Sony Entertainment Television hosted the Grandest and Greatest Finale of Indian Idol – Season 12 in a never-seen-before avatar, this Independence Day. It was a one-of-a-kind gala event – a first in many ways, it had over 40 acts spanning 12 hours. Planned as clutter-breaking and wholesome celebration of music, the viewer’s witnessed some of the popular musical maestros from the Indian music industry coming together to encourage the finalists and entertain viewers in a super special way.
After weeks of grueling auditions, gala rounds, and entertaining performances week after week, keeping the audience’s spirits high during stressful times, Indian Idol 12 found its Top 6 finalists in the at sin& Effervescent Pawandeep Rajan; Pitch Perfect Arunita Kanjilal; Bharat Ki Beti and someone who has seen an upward trajectory on the show SayliKamble; a new wave in music with international level singing Shanmukhpriya; Perfect Playback voice Nihal Tauro and a wholesome entertainer Mohd Danish.
In this specially curated, star-studded musical marathon, viewers from across the country, who have showered immense love to the show and its contestants, watched the scintillating performances not just by the Top 6 contestants of this season, but also by some of India’s top-rated singers.
On this grand occasion we spoke to Ashish Golwalkar, Head – Content, Sony Entertainment Television, and Digital Business, on how the whole finale was strategized, the connect with the audience, and much more…
Given the challenging scenario, SET has still managed to pull off an entertaining season of Indian Idol
I would give it to team effort and the positive attitude of everyone. While the team has been working hard to churn out episodes amid various protocols, they assured us that the spirit is intact.
12 years and counting; the USP of the show makes Indian Idol so popular
Indian Idol has been an exceptionally popular show and a hugely successful format for Sony. It is one of the most beloved singing reality shows in the country. It has introduced us to several musical talents from across the country over the years and undoubtedly changed the future of many contestants and made them stars overnight. And one of the biggest reasons for its success is its approach. While the earlier music reality shows were more focused on following traditional norms of singing, Indian Idol accepted and adopted the changing times and made it essential for a singer to not only sing well but also perform well as an artist.
Selection criteria – How does Indian Idol always get the best talent
Our focus has always been singing and incredible vocal performance. Even though the show this year conducted digital auditions, we saw massive participation. A lot of young contestants came forward and I must say that all of them have immense potential. Indian Idol cultivates and promotes outstanding untapped talent amongst the youth of India by nurturing them and providing a national platform to showcase their talent.
How have you consciously built a connection with your audiences?
At Sony Entertainment Television, we have reserved the weekends for the talent. If you see, most of our shows talk about the common man, their talent and celebrate that – be it Indian Idol, Super Dancer, India’s Best Dancer, Superstar Singer – our kids singing show. Very soon we will be launching Shark Tank too, as you must already know. It has been announced where we will be giving an opportunity to budding entrepreneurs, again that is talent, too, an art where one thinks of a business idea and then there’s KaunBanegaCrorepati as well. KBC is not about talent but more about knowledge which the common man can again connect and seek knowledge. So, all the shows that we’ve developed celebrate the common man through their talent or their knowledge and I think that has been our main USP and something that it is working for us and we want to continue to be invested in it.
This year the audition process was done digitally, how has the surge in digital thanks to the pandemic changed the way auditions are now done not only for Indian Idol but for your other shows also?
During the pandemic, the world has learned how to adapt to difficult and different situations. In fact, Indian Idol was our first show where we adopted digital auditions. The response was great however unfortunately we could not digitalize the entire show and had to package it physically. I think we identify this as a Hybrid model that was created a post in which we did Super Dancer 4 and recently India’s Best Dancer and KaunBanegaCrorepatis auditions too. There was a lot of learning’s from idols which gave us the opportunity to improvise it for other shows. Subsequently, it’s a hybrid model where there will be digital auditions and then people will have to bundle episodes physically which will give the opportunity to witness the talent. We’ve been both elated and lucky that not only Indian Idol which is in its final leg now but on the other shows as well, we have identified some incredible talent. You are already witnessing this on Super Dancer 4 and I am sure are enjoying it as well.
The Greatest Finale Ever for Indian Idol, 12 hr long, the reason for this?
It was all about breaking the clutter and creating a disruption. It was a huge task In front of us. The teams have been working day in, day out and we are looking forward to wrapping up this season amidst great splendor and fanfare. We are shooting the biggest finale ever! As I mentioned, one episode is for 1.5 hours and if we divide, you’ll understand that it’s equal to packaging 5-6 episodes for one finale. You have one day and you need to fill it up with 12 hours of content, there’s edit, music, musicians, there’s a practice that happens, costumes, and everything else. It’s taxing but also very exciting. Everyone is waiting excitedly for the 15th.