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"Udit bahut dependable hain" - Anu Malik

By: Faridoon Shahryar, IndiaFM
Monday, April 02, 2007

"Right pronunciation is important for a singer or an actor because if they are unable to feel the words they won't be able to deliver it properly," said poet-scriptwriter-lyricist Javed Akhtar at a press conference held in Mumbai yesterday to mark the launch of yet another season for The search-of-singing-talent: Indian Idol. Akhtar is the last minute addition to the list of three judges namely Anu Malik (some things never change, he was part of first two seasons as well), Made-in-India diva Alisha Chinai and versatile Udit Narayan. In fact Akhtar doesn't even feature in the promos.

Anu Malik was the most vocal of all the judges. He is "truly amazed" with the talent that he has witnessed during the auditions in eleven Indian cities of Jodhpur, Bhubaneshwar, Hyderabad, Amritsar, Srinagar, Nagpur, Kanpur, Baroda, Bhopal, Delhi, Kolkata. And he kept on repeating that the "Mumbai auditions are still left" with the same zealous-energy that he utilizes in selling his songs. First Indian Idol Abhijeet Sawant along with runners up Amit Sana also shared the stage with the esteemed jury. Sandeep Acharya, winner of Season two wasn't present. Another addition to Indian Idol 3 is the opportunity given to NRIs in Dubai and UK to audition as well.

With the prize money worth Rs 1 crore and a lucrative album contract with Sony BMG, Indian Idol is truly a golden opportunity for untapped talent. But do these idols truly deserve such adulation and why haven't they made it big in the world of films even after two years have passed? "Most of the talented contestants are doing loads of shows all over the world. I personally have given chance to several of them like Rahul Vaidya and Prajakta Shukre to sing playback for me. Their creative fight continues. Give them some time. Sustaining the initial success is another struggle in itself," Anu Malik said.

Hostess Mini Mathur (Who has a new host in Hussain in place of Aman Verma) added to what Malik stated by saying, "the other day I was given a lift by Ravindra Ravi (remember the poor painter who went far) wearing gold chain around his neck. He is doing lots of shows. Most of the contestants are doing shows around the world named as Indian Idol shows." Abhijeet Sawant defended the fact that in spite of becoming Indian Idol two years ago he has sung in very few films by saying that he delivered a hit private album and his second album will be one of the biggest hits of next year. But the fact remains that the only Indian Idol contestant who has stood out in film playback singing is last season's finalist Karunya, whose racy Aane Chaar Aane from Lage Raho Munnabhaiwas a chartbuster.

The other two judges Alisha Chinai (she came on stage in a finely decorated paalki to Kajra Re beats) and Udit Narayan (showing ada as Khai Ke Paan Banaraswala blared from loudspeakers) kept a low key. While Alisha was "truly delighted to be a part of Indian Idol 3 amidst distinguished judges", Udit referred to himself as a "pyaara chota sa gaayak" who wasn't sure if he could be a judge. Giving credit to the other panel of judges he said that if he goes wrong then "yeh log mujhe sambhaal lenge".

It seems Anu Malik will have a good time pulling Udit Narayan's leg during the show which will make for good reality TV. "Yeh bahut dependable hain," he said jokingly. Narayan currently embroiled in a tug-of-war between two wives had no answers to Malik's one-liner. With Alisha's Kajra Re moves and Akhtar's penchant for good poetry, Indian Idol 3 may well be a good option to 'freeze' the prime time on the idiot box.

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