As Star Plus' Amul Voice of India Mummy Ke Superstars got under way last week, Telly Buzz caught up with the three judges, Shubha Mudgal and Vishal -Shekhar for a frank chat on what they feel about the format of the show.
Shubha ji, how does it feel to judge a reality show for the first time?
This is not my first time. I had presided over a reality show years ago called Pop Star. It was one of the early pioneers of the genre.
After that I kept away and recently when the Producers of this show SOL approached me, I gave my consent as we have worked together and hence they know what I will be comfortable with and not. Another reason for accepting this was because of the opportunity to work with favorite composers and performers like Vishal-Shekhar. I am not well versed in film music, which they are, and this way we make a perfection combination as jury.
What are you looking at in a mother child duo?
All three: We are looking for a good singer. It's really beautiful to see the way mothers mentor and train their children. They even do song selection. Agreed most are not trained, yet they inculcate correct values in the kids which is very important.
It is said that the mother will have to pull some stunts to save their kids who land in the danger zone?
All three: We will concentrate only on music. If you want to ask about these other factors, please ask STAR. But having said this, the beauty of this show is to see the extent to which a mother will go to save her child from elimination.
But is it right to put so much emphasis on the mother?
Vishal: The mother is an important part of the mix. The emotional connect between them and their child is the USP of our show. We can see the dreams and aspirations, which they have for their children.
Your take on the kid singers?
Shekar: They are very clued in and adapt very quickly. I am a father of a 7 year old and know this quite well.
Your take on children participating in reality shows?
Shubha: I have had a few areas of concern, i.e. the number of working hours, whether they are missing school, and last but not the least the appropriateness of content. However, I am happy that most of these have been addressed. We are shooting only during the vacations and above all, the main saving grace of Mummy ke Super Star is the active participation of mothers in the show. They will surely put their foot down, if their children are being wrongly treated.
Vishal: We take extreme care to make sure that the kids are not at all stressed. Even when they sing badly, we put it quiet softly. Our anchors also keep the kids in splits. There is purity in the format for the kids, so we will not play high stake games as elders do in reality shows.
The focus is only on music and what we can learn from each other's experience. My take away has been humility, just sitting on the dais with Shubha ji has been a learning curve. What ever she says makes a lot of sense. The biggest mistake an artist can do is to assume that he or she has arrived.
So we will not see the same Vishal Shekhar as in Launch Pad?
Both: That is a completely different format. We rock artists always speak to each other in that way. So there is no comparison.
Is there SMS voting involved?
Yes but that comes in at a much later stage. In a way that's good as the public might vote out of sympathy or love due to the cuteness of these kids, while will be the main objective.
Most reality show winners fade way?
Vishal-Shekhar: No, has Raja Hassan not sung seven songs for us? Even Amanat Ali has given his voice to a Dostana number. Over the years, Vishal and I have given a chance to a number of fresh singers such as Shaan, Kailash Kher, Anoushka etc. Anchor Akriti Kakkar is a product of the same format right!
Reporter and Author: Anil Merani