Indian Idol 2, the sequel to Sony's hugely popular reality show, has received millions of entries from all over India and even Bangladesh! Of these, 30,000 have been judged by the jury panel comprising Anu Malik, Sonu Nigam and Farah Khan.
Now, the competition has reduced to 28 contestants from all over India, 10 of whom are from Mumbai. rediff.com introduces you to the Mumbai finalists:
I have participated for the first time and was selected in my first attempt. I had a great experience. Fortunately, the judges were not rude to me. In fact, I got good comments.
I was in Indian Idol 1 but withdrew because my father was ill with a heart ailment. I was selected in the top 50 though. During my first experience, I was very nervous because of the number of participants. This time, I was nervous because judges knew me. But I got good reactions from them.
This is the first time I have participated in a contest. This is one show that attracts you towards it. I think I sing well and am a good performer. One of the reasons I participated is of course, the success of Abhijeet Sawant. And I like all three judges.
I have been learning music from Suresh Wadekar for the last 15 years. I also teach at the Suresh Wadekar Institute and do stage shows. I had a mixed experience. I was tense initially but, when chosen, I felt very happy. The judges were not rude. Whatever they said, I took in positively. Now, after seeing the episode, I know how right they were. They advised me to concentrate on my pauses, and I intend to work on that.
I am a South Indian from Delhi, but I have been living in Mumbai for the past 16 months. I came here to pursue my dream of being a singer. My father is a classical vocalist. I have learnt Carnatic music since I was a child. The judges did not say anything to me. I was surprised about that. I don't know if I should take it positively or not.
I am from Indore. I came to Mumbai 10 years ago, when my parents realised I was interested in singing. I have competed my graduation. I had a nice experience during the auditions even though the schedule was tight. We (the contestants) were encouraging each other in case our morale dipped.
I trained in music under my father. I have learnt for a year from Gandharva Mahavidyala and have not participated in reality shows before. I thought of participating in Indian Idol 2 because I feel I am trained to face the world. It has nothing to do with Abhijeet Sawant's success. It's just that here, we're getting a good platform to interact with people. The judges were not rude to me, as I didn't sing badly. In fact, they praised me.
I am a professional singer. I didn't participate in Indian Idol I but thought of participating this time because they presented the singers well in the last show. I also want to showcase my talent. It was a gruelling experience. Sonu Nigam told me my singing was westernised, and asked me to sing a typical Hindi song. During the auditions, I was nervous that I would change the song, which I had planned at the last moment!
I auditioned for Indian Idol 1 as well as Fame Gurukul, but didn't clear the pre-audition rounds. I got good comments from the judges in the final round of Indian Idol 2, although I had received bad comments initially for my facial expressions. I'm trying to correct my flaws, although I don't know how far I will be successful.
I am a Sociology graduate working at an advertising agency. I am also a student of classical music and know to play the drums. I don't even remember how and when I fell in love with music.