Much too repetitive

New Show

Much too repetitive


Seeing the population explosion of reality shows on television, one feels that the primary target of the creative team in every channel is to conceive a new reality show every month! If that is not possible, look at the existing shows and think of how they can be metamorphosed into something new. There are multiple examples across channels where the reality show fruit is being squeezed to extract the last drop of juice. If you had Sa Re Ga Ma as the father of all reality shows, today you have Sa Re Ga Ma Li’l Champs and Sa Re Ga Ma Mega Challenge over and above the original Sa Re Ga Ma. And all of them are trying to identify the best voice in India across different age-groups and states.

The reason for the number of reality shows increasing in geometric progression is the age-old gold rush. A successful reality show means money from advertisers, mobile phone companies and sponsors. The producers and broadcasters realise that the craze for reality shows is not going to last forever, so make hay while the sun shines! The latest show on air is Sa Re Ga Ma Mega Challenge.

The first singing talent hunt show on Indian television — Sa Re Ga Ma — has always been different from the rest, in terms of quality of singers. It has given the nation singers like Shreya Ghoshal and Kunal Ganjawala, apart from the newer lot including Debojit and Vineet, and its latest avatar promises to live up to the expectations, being a competition between former participants.

The show is banking on drawing upon the popularity attained by former Sa Re Ga Ma participants and has started a contest between them — Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Mega Challenge. To make the show more interesting, it is being played as a contest between different Indian states. It seems the Ranji Trophies and Santosh Trophies have a good threat in terms of Sa Re Ga Ma Mega Challenge.

This version of the talent hunt will be a seven week-long affair between eight teams. Each team represents a State and consists of one captain and two participants each. Every week, two teams will compete against each other and eventually, the four best teams will reach the semi-finals. The mega final will have the two winners of the semi-finals and will be held on December 12.

The participants — an interesting mix of old and new — for this series include Raja Hassan, Abhijeet Ghoshal, Priyanka Mallya, Twinkle Vajpayee, Parthiv Goel, Sanchita and Vaishali. While it will be a nice trip down memory lane for the old participants like Parthiv Goel and Abhijeet Ghoshal, for youngsters like Sanchita, Anamakia, Abhigyan and Hemant, it will be an opportunity to see their predecessors perform.

Parthiv Goel, captain of the Gujarat team, says, “I will be back on the Sa Re Ga Ma stage after a decade! There was no way I could miss this opportunity. It will be great to share stage with participants — old and new — of Sa Re Ga Ma.” In the decade that has passed by since he participated in the show, Goel has managed a toehold in the industry and has sung for a number of films including Devdas and Saawariya.

How does it feel to be back in a reality show after such a long time? Does it feel slightly awkward to stand in front of the judges and receive feedback? “Not at all! Actually, I have never viewed Sa Re Ga Ma Pa as a reality show. So coming back on it is a great feeling. Even the regional competitive flavour that has been brought in this season is immaterial to me. For me, performing on this stage matters most,” explains Goel. He remembers a nice line that Ustaad Bismillah Khan had told him during the competition, “Sab ko sangeet sikha do...” (Let everyone learn music through this show)

Joy Chakraborty, who is representing Assam this time, echoes Goel’s feelings, “I first performed in Sa Re Ga Ma Pa in 2003 and then again in 2007. Today I have scored the music for many films, but my feelings for the show remain the same. When the offer came to me to participate in the Mega Challenge, I could not think of any other answer but yes. I have some fantastic child artistes in my team and I am really looking forward to performing in the competition with them.”

One of the main changes in this new show is the fact that SMS voting will not be there and winners will be declared solely based on judges’ rating. The mega final of the show will also mark the 1000th episode of the Sa Re Ga Ma reality show. Apart from celebrities from the music world, all the past participants, winners and also those who had started their remarkable journey on the SaReGaMaPa stage, will be invited for the grand finale.

Watch ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Mega Challenge’ on Zee TV.

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