After judging Little Champs and Star Voice of India, the renowned singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya is all set to preside over yet another reality show Ek Se Badkar Ek on Zee TV. Here he speaks out in a free wheeling interview on this new format of the show and the ill that plague the genre…
What is different about Ek Se Badkar Ek?
This unique show is a fusion of singing and dancing. But I am concerned only with the 8 singers. Since the contestants have already arrived from previous reality shows, it’s not a talent hunt as for now. It’s not also about whether they are good or bad singers. The matter, only counts, is how they sing on any particular day. I will not be swayed by emotions or by excuses that their throat was bad. If you are bad on a particular day you are bad.
Don’t you think reality shows have been done to death?
The public is liking them right, so what’s the problem? Having said that it’s better than the never ending sas-bahu drama’s, where each woman is having 4 affairs and number of illegitimate children, we at least show true talent getting their space in the sun.
Is the fusion, you have mentioned, exciting enough?
Yes, if the singer is bad then the actor will have to do the extra bit in his dance to save the day. Neither Ahmed nor me will try to save any bad couple. We have our reputations to protect. I can assure you that in this show the views of the judges and audience will always be the same.
You seemed unhappy with Voice Of India, hence you stayed away from the finale?
I had some previous engagement in the States, which I could not cancel. But I was not happy with the elimination of Toshi and Abhas as well. Plus, the presence of one clone of Kumar Sanu was troubling me a lot. And what was the use of attending the final and sitting like mute spectators!
The winner Ishmeet was your favourite, yet once you attacked him and said that he should go out…
That was my strategy. For, after my attack, he was inundated with votes from
Something similar had happened in Little Champs as well.
A lot of sympathy votes were going to Diwakar as because he was blind. I opposed that and eventually the dark horse Sanchita started to get ahead.
Your take on SMS voting…
It’s needed to retain audience interest. And it’s not all that SMS based shows mint money; only a few do.
What about judges fighting among themselves?
It used to happen earlier as well but then it would be edited. Now things are reverse edited. This drama started when singers, who did not have much work, started becoming judges on reality shows. What further annoys me is the fact that you have actress who can’t speak Hindi properly judging such shows. A pop singer is totally ruining a classical number and you are praising him/her. Only a singer should judge such shows.
Singers coming to the forefront through such format…
Yes, agreed. Singers have become very popular but there is a flip side as well. Today most singers seem clones of each other. There are a few, even on this show, who I will never encourage. Earlier each singer had his own distinct style which is not available in these shows.
Your take on them not doing playback?
Honestly speaking, I am not too gungho about the current playback scene. No effort is taken these days to make sure that the singer’s voice fits the actor. Any nonsense singer is taken. Mind you, I am not talking about the composition or the lyrics.
Since you are coming up with your new album, are you not afraid of piracy?
Many other revenues streams have opened up, like royalties from FM stations and ring tones etc. Agreed, piracy is a major issue but all the loss accrues to the music company. Even if these losses are plugged we singer’s will not get an extra paisa, so why should we bother!
Anil Merani (SAMPURN)