn't seem fair when your favourite contestants go out.