[V]'s 'Kudi n Munda' funda hits high notes in Mumbai

MUMBAI: The hype seems to have worked. While the first Popstars hunt resulted in catapulting girls-next-door to celebrity status as pop band VIVA and offered other participants their two minutes of fame, the talent hunt for the second edition continued to dazzle the youth.

That was apparent from the hordes that turned up for the second edition of the show Popstars 2. Those shaking their heads in disbelief should have checked out the crowd for the Coke [V] Popstar 2 auditions held at St Andrew auditorium in Bandra, Mumbai on 22 and 23 May.

Speaking to the, Channel [V] vice president, content and communications Keertan Adyanthaya said: "We don't have any barrier for our talent hunt, no entrance fee, no pre screening. What are essentially looking out for people who are diligent, persistent, lucky and good singers." True enough, the diligence and the persistence was seen on the first day of the Mumbai edition.

There were thousands of aspiring singers waiting in serpentine queues for their turn, typical young crowd sporting bandanas, colourful wardrobe and even colourful hair, mixed with some oldies accompanying the 'bachcha log' (kids), some patient some not quite.

While there were local 'kudi's and munda's' thronging the place hoping to get a chance to be famous, there were participants who had come from far flung places like Hyderabad, Gujarat and Jabalpur, just trying to get them selves on camera and hoping to get lucky. . There were throes of youngsters dying to get their sound bytes registered with the Channel [V] camera crew.

With everything going hunky-dory so far, trouble started brewing after crowd queuing out side the auditorium was asked to return the next day. According to the channel execs and those managing the gig had already taken in as many popstar wannabes as they could handle for the day. And since prior to the auditions there was long registration process the team was forced take people in small batches.

There were attempts to gatecrash, agitated 'aunties' threatening to sue the crew. With the crew being put to the acid test, the security muscle men had began to throw their weight around. The stunt didn't last for long. Later the aspiring pop stars started charging, proclaiming to denounce [V] and switch over to the rival music channel. Some even threatened to go to other news channels to get their woes heard.

When asked for his comment, Adyanthaya said: "We had clearly mentioned that the admission was on first-come first serve basis. The participants had started queuing since 12.00 am in the night. These were the dedicated lot who were there to grab the opportunity. There is time constraint and we had already taken in 400 participants and we had to be fair to them and give them the time."

When the got to the place on Thursday, the crowd was just too eager to tell their pop sojourn so far. A sister duo who had come all the way from Jabalpur, were peeved about the fact that they had been bypassed by a lucky few handpicked babes and had therefore lost their chance to audition. "They had the audacity to allow a pretty looking girl from the northeast, who by the way couldn't speak Hindi quite well, just because she looked the part and may be even dressed it," they said.

When told Adyanthaya offered that such scenario was unlikely to happen. It could be possible that the person might have got hold of the 'cut the queue' coupon but would be unaware as to how to use it.

" We have already offered people a golden opportunity right on their platter. If after that they expect us to do the lip service it is just too much a bother. Look at Palash and Shaan... they had to struggle a lot just to get heard. In the promotion that we carried we had VIVA girls touring the town, they also had offered cut the queue passes to few people who they thought had potential. Later we got to know that some people had actually sold off the coupons for 1000 bucks to others!" offered a piqued Adyanthaya.

There were stamp size purple, orange and larger red coupons, and still others who had been marked with [V] tattoo at the auditions. When asked to clarify the coupon-tattoo issue, the [V] spokesperson offered some lucky contestants were offered the coupons that would allow them direct access. It was purple one for boys and orange for girls.

There were quite a few interesting wannabes on the venue amongst them was a Palash fan, who just wanted to get his guitar autographed. Then again, he mentioned that he wanted his girl friend to see him on the television.

With the first edition that turned the channels future around, seems like the 'kudi-munda funda' jam-packed with all the interesting 'masala' might just do the trick once again.

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