Talent hunts serve as a wonderful platform for talent which otherwise would not have a chance to showcase itself.
People from all walks of life, all ages participate in these televised shows. While only a hand few are truly talented, most of the applicants are hopeful that the judges might perceive them as they perceive themselves. While for channels it is all about garnering higher TRP’s’, for the participants its more ‘Now or never’.
The current craze for talent hunts on Indian television is unprecedented. Participants hailing from all strata of society are hungry for fame and success and view the competition more like their only chance of getting out of a mundane lack lustre life.
While for some it is about instant glory for many it is about a chance for a better life. While the channels make sure to glorify the contestants in the build up to the finale, all is not gold afterwards, as has been discovered by many winning contestants.
Most of the winners of talent shows have been unable to make much progress after the initial breaks that came their way. Mahim lad Abhijeet Sawant has been a tad successful with an album but he still awaits a break in playback singing.
Assamese singer Debojit Chatterjee has managed to cut an album too but a break in Hindi films has been hard to come by. Amit Sana might have got recognition to the extent that he became a household name but success in Bollywood still deludes this young man who has been making the rounds of the industry. As he struggles to market his self-produced album of songs, increasingly he finds himself disillusioned. His move from Chhattisgarh a small town to tinsel town Mumbai on the wave of his success in a talent show has been disappointing. There have been those who have been luckier than most.
Shreya Ghosal a finalist of ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’ and Sunidhi Chauhan who was spotted by composer Sandeep Chowta while participating in the ‘Meri Awaz Suno’ contest in 1999 have made it big in the music industry. They are proof perhaps of the fact that genuine talent will survive the odds. Perhaps it is the format of the shows itself which defeats the purpose of finding the best talent.
The shows in order to raise their TRP’s and garner public participation have involved the public in voting. The public is largely biased and, often, favoritisms results in true talent being thrown out of the competition. This has meant that while the final winners of the contests are definitely popular they may not always be the most talented.
Unfortunately popularity lasts only as long as the contest does and these faded stars are a reminder that success can be transient unless backed by genuine talent and discipline.
The truth is that contestants need to understand that these talent hunt shows provide only a platform. While you might obtain stardom overnight it lasts only as long as the spotlight is focused on you. After that you are on your own and you have to be able to sustain the head start the show has given you.