Indian Idol: As reality unfolds, talent suffers under dogmatism

24 August 2018, 12:40 PM
Indian Idol: As the reality unfolds, talent succumbs under the negativity of dogmatism (Photo: Twitter)
Indian Idol: As the reality unfolds, talent succumbs under the negativity of dogmatism (Photo: Twitter)

Indian Idol is one among the top reality singing shows in India. The show is into its tenth season and running successfully. But the stark truth of the reality shows is often shadowed by the dark clouds of bigotry and skeptical euphemism. What goes behind the TV screen is beyond the imaginations of a layman, sitting in his drawing room. A Twitter thread of a man who auditioned for Indian Idol Season sixth in 2012 has gone viral which holds the bitter truth of the reality TV show. It raises questions about how reality shows treat their contestants.

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Nishant Kaushik has revealed his personal experience during the auditions of Indian Idol. His epiphany depicts the grim acrimony of it. He describes the show as "a perfect platform to destroy your dreams as opposed to its common perception as a breeding ground of talent". Kaushik narrates his experience of auditioning for Indian Idol in 2012. Kaushik describes how he had to stand in a 2-km-long queue to get inside the venue. Kaushik was among the contestants who were there just for an amusement, but there were others who were waiting in the long queue in an anticipation to get selected. There were many contestants who were accompanied by their kin and friends whereas there were other contestants who came by themselves.

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He talked about how he stood in the queue from 7 am but remembers that there were contestants who came in early and many of them had camped at the venue a night before, in an attempt to get ahead in the queue and be the first to audition. But everything went in vain, as the audition gates opened only at 1 pm. On reaching the venue, Kaushik realised that there was neither proper sanitation facility nor there were any arrangements for food and water. Despite the horrendous treatment, the participants were not willing to leave the place, in a fear that they might lose their spot.

The reality of reality show was yet to sink in. Even at 1 pm when the gates were opened, the relief of auditioning directly was like a distant dream. The crowd was thrust towards a stage on the ground, where they were forced to cheer an ex-contestant of the show lip-syncing to a song.

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Kaushik called the camera crew as ‘vultures’ on how they fed upon contestants as bait to make them dictate scripted statements. Some of them were manipulated by luring ‘an early audition’, but it never actually happened. According to Kaushik’s statement, this melodrama went on till 8 pm while there were no signs of auditions. When the auditions were about to commence, the next stop for the contestants was the basketball court, where the crowd was made to scream “we Love Indian Idol”.

While the drama was unfolding into a gruesome dogmatism, there were yet griever experiences to be witnessed. It was high time when people were starting to lose their temper and when an intimidated contestant stood up to understand where the auditions were happening, a so-called ‘vulture’ (crew member) slapped him. This incident went beyond the levels of bestiality.

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Amid the chaos, the crew began randomly selecting people and asked them to sing. Those who sang badly were then sent to rooms with cameras to record them. This process was then repeated in front of the prestigious judges, only to mock them and hype their entertainment quotient. The mockery was so grave that one of the contestants burst out crying.

Kaushik was evicted in round three of the bogus audition, close to midnight. Kaushik was rather glad about getting rejected so that he could go home and relax. Kaushik revealed that along with the contestants, even the labourers who assembled and dissembled the equipment were harassed by the crew.

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Kaushik says that every aspiring artist is already a star and needs encouragement. But the reality shows leave no stone unturned in disrespecting the talent as well as the artist. He requested everyone to not let the TRP hungry channels foster negativity into the minds.

This incident mirrors the glamorous world of celebrity magic and reality shows that often succumbs under the negativity of dogmatism, and amid this skepticism, a true talent can be doomed forever.

Read the entire Twitter thread here.

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First Published: Friday, August 24, 2018 10:35 AM
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