It’s been a scenario of high drama, both inside and outside the studio. First the strike by the production crew put a spoke in the wheel of Indian Idol Galas. Then the terror attacks on Mumbai cast a pall of gloom over it. But finally the ultimate musical mahayudh is here.
As a tribute to all those who sacrificed their lives in the terror that followed November 26, the contestants began the show with a rousing rendition of Chale chalo from Lagaan. The judges then expressed their feeling of remorse, solidarity and, of course, anger. “My heart is heavy. But it is a duty that has to be done. And since it cannot be done with glum faces, we have to do it with a smile,” said Annu Malek. But Javed Akhtar was more vociferous. “I am shocked that a handful of terrorists could simply stroll into our city and attack us and hold us to ransom for days,” he said. “We have to get together and let those in power know that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!” Sonali Bendre asked the youth to “exercise the power of voting”.
Shini stuns ‘em all
The first singer on stage was Shini and the petite singer from Gwalior was a live wire on the stage. Not only did she stun everyone with her song Mehboob mere, but she also bowled over the audience with her sexy performance. Annu said her performance was “outstanding”, while Sonali said she “was fantastic. You have bloomed and are no longer shy”.
Then it was Shini’s turn to be surprised when her very own ‘mehboob’ came on stage and proposed to her with a beautiful ring on national television. The girl went completely red and was almost speechless with joy.
Rajdeep came next and tried to woo Sonali with Dil to na keh saka. To his credit, he certainly made the judge blush and say that she was truly impressed. However, Rajdeep’s performance put Javed in a quandary: if everyone were to sing as good as the first two, then the judges would have no other job than to say “wah wah”.
Some plain speak from Sourabhee
The Tripura girl certainly meant to give a fantastic performance, but there was something lacking in her song, Pyaar ki yeh kahaani suno. She seemed to have sacrificed her singing to her performance, and she admitted it. Javed was impressed that she accepted her mistake and said, “You were so involved in your performance that you lost your sur and taal.” However, Annu said, “You are not a besura and I feel the audience must bring you back.”
Then Sourabhee gave the audience another reason to vote for her—she did a shimmy-shake with Hussain and Chang to the Shakira number, My hips don’t lie.
Kuldeep, the small town boy from Banda, is determined to prove that he is no country mouse in the big city or on the big stage. He wants to prove that he is a rock star. And prove he did. He enthralled with Bakhuda tum hi ho and even got Ananya on stage to serenade her. His efforts got him praise from both Javed and Sonali. “You’ve never sung better than today,” said Javed, while Sonali said, “You’re voice had emotion and it was a touching performance.” But Annu was not too impressed. He said, “It was average singing. Your voice did not touch my heart.”
In true romantic style, Mohit was dressed to the nines in a long overcoat with a red shirt and he tried to do a Ranbir with Khuda janee. While Annu felt he had sung the male lines well, Sonali thought it was a weak performance.
But Mohit did lighten the mood by doing a Saif—he proclaimed that he had written the name of the person he loves on his arm. And, voila, it was Prasenjit. And lo behold, Prasenjit reciprocated the gesture. Yeh kya Dostana ho raha hai yahan?
The girl that Mohit dedicated his song to was up next. Tulika sang Aaiye meherbaan and charmed Chang right off his chair. Annu thought there was every possibility that she would be the mallika of the mehfil. “Your singing and performance was beautiful. It was one of your finest,” he said.
Kapil wanted to quit
No, it was not because he was homesick or he had enough of singing. The Army man wanted to quit so that he could go and fight with the NSG commandos who were battling the terrorists. However, he realised that the show must go on and tried to spread some cheer with his Saawariya act. Though Javed thought the performance was weak and there was some gadbad in the sur, Annu was glad that Kapil was taking risks and no longer singing A,B,C,D.
A determined Remo took the stage next. He wanted to prove all his detractors wrong and he accomplished that with his performance of Zara si jagah. Javed thought that the chota don was flawless in his singing.
Prasenjit wants to fall in love
Prasenjit certainly had a reason for choosing the song Pehli nazar mein kaise for his first gala performance. He wanted to announce to the world that he was ready to fall in love! He also wanted some advice on how to do it. Sonali readily complied, saying all he had to do was sing the way sang on the stage and any girl would swoon into his arms. Annu, who was wowed by his performance, said, “It was an outstanding performance, one of your finest. You are the dark horse of Indian Idol.”
When Priyanka stepped onto the stage, she seemed to have stepped straight out of the 70s—with her tight kurta, bold make up and hair and a pert little flower in her hair. She was all dolled up for her song Oh mere sona re. But unfortunately, her performance superseded her singing according to the judges. “The antara is the jaan of the song and there was something missing there,” said Annu. “I’ve heard you sing better,” said Javed.
Bhanu misses his mark
Bhanu tried to cast his magic spell on everyone with Tera jadoo chal gaya, but the long-haired dude was not too successful. “You singing was good, but it was not flawless,” said Annu. “The low notes were not good and you need to throw your voice more.” Javed, on the other hand, pulled Bhanu’s leg about his blind belief in astrology and the stars. “Trust in your talent and not in Jupiter and Saturn,” he said.
Ananya was up next and she certainly did not miss the mark. Her song, Hum dil de chuke sanam, was almost flawless in its rendition. Annu was taken aback that he said, “Ananya, tu bahut khubsoorat hai, Ananya tu bahut gusse wali hai, Aaj sur me gaya hum khush hue, kya hua agar tu thodi nakarewali hai.” Javed felt that she had proved once and for all that she could be proud to say that she is from such a gifted family.
Fight club: It’s Bhavya vs Torsha
The girl who had come back with a bang in the wild card round was determined to prove herself on the gala stage. Bhavya sang Ghoonji si hai and though Sonali thought she was flawless and Javed gave her a standing ovation, Annu was less than impressed. He told Bhavya “tu sur se gayi” and that she could have performed better.
Next it was Torsha’s turn to mesmerise. She amped up her sexiness and performed to Yeh mera dil. Annu said her performance was outstanding and she was 100 per cent in sur. But he felt her throw could have been better. Sonali was pleased that the quiet girl had shown her versatility, and Javed said it had been a good attempt, though she could have brought the flirtatiousness of her performance into her voice, too.
And then the hosts surprised everyone with a video which revealed what the two singers actually thought about each other. Turns out they can’t stand each other’s guts! But Torsha and Bhavya were quick to clarify that, though misunderstandings do take place, they were friends and they respect each other. Hmmm, we think that was just for the cameras and the truth may be something totally different.
The contestants have a sleepless night ahead, for tomorrow it will be the first gala elimination. Get ready for some more surprises.