All Talk and No Action Sunday, April 13, 2008


Come Fridays and there used to be palpable excitement in the house. Tea time conversations, kitchen chatter and dinner table discussions - all invariably lead to "Who shall be ousted tonight?!"

I am referring to the recently concluded "Little Champs" (Zee) and "Voice Of India" (Star).

I did not get a chance to participate in the weekly excitement, anticipation and heartbreak. I started following both the shows at the fag end, when most participants had been voted out and the top 5 remained. Again, it was a half hearted participation since I am not much into television. However, for whatever I did watch, I came to enjoy the shows, their format, the spunk of the kids and the overwhelming crowds.

It was amazing to see how the whole nation gathered in their drawing rooms, kept glued to their idiot boxes, week after week, just to cheer the kids and participate in their happiness, how people spent millions on voting for their choices and how emotions erupted when a wrong verdict was given to their favorite candidates.

I stayed away from commenting on these shows while they were on - I needed some clarity and objectivity to see them for what they stood for.

Such musical competitions do a great service by bringing out the hidden talent brimming in most kids. Considering how much importance is accorded to "rote learning", sports and extra currics always end up getting step motherly treatment.

However, all said and done, I have always disapproved of public voting where kids are concerned.

It was heart wrenching to see little kids come on stage, sing, dance, laugh, crack jokes, entertain and finally be ousted by the dubious voting system.

Failure has a detrimental impact on most adults, leave alone kids. Most kids that participate, do it to showcase their talent, dance around, enjoy the love and adulation showered on them by the audiences and have some harmless fun. Guidance by judges should be enough to help them improve their "Surs & Taals". I do not think audiences should be allowed to vote and bring in their favorite candidates.

This, sometimes, leads to ouster of deserving candidates in favor of more charming dancers/entertainers.

What people fail to understand is that these are primarily, singing competitions and hence, the glam factor should not be given too much importance. Yes, street smart kids do win your hearts with their banter, but it should not replace the basic motive of holding such shows. All other kick ass moves apart, the focus should be on good singing and that alone !

I have also, always disliked the way these shows earn TRPs by showing kids crying copiously and promising their parents to do well the next time round. What needs to be communicated to these kids is that they all are winners in their own right ! No show on earth can take away their inner strength which helps them to face such huge crowds valiantly.

Public Voting in many cases might make the kids feel that they weren't good enough, that they have let down their loved ones, they aren't smart enough to win appreciation. Most of these kids fall into 5-14 age category and such a loss might make them feel worthless and affect their self confidence.

The role of parents too cannot be discounted. They need to steer clear of unrealistic expectations and provide the much required support to these vulnerable bodies.

One can only hope that such shows have in-house counselors who can help such kids cope with sudden stardom, sky rocketing expectations and unhealthy competition. Might sound as wishful thinking, but, given the general trend of wanting instant fame, it shall help bring respite to these gullible souls and keep them grounded.

10 comments:

indiaunbound said...

Yes I agree that such shows can have a lot of negative impact on the participants. It would have been better, if children could be kept out of this mad rush for TRPs.

These are not talent shows because then the decision would have been in the hands of experts or the judges on the show.

The reason such shows are popular because it gives the general people a sense of power. When they see an Abhijit Sawant becoming Indian Idol because of their votes, they feel they have major contribution in his achievement, regardless of his talent.

Such shows cash in on this general sentiment of the people and hence mass appeal will always have an upper hand over talent and so I agree that reality bites in such shows.

K10 Keni said...

Yes I strongly agree with you, if the participants are above 18 such in case of Indian Idol, SA re ga ma, Voice of India and other shows their mind is matured and these people can actually recover from it because they know their limitations and capabilities and also have the mind set. Some children can get dejected easily. So much so that can never gain courage to perform. These shows are gaining popularity as the common man is the judge. Their vote matters. So at the end of the one who deserves is no the one who WINs. The experts are mere spectator. The winner takes every thing and the runner up is considered as a LOOSER.

Zeus said...

$$$$$ thats wat everyone is after ... n the section of society which can generate max $$$$ is the kids and the youth ... for the parents have to make ends meet to fulfill the demands of their kids whil the youth is just out the egg into th horizon and wants to exercise the right to freedom ...

i really wonder the state of mind these kids must be going through ... n why dont we just reel back to the first reality show which gave a singing sensation who is still in the scene and doing well .... every company or record name wud try to associate with them for a while till the crowd doesnt see another one in their footsteps ... once done ... they begin their struggle into the reality ...

after tasting stardom to an extent where media makes em look like olympic gold medal winner ... it becomes next to imposssible for them to get back to ground reality and accept it ...

human emotions are just being exploited in every possible way to fetch the big bucks from their pockets ... thats wat its all about ... who cares about emotions ... till the time they cannot generate others $$$$$ ... dam!!!!

Mr BS said...

I can identify with your concerns but here's my $0.02..

If there was no public involement and was solely based on expert's opinion I still doubt if the most "talented" person would have won.
Me or you, would never always be "fair" all the time. Experts are also humans and they can be biased and since these shows go on for such a long time you naturally form a emotional attachment / have biases towards certain participants. And we would be arguing that this is the wrong way then.
But I do agree that this would have been a bit better than public voting.


Also in these shows, more than talent it also depends on how you keep an hold of yourself and your emotions. You might be the most talented of the lot but if you cant perform on any single day because you are not well or are mentally disturbed, then you deserve to be voted out (if one really has to be "fair").

The harsh fact of life is success (or winning) is never, generally, propotional to talent.

If I had to give a few examples..
In terms of money, Bill Gates is the most successful person in the world, but is he the most talented or intelligent? Perhaps, not.
In bollywood, SRK tops the charts but is he the best actor around. Probably not..But when it comes to the whole package I don't think there are many who can challenge him.

As far as the kids are concerned yes, getting voted out b/c of public votes, might not be the best thing that could happen to them but then that's not the end of the world. Talent is not the only recipe for success (musical shows or otherwise) or even success in one musical show is not the end. It can only help you a bit.
There is a lot of character, fighting spirit, confidence, will to succeed, hard-work and perseverance involved too.
For eg, Sachin Tendulkar is arguably, the most talented and successful player in cricket today but as a kid, would he have won all the "Man of the Match/Series" awards? No..But still he has made it big and how.

Also (especially) in the entertainment industry, I do think you need more than talent to succeed. It's whole package and how you "market" yourself that matters more than not.

Shyam said...

Agree with Mr BS here....firstly the idea is to get the kids to showcause their talents and the most talented should win... voting is a much better medium to deicide than judges just giving their views.. as for their little hearts being squashed and all, why do we always try and cushion our kids in this manner?? Why cant we just let them go out there and have fun..its not neccessary that they need to win everything... most of them are just more than happy to come to that stage and perform, yeah it sure hurts when u are outsted but still at the end of the day the point is that he was a winner because he went that far, we are the ones who make him/her feel as a loser by looking at him with pityful eyes..."ohhh shit he was so good, poor kid lost it" come on if anything stop looking at the kid like that he has done much better than u atleast

All Talk and No Action said...

@Psw

Yups. Judges voting would be better than an emotional Public’s involvement. Moreover, since these judges are always under public scrutiny, they would try their best to be fair. You and I, as adults, can understand about handling our emotions - but how do you explain this to a 4 yr old? There is enough baggage to be carried so lets spare them "public" rejection.
SRK, Gates, etc are nice egs. However, they are established individuals and we are discussing tiny tots.

@Shyam
I agree about not cushioning kids and preparing them for all sorts of heartbreak...However, why make them go through stress, rejection, shame just because a few of them look worse than the others/ a few are more charming/street smart?
When public is made to vote - most of the times what we witness is "mob mentality". In fact in many cases, people end up voting for kids from their states/territories. How fair is that?

Mr BS said...

Miss M,

Bill Gates and SRK were added just as an example to say that success and talent are always not propotional...

As for public rejection etc and getting wrongly voted out..I guess we need to understand and also make your kid understand that you cant win all the time..And it's upto the parents and relatives and teachers etc to inculculate these things in the kids and handle their kids and help them come out of these depressions / rejections...
As I said earlier neither is winning one competition nor is one rejection, the end of the world...

If you arent able to do that, perhaps it's your failure as a parent and you really cant blame it on the channels or the public...

mukund said...

Hello there......I would like to open the suspense of the creator of this comment......Well at the very first place if we make a comment on any reality shows...we must first keep in mind that reality shows arent that real in reality....and they can very well be haulted by the public efforts....if we arent satisfied with the on goings in the program...secondly.....we waste no time in commenting something which is truly worthless and not at all frugal......can anyone here come up with 100% confidence that they havent voted for any reality shows on the tv......right since the trends of these shows have started??? I can say that i havent yet voted for any reality show....so infact i m amused...that i am not the creator of this topic??? Whereas Ms Mukta....has voted for many reality shows.......proof is obviously her worthy brother....who can prove her wrong if she disagrees on this.....


We all must keep one thing in mind....that these reality shows would never exist...or the acrimonious defeats for lil champs...and the rejoicible moments for the lil champs...would never come..if we dont vote at all.....its actually a waste of time...to continue voting behind curtains...n then post a comment to ullulate the present situation of reality shows....

I would like everyone to give a thought to this.....its better if reality shows are really left for the judges to decide......
N rest we have, and will always have entertaining series like the DLF INDIAN PREMIUR LEAGUE...which wld allow us to take a break from all these unrealistic reality shows!!!!

mukund said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mukund said...

N i am amused the way STRESS OR DEJECTIONS are being discussed here in this forum......guys relax!!! This is just a reality show which is quite unrealistic.....a person who can lead from front from west, east and south zones....... has made a place of assurity to win the competition....n then suddenly the North zone votes make his competitor the winner.....My geography says that much of indian population is in central and east india rather than North India.....so arent these shows made up at times??/ Its basically hours' dvoure to invite big celebrities on these shows and to provide their million dollar comments on these super kids......which really boost up the expectations of the indian masses.....and the Results day is almost equivalent to the final ball of the T20 world cup final...where our heart cannot forget 2 skip a beat!!! so stress and everything should be discussed only when we ourselves dont encourage them.....n lets hand it to the judges for them to vote.....as per my memory....I havent really seen the lil champs of the previous years coming on any other shows or even singing for the most petite band......i would probably not recognise them even when i am sitting adjacent to them...

So my point here is...is it really worth this hype??? why we all cant leave it completely to judges.....n not talk about stress as if they are safeguarding the interests of the entire country in a financial crisis!!!! common frnds....after all its just a show.....n lets not discuss about the so called stress on them...when i feel almost everything is made up./.....The champion of the competition falls into a state of oblivion.....n the runner ups get huge contracts for working with great music composers!!!!