Super Six

I had written a post about super singer getting too stretched out and boring this time, as we already know who the winner is going to be. But with the way things are going now, though this season seems to be stretched too long, it definitely isn’t as boring as it was when it all started. With the help of the voice trainer Ananth Vaidyanathan (who has done Voice Engineering in some European university) almost all the singers who are still in contention has improved leaps and bounds.

Finally, Prasanna is out, which is something I was looking forward to happen in next one or two rounds. Without a doubt, Prasanna is the best performer in the show, but unlike Hindi singing reality shows; here the focus is clearly on finding a voice for playback singing. I really don’t know what Indian Idol was all about; singing was the last thing that mattered to anyone in that show. Anyway coming back to Prasanna, the major problem with him was imitation. He doesn’t imitate just the style of singing or expressions of the original but also the voice, which is not good for a playback singer. Uniqueness is the key here.

I like the tie-breaker sessions where the singers are tested on how fast and well they are able to imitate a phrase of melody. In this era, where a singer is supposed to record a song is few hours and sometimes few minutes, it is important to have high absorbing power and that comes only to those who have done enough practice and who have got enough training in music. That was clearly evident in the tie-breaker session between Vijay and Prasanna. And finally now Ragini Sri, Ranjani, Renu, Ravi, Ajeesh and Vijay are super six contestants.

Ragini Sri – She has turned completely different after re-entering the show through wild card round. As Srinivas said, she is versatile but there are far too many limitations in her voice, singing and in general her attitude. She is totally unfit for light film music. The smoothness in singing a melody and the dynamics are totally missing in her singing. Her rendition of ‘Kaatrin Mozhi’ just shouts out the weaknesses that are there in her voice and singing. But she performed ‘Magic journey’ beautifully in the last round. In the western round there was nothing great about her ‘Unakkena naan’ performance, though I was amazed by her attempt at being a soprano by singing a classic western piece. Though definitely she has a career in music, how far she would be successful in a film music career is a big question mark. I guess she will be out in next one or two rounds.

Renu – She is Ms.Lack of Confidene. She has got a beautiful voice, but for her voice, there wasn’t a single performance of her which made me to say ‘Wow’ (But oh, I admired her ‘Entha poovilum vaasam undu’ performance). She just passes through with her sugar sweet voice. She has a lot to learn. Her breath control or breath management is pathetic and that greatly affects the flow of the melodies that she sings. Though Srinivas has been warning her and asking her to liberate and try different styles of singing, she just plays it safe with singing songs that she is very comfortable with. This strategy is not going to work for long as the competition is very tough now. She will also be leaving the competition in next few rounds, but Srinivas shouldn’t try too hard to retain her just because her voice is sweet. And I still can’t believe that Srinivas told that Renu could be next Shreya Ghosal, which was really too much. Shreya Ghosal is what she is today not just because of her sweet voice. If that is the only factor then Bela shende should be singing as many songs as Shreya Ghosal.

Vijay – I am not a big fan of Vijay’s voice. The quality of his singing depends on the type of song he sings. Vijay’s performance has become as inconsistent as that of Ragini Sri. I feel he is probably the next one to be out of the competition, though his ‘Strawberry kannae’ rendition seems to be quite interesting in the next live orchestra round (It is interesting to note that for a live orchestra round, most of the songs chosen were that of A.R.Rahman).

Ranjani is one singer whom I am expecting to be singing in films soon, irrespective of whether she wins the title or not. She has got a very unique and bold voice and she is the most confident singer in the show. In last few rounds, she proved how versatile she is. Right from the folk round, in which she sang a non-film folk song before Anuradha Sriram. It was such a brilliant rendition, that I nodded my head when Anuradha Sriram told that with this singing, she could be the Airtel Super Singer. In the classical round, though she was not spot selected on day one, she was brilliant in non-film classical round; she was the only singer who sounded thoroughly professional in that round. She followed that with a bombastic performance in western round with pure jazz title song from ‘Jillendru oru Kaadhal’ and the most recent ‘Yaaro yaarodi’ in relationship round shows how well she studies each song that she attempts to sing. Ranjani is definitely in my top 3 list.

Ajeesh has finally opened up his voice and is truly brilliant when it comes to classical based songs. His ‘Amma yendralaikaatha’ rendition was truly divine. Even ‘Kaatukuiyilu manasukkulae’ was good with apt expressions, attitude and throw in the voice. Among the male contestants, I like his voice the most. He also tires to improvise a lot on the spot, which is a good quality to be a playback singer. But sadly, Ajeesh is not so comfortable with western songs and that was evident when he sang the ‘Girl friend’ song. Ajeesh also has the chance to win the title, if he doesn’t repeat the mistakes he did in western round. He can definitely give a tough competition to Ravi.

Ravi is all-in-all Azhaghu raja of the contest. Give him any song, any genre he would study the song and sing it with utmost sincerity and bring out the song perfect to the last detail. His only problem is that he seems to be little over-confident now and also as Unnikrishnan keeps telling him, he has an annoying ‘Yae’ sound where he has to have more of ‘Aaa’ sound in his singing. Ranjani and Ajeesh will give a tough competition to him and he shouldn’t take them lightly anymore.

I would be deeply disappointed if Ranjani, Ajeesh or Ravi gets eliminated before Renu or Ragini Sri or Vijay. I wish to see a round where all the six contestants are taken to a recording studio, taught a new composition (could be done by Srinivas himself) and record the song with all the three judges being around and judging their performances. As it is very clear, that we are in search of a good playback singer, it is important to see how they perform in a studio, recording a new song that they have never heard before.