This post isn't intended to hurt the sentiments of audiences. It is purely intended to convey that a grave mistake has happened. Earlier, there had been an outrage on a social networking site, when I spoke in support of a contestant who was constantly being abused in forums and blogs. What did I get in reply? Hundreds of comments threatening me that the audience is the most important aspect of a show and without them, nothing can happen and that I have no right to blame them for character assassination. Agreed the audience is important. I am part of the audience too. But why is it that some of us tend to leave sanity behind and look for cheap thrills and entertainment when the focus in a music show should be on music?
At a crucial stage in the competition, Ranjani has been eliminated, thanks to audience votes. I reiterate what the judges said here: The audience has made a mistake… a grave one. By ending her run in the show. Considering she was among the top two in the first round of the finals... And was the pick of the judges in the wild card round as well! One of the most versatile, boldest singers in this competition, who chose really tough songs, just to prove her critics wrong. And what did the audience do? Slap themselves on the face by eliminating her. I am sure anyone who is even remotely connected with music would realize the futility of trying so hard and yet losing out because the "masses" weren't convinced.
Sometimes I wonder what makes the audience vote someone out of a contest. Is it because they're accustomed to the age old notion that a heavy-bassy voice is a good male voice and a shrill, shreaky voice is a pleasant female voice? And that anything different from this is enjoyed, yet shrugged off when it comes to deciding? Is it because some dare to be different from mainstream "melodies" or "kuthu"s and explore other genres? Maybe because a lot of people think replicating the song as it is, and imitating the original is a feat worthy of votes, while absorbing a song's nuances and adding it a personal touch is considered
I guess it takes more than just good singing to impress an audience. In fact, it doesn't even need good singing, considering Ranjani has been one of the most consistent performers. And by performer, I mean singer. After all, this is a freakin singing competition!! I suppose a contestant not only needs to know what to sing, but also what to speak in front of the camera. It doesn't matter if it's from the heart or not. The audiences watching TV can't see your heart. They'll believe anything you say. After all TV is about histrionics!
We were all shocked at the elimination, and I've been waiting for the episode to be telecast, so I could blog about this. Most of the contestants have expressed a deep regret over this atrocious decision. Some almost in tears, some, just frustrated to no end. Of course there were some others who took this to their advantage and "expressed their deep sympathy by attributing their emoasional singing to Ranjani's elimination" and made it a point to say it in front of the camera. After all, projecting yourself as a do-gooder in times of crisis will win you votes won't it!
I am sure many of you, as viewers of the show, will take exception to my comments, because you may be intelligent viewers, and know that this shouldn't have happened. This post isn't aimed at you. It is aimed at educating the other majority- who get convinced by posters on transformer boxes and railway station walls, by histrionics and pretence, by looks, by preconcieved notions about music and voice- and sadly, forget that good music is above all of this. You may raise a point here, that the show is to entertain, so why am I asking you to concentrate on the music. The answer is, if you're looking for entertainment, go watch a movie. This is a music show. Enjoy the music, and vote for the music. Finally, I repeat what I said on the day Ranjani was eliminated (and which didn't make it to the telecast I am told): You may have broken contestants' run in the competition, but you cannot break the singer that's in them, the music that's in them. Good music will prevail, and all else will be forgotten in due time!