'My main aim was to get noticed on Indian Idol 5'Rajul Hegde in Mumbai
Vishwas Rai, 29 from Allahabad became the first participant from the top thirteen contestants of Indian Idol 5 to get eliminated on Monday.
The music teacher intends to make his career in playback singing. He was also a part of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge 2005 and Ek Main Aur Ek Tu (where he was paired with Twinkle Bajpai).
He is married to Preeti. They have a four-year old son.
Vishwas tells Rajul Hegde that he looks at his elimination as a positive step, though he did not expect his ouster so early. Excerpts:
Do you feel bad to be the first person to be eliminated?
Yes. It feels bad to be eliminated so early but I am taking it positively. Reaching the top 13 was a miracle for me because I cannot forgot the day I gave my auditions in Delhi. We were standing in the queue for hours together in the scorching heat. The place became so crowded that the police ordered a lathi charge. I was very upset when they announced that the audition would not take place. But after sometime they relented and announced they will audition only those contestants who were inside the venue.
I'm satisfied that at least people have noticed me and appreciated my voice. That is the biggest achievement for me.
You got eliminated in spite of getting good comments from the judges for all your performances. Do you think it could be because of the age factor?
I don't think at 29 I look old in front of other contestants. Many people have started their careers late. For instance singer Abhijeet Bhattacharjee started his career post 30. I don't agree that age played an important role in my getting voted out.
I got to know that there was a power cut in my home town on the first day of the gala round. It went on for three days and people could not watch TV. And if they do not watch you perform, how will they vote for you? So I guess that could have been one of the reason [smiles].
Image: Vishwas Rai
Video: Rajul Hegde
'Anuji and Salimji have promised me a lot of things'
You also participated in Sa Re Ga Ma Challenge 2005 and Ek Main Aur Ek Tu. Why didn't you participate in the earlier seasons of Indian Idol?
After Sa Re Ga Ma, people promised me lot of work but no one kept their word. I had to struggle a lot for five years in Mumbai. I did a lot of work like singing jingles and also sang couple of film songs, only to realize that my voice was dubbed when the music was launched.
I returned to my home town and started teaching students, doing stage shows and singing at private functions. Recently I realized that I should participate in a reality show because one can be in the limelight for at least a year till the next season starts. My main aim was to get noticed on Indian Idol 5 and gain recognition for my voice and music.
This year there are a number of contestants, including you, who have participated in other reality shows. In fact, Yash Raj won a reality show as well. Do you think it is an advantage for experienced participants like you?
The show which Yash Raj won was nothing compared to Indian Idol. And at the end of the day talent matters the most. But I do agree that experienced participants like us can handle the pressure of reality shows much better than the others.
Who according to you are the three top singers?
Shriram, Shivam Pathak and Shashi Suma.
What are your future plans?
Firstly I would try for play back singing in films. Anuji (Anu Malik) and Salimji (Merchant) have promised me a lot of things. Sunidhiji (Chauhan) has asked me if I can participate in her stage shows. So let's see.
Image: Vishwas Rai
Video: Afsar Dayatar