I have been following the Airtel Super Singer 2008 show on Vijay TV for the last 5 weeks or so. This show is telecast 3 days a week, Mon - Wed, between 9 PM to 10 PM. The show is for selecting the best singer. The show is no different from the various other shows on singing in different channels, except for one, as usual, the Vijay TV's content quality and innovation.
I became a fan of the show, due to one participant, Prasanna than for any other reason. He is such a wonderful performer though he has no formal training in music and comes out with spell-binding performances. He has reached the top 7 of this competition from more than 10000 participants is itself a great achievement. His voice clarity and throw is very good and he is such a live-wire performer, that audience gets glued to him. I can say for me that whenever I happened to go home late after 9 PM, the first question I ask my wife is "Has Prasanna already sung?". I am well and truly impressed with this guy's ability.
He competes against people who are well trained in Carnatic Music for many years. Therefore, he is at a natural dis-advantage in comparison to other competitors. The program over the last 5 weeks had different rounds where participant has to sing folk, carnatic, western songs from Tamil Cinema music. Though he is not trained in Carnatic music, this guy came out with a sterling performance. The judges to this show are three well respected play-back singers, namely, Srinivas, Sujatha and Unnikrishnan. All the three of them are great fans of Prasanna and they love his music so much as per their own words.
But all good things should come to an end and so is the case with Prasanna as well. In this week's round, Prasanna has been eliminated. Very unfortunate and unbelievable for me. Of course, it is very unpleasant for me as his fan to see Prasanna exit the stage, but what really made me angry against Vijay TV is the way they have handled this week's episodes. In my opinion, they have moved the goal post when the game is on. There was tie-break yesterday to decide who is to be eliminated and they had a special judge, another play-back singer, Unni Menon to do this role. In the tie-break, Prasanna was competing against another contestant by name Vijayagopal. You know, how he decides? He sings a Malayalam song with a a heavy carnatic music touch and asks the contestants to repeat it. What a way to decide for a Tamil film music based program? I dont claim to have any bit of music knowledge but I can say this is an unfair judgement for this program, there by, depriving one of the most talented singers a chance to win the crown. Vijay TV, shame on you. This is not acceptable to me.
You may not believe me, I am totally agitated and disturbed with his elimination yesterday night. I could not sleep properly and I woke up early thinking about the elimination of Prasanna. I myself cant believe why this event is impacting me so much but going by my past experience, I can say, I behave like this when I believe injustice has been done. I dont know him personally, but somehow I have developed an emotional attachment with Prasanna. I guess, the reason is more due to the fact that he is an underdog. It is the natural tendency to associate yourselves with the underdogs rather than go with the favourites.
I have sent a formal protest email to Vijay TV and asked them to reinstate Prasanna in the contest. If you are also a fan of Vijay TV's Airtel Super Singer program and of Prasanna, you can send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can log into the website www.vijay.indya.com and give your feedback.
I know Vijay TV has done it before but I pray that they do it again. That is, this is a gimmick to increase the TRP and guage the reactions of the audience.