Sandeep Acharya has been crowned Indian Idol in the second season of Sony Entertainment Television's popular talent hunt show. The 22-year-old lad from Bikaner, Rajasthan beat the 19-year-old Karunya to win the title at the City Studio in Lower Parel.
Although, the support for Sandeep in the audience was overwhelming, one must note that until a few days ago, Karunya had been tipped as the hot favourite for the title. Co-host Aman Varma opined, "Kudos to Sandeep, but I still believe that Karunya is a far better singer. But then, the influence of the North-South divide cannot be underestimated. Hindi channels are not so popular in the South."
Judge Farah Khan disagreed, "I do not think regional voting has anything to do with it. If that was there, Karunya would not have come this far." She too acknowledged that Karunya was a better singer technically, but added, "Indian Idol is not just about singing. Sandeep has an immensely likeable personality. In fact, he was my favourite contestant right since the contest began. I remember the day he had come for the auditions -- oiled hair and a long kurta, to boot. He has undergone an incredible metamorphosis."
Anu Malik concurred with his co-judge and said, "Karunya has an edge over Sandeep if we are to merely talk about singing. But Sandeep has shown a remarkably endearing personality throughout. He has gone through the whole competition with a broad smile on his face, and has worked very hard. It was difficult to choose one over the other, and finally, God's finger fell on Sandeep."
Sonu Nigam said, "Sandeep connected with the Indian audience in a big way, and made a place in their hearts. His attitude throughout the competition, and the improvement he has shown, have been remarkable. Also, Karunya may not have won the title, but we all know how incredibly talented both these boys are. They have a very promising future."
'Almost-there' Karunya put up a brave show and congratulated Sandeep, "In a way, I am not surprised. The support he had from the public was mind-blowing." His mother, being more vocal, blamed the system of multiple voting. "A lot of multiple voting takes place, because of which my son did not make it. But I am sure that the ones who matter will agree that Karunya is the actual Indian Idol. At the end of the day, I am happy that his talent has been recognised and this show will prove to be a great platform for him," she said.
Undoubtedly, the night belonged to Sandeep. And no one seemed happier than his mother, who had tears of joy in her eyes. "I knew it from day one that my son will make it. His talent and his innocent smile have won the country over," she said.
Idol talk with Anu Malik!