Sonys Indian Idol comes to Mumbai

MUMBAI: "It is not about unveiling some Pop Star, nor is it about another jury star. But Indian Idol is really all about unearthing one amazing talent."

Taking a clear jibe at the rest of the musical talent hunts going around, Sony Entertainment Television Indias executive vice president, programming and response Tarun Katial, flagged off the Mumbai leg of the ground hunt at a press conference held at Mumbais JW Marriott today.

Promising some high drama and emotions, the talent hunts Mumbai auditions will be held at Ravindra Natya Mandir, Mumbai on 25, 26 and 28 September. Accompanied by a 360? promotional campaign, Indian Idol is being tomtommed as the key driver for Sonys programming.

According to the Katial, the Delhi and the Kolkatta auditions were a huge success with over 3,000 candidates auditioning at each centre. Delhi, according to him, did surprise them with its talent.

With the channels latest launches like Hum 2 Hain Na and Aayushman flickering on the popularity charts, a lot is being pinned on the talent hunt. But the channel is hopeful that the seven-month long activity, which will culminate into a grand finale in February 2005, will help it turn around its fortunes like the original Fremantle Media concept Pop Idol did for its broadcaster ITV. The original hunt managed to catapult ITV's rating by 57 per cent.

But the conference really was an attempt by the channel to give the sneak preview of the programming to come. The easy banter between the celebrity judges, music director Anu Mallik, singer Sonu Nigam and director-choreographer Farah Khan, was a clear plus, just like in the hugely successful American version of the hunt "American Idol". While there are no prizes for guessing who will play Paula Abdul, what could well be worth watching out for is Anu Mallik's mean impression of Simon Cowell.

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