Mumbai, Nov 25 (IANS) Casting a magic spell on the audience with his medley of Punjabi folk songs, Ishmeet Singh was adjudged winner of Star's 'Voice Of India' television talent hunt reality show.
'The name of the winner is Ishmeet,' legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar declared, reading out the name after Bollywood actor Madhuri Dixit Nene opened the envelope, to delighted clapping and whistling by the huge crowd at the Andheri Sports Complex Saturday evening.
The Punjabi singing sensation defeated Harshit Saxena of Uttar Pradesh on the basis of audience votes. However, the total number of votes received by each competitor was not disclosed.
Both the finalists also received 18 kg gold, diamond studded watches of Swaranjali, as a token of love from Lata.
'Usha (Mangeshkar) and I have especially designed this watch for these wonderful kids. We have incorporated a musical key in them to keep these music lovers linked to music,' said Lata, who was wearing a white sari with a red border.
Ishmeet, attired in a white suit, received the trophy from the nightingale of India. He also received a three-year music contract with Big Music, Rs.1 million cheque and a shimmering red Chevrolet car, as prize.
'I don't know what to say. I thank god with whose blessings I am here today. This is the biggest day of my life. I will never forget this moment,' said Ishmeet with tears of happiness in his eyes.
Harshit bagged 55 percent votes in south zone, 52 percent in east and 60 percent in west. But the percentage of votes received from the north zone, where both the singers belong, was not announced.
'I had worked very hard for reaching where I am today. I am sad that after reaching so far... However, I am overwhelmed by the love I received from across the country,' said a visibly upset Harshit.
The grand finale kicked off with a power-packed performance by the 10 eliminated contestants of the 'Bemisal Barah' (unique 12). They sang 'Show me your jalwa' from Madhuri's new film 'Aaja Nachle'.
Later Ishmeet and Harshit joined them with the title song from 'Chak De! India'.
The jury members including Alka Yagnik, Jatin Pandit, Adesh Srivastava and Lalit Pandit conferred the special jury award to Abhaas Joshi of Indore.
'The audience has very closely watched every episode, the progress of this programme and how talented is this 17-year-old boy. Hence our unanimous choice is Abhaas,' said Lalit Pandit.
Abhilasha was also conferred a surprise award, a car from Adesh Vijeyta Shankar Foundation.
'I don't know why girls get less votes despite the fact that they sing so well. It is very important to encourage them. Hence, based on the potential and voice quality we decided to give this special award to Abhilasha,' said Alka Yagnik.
As the evening moved towards its end, the finalists - Ishmeet and Harshit - sang duets with jury member Alka Yagnik and host of the show and evening Shaan.
They also competed with each other in singing a medley of their respective regional folk songs.