Thursday, April 02, 2009

Airtel Super Singer – Uravugal round

Airtel Super Singer began yesterday and I haven’t written anything about it as I did not follow it from the beginning. I missed Prasanna and Renu on the first day, so thought let me wait for the day 2 to complete. Well Day 2 completed yesterday and it was a good round.

All the singers were in their elements yesterday and the best performances came from Ravi, Ajeesh and Prasanna. The Uravugal round required the contestants to sing about friendship the first day and about Mother the second day. The first day saw Raghini immunized. She sang “Magic Journey” song from Anjali and gave a good performance. The rest of the performances were also good on day one. Vijay was very good with Veyil song and so was Ravi with his “Oh Nandalala” song.

The second day had 6 singers to perform and everyone did a good job. Ravi and Ajeesh were very good and Ravi was rightly immunized after yesterday’s Mother’s round. Again Vijay and Prasanna were good. Ranjani and Renu though gave ordinary performances as far as I am concerned. It seems like anything Renu does is fine for the judges. I keep hearing the same phrase every time from the judges that “Renu has a good voice”.

It’s getting boring now and it’s high time that she tries something different. She seems like a Sujatha type singer and the one who does not like to experiment too much. Most of the times you see her singing the same way without much improvisation but still the judges praise her like anything. Yesterday I can tell at least twice in her performance she had breathing issues but the judges completely ignored that in their comments.

For some reason even though Prasanna gave a good performance they were making some huge deal about his acting on stage. I thought it was a very unfair comment. Prasanna is one of the singers who are able to bring life and emotion to a song which is essential for a play back singer. Ask SPB he will say so. It’s not like Prasanna was all over the place with his singing but still the comments were not required yesterday. It seems like they are already finding a reason to eliminate him so that their favorite Renu can go all the way.

I call it biased but I am thinking that Prasanna is being punished for not learning music. Anyways that’s my opinion. Let’s waits and see how it goes today. Five singers still to perform one more time before the elimination happens. I will be back with the third day’s review tomorrow.

Airtel Super Singer western round – Day 3

There wasn’t much to look forward in the western round day 3 for me as it was just Ajeesh to perform in the competition. I guess it was a total boredom tactics by Vijay TV last night as most of us already guessed that there will be no elimination. They made all the singers sing again and few of them to repeat what they already sang.

As I said in the preview article Anupama finally made it to the competition as the chief guest and I guess Vijay TV did not expect just to have one contestant not spot selected. Surprisingly they started with Ajeesh, who sang an English song which was decent and everyone liked it, praised him a little bit and the chief guest said that she wanted to hear everyone sing.

Here started the total disaster for the day 3 episode. All the singers performed to make up the 45 minutes to complete the show and finally Anupama decided that Ajeesh is safe. Then there were some meaningless conversations between Srinivas and Anupama praising Ajeesh’s performance. Finally the show ended with Ajeesh joining the group again and yes there are 7 contestants left in the show for the third consecutive week.

This is just getting frustrating as after Aruna and Rohit there has been no elimination in the show. If you consider that Rohit was out only because he pulled out is even scarier. I am also getting irritated with the favoritism of the judges. It seems like Renu is one of them. The song which she sang yesterday was so bad and when we compare that performance to Raghini’s Tamil version the previous night the difference was even more visible. I am starting to wonder if Renu has to just turn up to get selected. She is monotonous, doesn’t experiment, Sings mostly P Susheela and Chitra songs and still keeps getting spot selected because the judges feel that her voice is good.

In spite of a legend like Chitra telling her to memorize the lyrics in a competition she still carries the lyrics in the hand. I think Raghini and Ranjani are far better singers than Renu at this moment. At least they try to experiment and sing different genre of songs. I have nothing against Renu but since I saw her first in the competition I would say she is the most unimproved singer of the pack.

Anyways let’s hope that at least next week we have some progress in the competition and there is some elimination. It’s almost going to be a year and we are not even close to identifying the top 3. I love the competition and hope that it goes for ever but it’s time to start the new season and finish 2008. Let’s hope the organizers get the point.

India look for a series win

India leads 1-0 in the 3 test match series against New Zealand after the comprehensive win in Hamilton last week. India will take on the hosts again and this time in Napier for the second test of the series. Dhoni and Gary Kirsten would want to wrap up the series in Napier. If this happens, it will be a great achievement from the team India.

India have announced an unchanged team for the second test match and understandably so. The batting looked good in Hamilton and the bowling was persistent. Munaf Patel has for now sealed the third seamer position in the team and Harbajan with his 6 wicket haul has solved the spin problem for now. Batting for the Indians has not been a problem in this series. Daniel Vettori knows that they have to do something different in the second game to upset the Indian batting line up. Their bowling looked toothless in the first test and did not look like taking 20 wickets.

New Zealand batting also struggled against Harbajan on a flat batting track. It was a bad loss for the hosts and it seems like on a good wicket they are no match for the Indians. Vettori wanted Jacob Oram to be back for the second test but that isn’t a possibility right now. It seems for the Kiwis Jeetan Patel will be back in the squad. The Kiwis will also worry about the form of their No1 bowler Kyle Mills who has been largely ineffective in this series in all formats.

All in all this will be another interesting game and I guess the toss will be important again for the home team. Dhoni and India would want to get the series win here to cap off a wonderful series. Best of luck to the team and hopefully we will win the series in Napier.

IPL Shift – unfortunate but practical

Yesterday BCCI announced that IPL will be moved to South Africa this year as the Indian Government failed to guarantee top security for the players in India. After the attack on the Srilankan team in Pakistan security has been a major concern for the foreign players in the subcontinent and with the General elections coinciding with the IPL the Govt said that they cannot offer security to the international players.
This was a great setback for IPL and BCCI as the tournament was a huge success in its first year and their negotiations with the Indian Police Department failed repeatedly. Finally Lalit Modi and BCCI decided to host this year’s edition in either England or South Africa.

After lots of deliberation SA was chosen as the venue over England due to logistics and weather being in the formers side. It’s rather unfortunate that the tournament has to be shifted to a different country as the electricity and the enthusiasm of the Indian crowd cannot be matched anywhere in the world. The players and the franchise owners are not that thrilled about this decision but they are left with no choice in the current scenario.

I think the decision was very practical by the BCCI and now the competition can go on without any security concerns. Even though this is basically an Indian tournament the involvement of International stars makes this event marketable anywhere in the world. South African cricket board seems to have been really thrilled to have got this opportunity and also their players and media seem to be really enjoying the same.

I personally did not want this series to go to England for two reasons. First is the weather and pitch conditions and second English supporters do not care about IPL or Twenty20. I am a part of a British cricket forum and I can see that they don’t give a damn about Twenty20 or IPL. So I guess it was a good decision to take it to SA who successfully staged a World Twenty20 just a year ago. Its really sad for Indian cricket that their premier tournament has to be shifted to another country and watching my team “Chennai SuperKings” play in Durban will not be the same as watching them in MA Chidambaram stadium.

But the silver lining is that the tournament at least will happen this year. This will also give players to get a good practice for the World Twenty20 which will follow the IPL. I hope that this year’s competition is as big as the previous year. I am sure that the SACB will do all in their ability to make this event a grand success. But I just hope that IPL is back next year to India where it proudly belongs. I will be back later with the profile of my team Chennai SuperKings next month.

Airtel Super Singer western round – Day 2

The Airtel Super Singer day 1 was impressive with all the three contestants getting spot selected. Day 2 had four contestants to perform and it was an interesting prospect with Renu and Ajeesh not being that comfortable with this genre. I wasn’t that bothered about Prasanna and Raghini as I thought that they will be very comfortable with this round.

The first performer of the evening was Ajeesh and he sang “Girlfriend” song from Boys and sounded horrible. I am not sure if he had any issues with his voice or something but it sounded horrible. He did not have any energy or enthusiasm to carry a song which was beautifully sung by Karthik in the original. It was a bad performance and the judges felt the same. He was rightly not spot selected.

The second singer of the night was Renu. She chose “Mudhal Naal Indru” song from Unnale Unnale. She gave a decent performance but I did not like the choice of song. The judges felt that Renu had chosen a safe option and a clever one. In the western round they were hoping for something different and peppy but were disappointed in that regard. Even though the song choice did not impress the judges at least Srinivas and Unni, Renu was spot selected.

To be frank I am just fed up with Renu and the bias the judges have towards her. I understand that she has the best voice among the female contestants but still her song selections have been one dimensional. She does not take any risks and overall I would rate her below Raghini. Anyways that’s my opinion. I was hoping that the judges would anyways make her sing on the final day so that she can actually sing a proper western song. The only time in this competition she sang something different was “Vaa Vaa pakkam Vaa” song.

The third contestant of the night was Prasanna. He chose “Something Something” song from “Something Something Unakkum Ennakum” movie. He did a fantastic job. There was lots of energy and spirit in his performance and the judges liked his performance. It was a great effort by Prasanna after being in the verge of elimination last round. He was rightly spot selected.

The final contestant of the day was Raghini. She sang “Unakenna Naan” song from Kadhalil Vizhundaen movie. It was a brilliant performance I thought. It was fantastic and she did a great job. I am growing to like this smiling version of Raghini. She is been performing brilliantly since her return. She is smiling more these days and has been giving stunning performances in the last few rounds. She was spot selected too. It’s funny that every time Srinivas has to say something good about Raghini he looks in total disbelief. Unni though seems to like Raghini and called her “Rags” yesterday after her performance. He was the one who called Prasanna “Prassi”.

So finally 7 contestants perform and just one of them not spot selected. It was unfortunate for Ajeesh. Before this round began I had singled out him and Renu to struggle and it became right in his case. I am not sure what the judges have in mind for the final day as there is no competitor to Ajeesh. He is all alone on the final day and I am sure unless he turns in a brilliant performance he will for sure get eliminated. I hope he gives a better performance tonight.

It seems like recently Malini Yugendran isn’t speaking that much in super singer. Yugendran seems to be talking a lot more. Probably due to some feedbacks received. Whatever may be the reason it happened for good. Anyways I will be back with the review of Day 3 tomorrow.