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Hariyudan Naan - Unique in concept, repetitive in execution

I started watching “Hariyudan Naan – Yaar andha Naan?” about couple of months back and it does come with a unique concept. This is yet another singing competition but with a difference in what the eventual winner or winners would get at the end of it. Hariharan himself would be mentoring the top 5 winners and few of them will be even singing in his album along with him. So the concept is good and is unique compared to the other shows across the country.

The other good thing about the show is Hariharan speaking to the contestants after each performance and giving them tips as to how they can overcome their flaws. That actually is a very good thing as it will be a great learning experience for budding singers from one of the greats of Indian music. Even though the show has lots of good things going for it the execution of the same is still following the dead beat formula. It seems like the aim of every talent hunt show in India is to stretch it as long as possible.

We saw the same with Airtel Super Singer and countless other talent shows on Indian television. It gets irritating for the audience when they are expecting the winners to be announced in a week or two and there props up a recall round or a wild card round thereby increasing the contestants. This show initially is following the same principle. 16 people eliminated from 50 odd contestants and then the eliminated contestants competing again for 5 spots. The reason given for such a decision was childish too. It seems like Hariharan and Jaya TV thought that the 16 eliminated contestants were good but had one off day, so they deserved another chance to get back into the competition.

If they are going to follow the same yardstick throughout the show then I see a lengthy one year competition with numerous recalls and wildcards. The positive aspect of the show is the way Hari Ji has been judging in the past couple of rounds and also the talent pool has been fantastic. If only they can avoid the minor glitches and give us a short and slick competition it has a potential of becoming a trendsetting show. The way Hariharan has been mentoring the kids has been fantastic and is really different from the other shows.

He has been crisp with his comments and has never come of rude with any of his negative comments either. My only disappointment in the earlier rounds of the show has been the judging panel of James Vasanthan, Tippu and Harini. I can understand them being forthright and honest with the contestants but making fun of them and laughing at them is not on. Every contestant there comes with a dream and most of them have never been in front an audience before leave alone the camera and television.

People react differently to pressure and sometimes even the best talents have off days so the judges should be mindful of that fact. You can provide your critique to the contestants without being rude which they can learn from Hari Ji himself. So James the hate mails are not because you have been calling “Spade a Spade” but it’s because the way you have been calling it.

Well that being said the competition has been fierce and the top 40 contestants have been really good. Hariharan taking over the judging has brought a new lease of life for the show as the initial judges were too full of themselves. That’s the reason he is a legend. All in all a great show and I hope that they iron out the few flaws and make this a short and sweet competition.

My prediction from last week came true as Raghini was eliminated yesterday by the judges to leave Ajeesh, Vijay, Ravi, Renu and Ranjani to battle in the Semi Finals. I knew it was coming in the last two weeks when Srinivas made comments about Raghini’s inability to sing normal heroine type melodies. Well she was tested on it yesterday alright and I felt she did a decent job.

Three singers sang yesterday with Harini as the chief guest and frankly Vijay was brilliant. I did not see the performance of Raghini yesterday but Ajeesh was so-so and finally the three were called on to the stage for the verdict. Harini said that all the three gave good performances and requested the judges to give them songs which they aren’t that comfortable with. Raghini was given the melody, Ajeesh a fast song and Vijay was left to decide his own genre. Well Ajeesh sang well, Vijay was brilliant and Raghini was not that bad.

Finally the judges decided to let Raghini go as they felt that she was the weak link. Well to be frank it will be hard not to agree with their decision yesterday as I felt that Ajeesh and Vijay sang better. But to think of it I am surprised why Vijay always ends up in the bottom half of the pack. He seems to be the only contestant who seems to experiment a lot and mostly pulls it off. Raghini was another contestant who experiments with her song choices. We have Ravi who if forced sings different, same in the case of Ranjani again sings different only when the round demands. Renu doesn’t experiment even if the round demands but the judges like her so it doesn’t matter what she sings. Ajeesh again like Ranjani and Ravi will sing different if the round demands.

Well so Raghini gets eliminated and two weeks in a row I lose my favorites in the competition. Last week it was Prassy and this week Rags. Well anyways someone has to go. Raghini took the decision very well and left gracefully much better than how she left last time around. She thanked the voice trainer Ananth Vaidyanathan for his help and support. Raghini since her return through the recall round had been brilliant and carried herself much better. She smiled more often on stage and took the judge’s comments much better than she did last time around. I feel that she has the potential to become a play back singer. Her voice is different and she has variety which clearly lacks in certain contestants in Top 5.

I wish best of luck to her in whatever she takes up in the future. I hope that she doesn’t give up singing and ends up as a playback singer.

I would like to hear thoughts from the readers and give their opinion on the current top 5 and who you think will win the Airtel Super singer. Please leave your comments. Thanks and that’s all for now, I will be back with my review of the Semi-finals next week.


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