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How fair are reality shows?

By Mahesh Peri
Last updated on: March 31, 2006 17:07 IST
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Another realty music programme has ended and another winner has been imposed on us.

The 'India ki Voice' could soon be heard at the big marriages, anniversaries and celebrations in and around the country. By voting out the best talent before the final, the channel has brought the fate on itself. Talking about marriages and anniversaries, whenever I hear our Indian Idol sing Mohabattein Lutaunga, I feel I am traveling in a train.

By the way, talking about Debojit's win, on a conservative estimate, the poor and struggling people of North East had sent 100 million SMS's making the people involved in making the programme richer by Rs 400 million. Debojit would have got a measly one percent out of it. Talk about equity and fairplay.

My heart goes out to Debojit

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Aryan's music is very cool

Reality Show and fairplay

On a recent visit to London, I saw how the channels protect the credibility of the result while still going by the public voting system. On a reality programme The Two of Us, where star couples sing for the best singing celebrity couple crown (like our very own Nach Baliye which was an Indian version of Dancing with the Stars), the programme ended at 8.30 pm and the result was declared the same day at 9.30 pm. The viewers had all of one hour to influence the result. Did I hear any one say, 'It can't happen in India?'>

I am reliably informed that some channels in India have revenue from SMS's as a target set for their programme.

How you spell money for reality shows

On the 'Ticker' trails

Last week, I decided to watch the tickers carefully. There were two tickers that said a lot about the channel flashing them.

One of the English channels had the following ticker 'Sourav scores 81 and still ends up on the losing side'. Let me finish the other half of the story that I got to read in the good old print product the next day. Sourav did score 81, off 146 balls. He had 91 dot balls. His other team members scored another 144 runs in as many balls. And yes, he bowled and gave away 29 runs in four overs. No wonder, his team members ended on the losing side.

The other ticker read as follows; 'Shiv Sena (of Maharashtra) calls for a bandh in Haryana against blasts in Varanasi.' I wonder how this ticker found its way past all the editors onto the channel. Wonder how this tiger roared in Maharashtra post Varanasi. I didn't read about it anywhere else, even after the bandh.

Suspense indeed!

It was Tuesday night and I was flipping channels for some interesting news. Our Dilli da `Headlines today' caught my attention. It had news about how the 'fans' of an Indian Idol contestant were seen protesting at their idol being voted out. Surprised, I turned to Sony, a channel that plays its cards so close to its chest. And lo and behold, the contestant was still there with all the suspense and melodrama still on. Just goes to prove, no matter what, news hounds can kill your suspense, if they wish to. Suspense indeed!

News Anchors and expertise

Most of the news anchors in India come off as duds who are trying to understand than explain. There is an air of arrogance coupled with stupidity in their questioning. The people who you can believe as knowledgeable are very few. The BBC in that respect had James Rubin, the former State Department spokesman, as a television anchor. Just imagine the insight that he can bring to anchoring!

Cricket commentary and Arun Lal

Arun Lal's interview of Board of Control for Cricket in India President Sharad Pawar some time ago will go into the annals of interviewing as the most 'crawl when you are asked to bend' interview.

Recently, complimenting Mahendra Singh Dhoni on his wicket-keeping abilities, Arun Lal said, 'He generally holds more than what he lets go.' I don't have anything against Dhoni but if those are the standards Arun Lal has, let's all pray that Arun Lal is not rewarded for that great interview that makes him any closer to the BCCI.

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Mahesh Peri