Amid my channel surfing to catch highlights of Yuvraj Singh’s sensational Test century today, I stumbled upon “Paadum Office”, a music contest for folks from the Chennai IT sector on Star Vijay. Incidentally, I had watched the earlier round last week and was surprised to find new snottier judges on today’s program. As I watched on, I had a strong reaction to a few things about this programme:
1. What exactly is the point in having a contest for IT professionals? To me it seems like entertainment for the sake of it, without any end to the means.
2. The snottiness and arrogance of the judges, esp, the Music College Principal appalled me. I understand that some contestants aren’t exactly nightingales, but to eliminate them even before singing one full line seems more like a witch hunt aimed to embarrass the contestants. A rebuttal to this concern of mine would be to say that one can tell a talented singer from a less-endowed one within seconds. Agreed, but, we must remember that these contestants aren’t professional singers, are bound to have some initial nervousness and need a few minutes for scale/shruthi alignment. What was completely “over-the-top” for me was one of the judge’s criticism of a contestant who chose to sing the shruthi-alignment phrase “Sa-Pa-Sa”. If neither of these arguments seems convincing enough, I will accept even that, but why broadcast the embarrassing bits? There is something called editing right?
I leave this with a note to Star Vijay and perhaps more precisely to the judges: treat the reality show contestants on this program with the respect that they deserve. These are responsible people who have a life, a job, and are trying to quench their thirst for exhibiting their music (which might have been their childhood passion, or something acquired in adolescence or later) by participating in the show. Treat them like human beings, nothing more!