Sony claims huge response as 'Idols' kicks off first leg in Kolkata

MUMBAI: The journey of Sony's Indian Idol on what the network hopes will be its road to TRP riches officially kicked off today in Kolkata.

And if the number of registrations the channel claims have been received thus far, 200,000 in all, are anything to go by, the Indian avatar of the global reality hit should be off and running.

Speaking to over the phone from Kolkata, Sony's executive vice president programming and response Tarun Katial says, "Well, in Kolkata alone we have received 50,000 entries, and the place is charged with energy. Due to auditions taking place by prior appointment, the situation is pretty much under control at the venue."

Considering a figure of 50,000 in Kolkata alone, the question of converting every registration into an audition is not only an uphill task, but appears well nigh impossibile. Queried as to how his team was managing such huge numbers, Katial had this to say, "We have reworked our format in terms of our infrastructure, space and have pumped up our size to accommodate more people. What we have realised is that India is a different market and hence our means need to be in tandem. We've also extended our audition timings from 7 am - 10 pm."

Two days (8 and 9 September) have been set aside for the auditions with an additional day (10 September) slotted as a walk-in day for people who didn't manage to register.

Katial says all sorts of people have come in to contest, there have been sisters competing, a train driver accompanying his son, new moms. Also people from states outside West Bengal from as far away as Tripura, Jharkhand, Assam have come in to try their luck at fame, says Katial. There was even a boy from Bihar who had to be sent back as he was not carrying the appropriate papers, he added.

With the Kolkata chapter ending on 10 September, Idol's next destination is the capital.

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