India’s Got Talent..FINALLY!

It was high time we saw this show get the green signal. Although there are big challenges to be overcome to put up this format on Indian Television, the outcome is just way too tempting – for both the channel broadcasting it, and we, the audience. And India’s Got Talent [aka IGT] saw the light of the day on Colors with the first episode airing on 27th June 2009. And the tagline goes – Hunar Hi Winner Hai [ Talent is only the winner ]. Now that I have seen the first three episodes, here are my initial thoughts.

India’s Ant & Dec – Ayushman and Nikhil:

Ayushman and Nikhil

Both have had experience in hosting TV Shows on MTV India, so this should be a cakewalk for them. Both Ayushman and Nikhil are quite a delight to watch as the hosts. Although this show is indeed about the Talent showcase, the hosts do need to pull some strings to make their presence felt. May be it will be more visible during the Live Semi-Finals [ if there is any]. But other than that, no complaints really. Who else could have done this job? Actually bringing in Aditya Narayan’s extra-Hindi-encyclopedia would have ruined the show, and bringing Cyrus Broacha would have made the show utterly confusing. So, I guess its a good choice of casting the current hosts.

The Judges:
Shekhar Kapoor:

The only male in the trio. Who does not know him? Director of memorable films like Masoom, Mr.India, Bandit Queen, Elizabeth etc., Mr.Kapoor seems to be the most apt choice as he has been exposed to the art scene in India and abroad. Although I do doubt if a man of his caliber should be made to sit on that chair, rather than involved in a movie production [Paani, we are anxiously waiting for that]. But nevertheless, if there is anyone who deserves to be in the chair, it is him. Hail Mogambo!

Kirron Kher:

Indias Got Talent - Kirron Kher

Kirron with an extra R. Actress par-excellence. We have only seen her as a guest-judge in some of the reality TV shows, but this is her first full-time judging job. I have been a big fan of her work – be it in art-house cinema viz. Bariwali, Darmiyan or Sardari Begam, or even her recent commercial portrayals in Rang De Basanti, Hum Tum, Om Shanti Om and Dostana. As a veteran actress, she definitely has the eye for talent and she belongs to the judge’s chair.

Sonali Bendre:

Our very own Amanda Holden. Although, Sonali’s claim to fame is not strictly confined to Reality TV, she has definitely got a career resurrection of sorts due to this medium. Honestly, she never did have an explosive film career. Her only noted role was in Sarfarosh [ as the naughty Seema , remember-Ajee, don’t mind!]. Well you can include films like Zakhm to the list as well. But other than that, in most of her movies, she has been an eye-candy [ and I confess, that we all loved her in that avatar]. And she is playing the same role here as well. She is the eye-candy of the show and thanks to the extreme close-ups like the one below.Sonali has been on Indian Idol last season, and hence, she does try to impress us with her knowledge of judging Musical Talent. You go girl! Gather all the TRPs if you can. Chham Chham karta Hai Ye Nashila Badan [ Attempt at Translation: My intoxicated body makes the sound-Chham Chham ].

The cities:

The lineup so far [ till Episode 3] has been quite impressive – Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Chennai, Lucknow. And the pool of talent that has been exhibited so far just left me spellbound. Some of my favourite acts are discussed below.

M-Sonic from Guwahati: Woo-Hoo!!
India's Got Talent - MSonic
Ahomor Band maanuh aahise!!!
M-Sonic sang Kailash Kher’s ‘Teri Deewani’. The vocalist has it. Very good performance indeed. The only challenge is that whether they can keep the game going. What would be next from their bag?

Bappa Excel Group from Ghatkopar-Mumbai:
India's Got Talent Bappa Excel Group
Genuinely entertaining and a great piss-take of Yenna Rascala dance-form. Hilarious!

Chhao Nritya from Vardhaman, West Bengal:
India's Got Talent -Chhao Nritya
I am quite religious when it comes to Durga Pujo. And this act had me bow down to the TV screen. India is a religious nation, and this act certainly belongs to this big stage for its variety, colours, dedication and devotion.

Malkhamb guy from Mumbai:
Malkhamb Guy on India's Got Talent
What can I say? The ultimate test of Balance and control. Else, you got to have the iron balls. This act is just jawdropping for people not familiar to Malkhamb. For us, who have seen it before, we want more!!

Robo Ganesh from Chennai:
Robo Ganesh India's Got Talent
This Anna from Chennai does not understand Hindi, but surely can do the Robot. He mimed Jim Carrey’s mask in his entry, did a knee-puppet act. And concluded with his Robot lock-pop. He surely is talented, and reminded me instantly of Prabhu Deva. Don’t you agree?

And finally, the biggest , best-est act that I have seen so far, and already a big favourite to win this season.
Krishna act from Orissa:
Krishna Act on India's Got Talent

And because I am not still satisfied with the above screenshot, here is another one for your viewing pleasure.
Krishna Act on India's Got Talent

Hit this link to view the performance video.

And finally to wrap it up: Brain-torturing Emotional drama, aka Emossanal Atyachar.

Indian Reality TV is replete with examples of over-the-top emotional outpouring. Be it the Himmess-Ashaji on-camera debate, or Hema-Malini walking out of some TV Show because she felt insulted by a comic sketch of Sholay. There are numerous examples which we cannot forget, and even if we tried hard enough, we won’t be able to. Being a format which has worked worldwide majorly due to its heartfelt emotional quotient [ Majority of the contestants across the world have a sad story to tell, and bank on a underdog or a loser-so-far and striving to win story]. The Indian audience being an extremely emotional junta, we demand such shows to have this aspect displayed in full colour, especially when we have got this being dealt in other Reality shows already. But the thing is, how much is too much?

Is it the cynical side of me that says okay, enough!!! Stop crying now. But then, the most genuine act with a genuine story does strike a chord, no matter how much you try to be cynical. I think that is why our judges showed the following reactions.

Shekhar Kapoor crying on India's Got Talent
Shekhar Kapoor Sob! Sob!
Kirron Kher sob sob!!
Kirron Kher sob sob!!

But why haven’t we seen Sonali break down to tears. She is too concerned about her make-up. C’mon!!! Amanda is known for her tears. Show us some Aansoo!! Till then, we have to just keep staring at her close-ups!!

One last thing: Sidhharth Basu’s Synergy Communications

Has Sidhharth Basu, the Quizmaster Mr.Basu’s company – Synergy Communications been acquired by the Anil Ambani BIG brand? Synergy Communications has been the company behind the Indian gameshows -Kaun Banega Crorepati amongst others. But has Mr.Ambani’s ever-expanding empire taken this as well under its control. Need proof? Have a look!
BIG Synergy

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10 thoughts to “India’s Got Talent..FINALLY!”

  1. Hi Sujoy,

    Thanks for your information and introduction about IGT, it really atracts me. And I tried to watch the videos you recommended by the link in YouTube, but unfortunately, I couldn’t open the video. Someothers on the YouTube I can, but don’t why why all the IGT related Videos cannot be. Will find it out later.

    How nice to have a talent show like this. IN China, currently we have a TV Show for singers, it tries to imitate American Idol, but, not successful. It dispoints many, because its not good in many ways, not totally free to join, not pair to everyone, not really focusing on the talent, ….

    We Chinese are praying to have a real talent show as good as BGT.



  2. Hey, did you hear Shaheen Jafargholi will perform at Michael Jackson’s memorial tomorrow? Just read it and had to think about you 🙂


  3. @Thomas:

    I am quite worried about the situation in China. Hope you are doing fine.I am not very aware about Chinese Television, but yes, I do follow Japanese TV. There are some good reality TV shows.

    Yeah, me too following it online.

    Yes, I saw Shaheen performing “Who’s loving you” at the MJ memorial. Thanks for remembering me 🙂
    The performance was just ok, even for me. Because the sound output was shit, the backing vocals was quite high, compared to Shaheen’s output, and he did not take the end -falsetto, and instead went for a high note version, which I think did not work for me. His audition for BGT still remains my favorite.

    But anyway, he rubbed shoulders with the likes of Lionel Richie and Stevie Wonder. Boy! For a 12 year lad from Swansea, one audition did change his life.Innit!


  4. There are so many reality shows on air in India. Hard to choose what to watch 🙁


    Sujoy Reply:

    Cmon Bhargav, lemme know which ones are on-air. Forget the MTV ones. The ones on Zee are: Lil Champs Sa Re Ga Ma, and then the Comedy Circus thingie. What else?


  5. Nice review. But you haven’t reviewed the performances after the 4th episode. Need another post for that. Love this show, and yes, India’s got Talent. The dancers are lovely.


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