What do you think will be your role as a judge on Ek Se Badhkar Ek?
Basically it is not a talent hunt show where I have to judge the talent level. They are already from a talent hunt show. I just have to guide and show them the right path and have to be very honest with my work. I can’t get away with comments like “Oh! You sing really well but you went a bit wrong here and there, otherwise you were great!” I am supposed to show the mirror right on their face.
It is seen that voting plays an important role in reality shows, so how much is the stake of judges in this show?
If you have seen L'il Champ, the entire country was voting for Divakar. On questioning why, they said it is because he is blind. I did not like this as Divakar was a powerful singer so why make him feel that he is blind? I didn’t want this sympathy vote to happen and spoke out. It was then that people started to vote for Sanchita. I believe in the best one winning. The same happened at Voice of India where I was with a black horse Ishmeet. He was not getting enough votes and one day I used a strategy. I shouted at him a lot and then suddenly he was flooded with votes. This was my game which nobody was able to read it. Later I told Ishmeet that I shouted at you so that everything goes good with you.
Was do you think this strategyof yours was morally right?
Yes, why not?? I feel that the best should win. He was a born singer and I wanted him to be in the front. There was a clone of Kumar Sanu who was getting a lot of votes and I didn’t want this to happen.
Do you think the war between judges mainly in reality shows is a planned gimmick by the channel to gain TRP’S?
I think there has been difference of views of Judges everywhere but unlike the past, nowaday’s they don’t get edited. Now the fight is given in the promo so that people watch the show. I feel only those people fight who want to get in the limelight. In fact, I have come across many music directors who have always been in the umbrella of producers and directors and have nothing to do.
Don't you think that audience is having an overdose of reality shows?
Well I don't think so. When people can like Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi…. which has completed almost 500 episodes, when people also like shows in which a woman is married almost 4 times to different men? (Every one laughs aloud), I think rather than all this a singing show is much pure than such shows and people like watching even these.
Do you think the standard of judging is decreasing day by day?
I don't know about that, but what I feel bad is that one old heroine is on Judges' Chair, who knows nothing about music. Even if someone is singing her song in a bad way without sur and taal even then she’ll applaud. I don't think its any reality show; I think a singing reality show is where a singer or a music director judges the show and not some actor who knows nothing.
After seeing so many singers from talent hunt, do you think the established play back singers are lost somewhere?
Earlier a singer was always selected looking at the voice of the singer with the actor. But today it is not the same. Very soon a time will come when people will say there was something called as playback singing. In these five years almost1000 singers have come in the industry out of reality shows now the plight is that nobody knows them.
So are you sad looking at this plight?
Well I am very happy, I feel that I am fortunate I was from the first lot and till date even if my songs are played people will say it is Abhijeet Bhattacharya's voice. So I have an identity. Today all the voice sounds same.
Author and Reporter: Binita Ramchandani