Friday, October 24, 2008

Fame Gurukul-I’m loving it

Fame Gurukul is the Indian version of Fame Academy that was telecast in the UK. After intensive singing auditions, a talented group of people were selected or rather admitted into the academy.

Ila arun is the strict head of the Gurukul who is helped by two other mentors in managing the Academy. The academy is the place where the students live 24/7 and have been getting singing lessons during their stay. Their stay in the Gurushisya environment has been quite enriching with the steady stream of visitors as renowned in music like Pandit Jasraj, Jaspinder Narula etc.

The deal is that every week all of them perform in the Gala round where three people wind up in the danger zone and have to be elected back to the Gurukul based on audience votes. Out of the three, one of them can be rescued by the remaining safe contestants who have to vote individually.

But somehow there’s more to it than meets the eye. The show had its fair share of controversy with the elimination of Kirti (a good singer) who was ousted due to some politics on the part of the Fame students. Since then the choice of the remaining students has come under close scrutiny by the judges as well as the public in general.

Last week saw the elimination of a very bright talent, Rex D’souza. The way I perceive this elimination was that the mindset of the contestants was smart (cunning?) enough to understand that when it came to popular votes, Rex could have posed a threat to each of them and could easily have won a public opinion in future. But by selecting Arijit who has been unpopular with the aam junta, the students did play their cards well. As lyricist Javed Akhtar pointed out accurately, that the Gurukul students had two wrong choices in front of them and any which ways they would have made a wrong decision.

Thankfully the new rule has brought back 3 previous contestants (Rex, Mona, Keerthi) and 2 fresh faces into the academy. When the news of the new entrants was told to the remaining contestants, they were pretty taken aback, not to mention irritated with the fact that these new contestants would get a direct entry into the show.

The funny(!) part in Gurukul is that everybody cries at the drop of a hat. Rex is the frontrunner in the crying category followed by Shamit and Arijit. At times it gets difficult to comprehend whether the participants are really sad or putting on a show for the camera. The contestants are a mixed bunch of people each with his or her own idiosyncrasies. Some of the leading contenders as of now are as follows:

Qazi Tauqueer:-
The lucky Hrithik-lookalike from Kashmir is the most popular of the lot. His singing is no great shakes but he is topping the people’s popularity charts consistently. Every week he lands up in the danger zone where the audience dutifully votes for him and bails him out, much to the chagrin of the other contestants and the bewildered judges. Qazi had recently visited a college festival where he himself was surprised to see the audience comprising mostly of girls going completely gaga over him. He is an entertaining guy all rite and the biggest draw of the contest as of now.

Shamit Tyagi:-
Mr confidence as well as the most popular guy amongst the Gurukul inhabitants. He has been pulled up and admonished by Javed Akhtar for being manipulative and playing to the gallery. He and Arijit are a little too close for comfort and consequently have had insinuations flying left right and center about their behavior.

She looks the sternest and does not seem to be too diplomatic and hence ends up being quite blunt about whatever she feels. Her singing is okay enough to keep her away from the danger zone.

The Bengali lass puts in the maximum hard work when rehearsing for her songs. She is the one who might in all probability end up being one of the fame Jodi winners. Her singing abilities are good but her Hindi enunciation leaves a lot to be desired.

Arijit Singh:-
He is the baby of the group and one of the few singers with a classical background. Arijit has not been able to garner the public votes and that has been a drawback for him. He might lose out in the end due to his lack of charisma.

Rex D’Souza:-
I personally feel his voice is the most suited to playback singing with its robust quality. His voice is very similar to singer Udit Narayan’s voice and is quite pleasant in nature. During the Independence Day special, singer KK had put him in the danger zone citing that Rex had over emoted in the rendition of the song something which I fail to understand. Before being eliminated he was a tad over confident but given his singing abilities, it shouldn’t be tough for him to make his mark in the singing world.

As the weeks have passed, the contestants have become familiar faces and most people have their favorites. Overall Fame Gurukul has really caught on and it should be interesting enough to find out who the winners (Rex n Rooprekha?) are in the finale.

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