Wednesday, May 21, 2008

the verdict

There is karaoke and then there is kroaknight.
There are singers and then is a KROAKING.
I am still speechless.
What i thought  would be an extension of sunday nights at opus turned out to be a jaw dropping outstanding night of talent.
Not just that, but the ambience was amazing too.
I felt truly privileged to be part of it all.

- ANUSHKA MANCHANDA


comments shamelessly lifted from Sandeep Chowta's judging sheets. 

ROUND 1 - DISCO
Aditya Menon : Innovative Rendition, Decent performance. Can’t judge his ability to sing from this song. He sounded ok.
Alexis D’Souza: Pitching is all over the continent. Not her genre that’s for sure. Nothing in her voice for this song.
Arti Desikan: Too much dominance by backing vocals. Good Throw. Pitching issues. Decent performance.
Anaitha Nair: Pitching issues. Good song selection. Well supported by backing voices.
Andy. V: Knowing his forte, he was superb. Great adaptation to disco. Great Performance.
Judy Das: Benefit of doubt. No Throw. First contestant. Sound system.
Megha Girish: Pitching issues. She didn’t sound comfortable. Maybe a semitone down would have worked. Decent performance.
Neville De Nazareth: Opened song on one key and then started song on another. Pitching issues. Doesn’t sound like his genre. Good effort.
Roohshad Garda: Kept the nostalgia alive. He kept getting better towards the end.
Roopika Muthanna: Pitching. good to hear someone’s voice dominating the backing vocals for a change. Not her genre. Pitching faultered towards the end. Too much shouting
Sendil kumar : Too much reverb when singing. No Throw. Voice sound stronger when backing track joins him. Maybe its not his genre.
Sharon Chang: Pitching issues. Decent performance
Venkat Subramanyam: He doesn’t sound very comfortable. But He is a good singer. Adapted it well for his voice.

ROUND 2: R&B/ SOUL
Aditya Menon: Not audible. No clarity. Maybe he is just a good rock singer.
Andy V: Great Control. Well adapted, awesome timbre considering it’s a female song . brilliant .
Megha Girish: Great voice texture. Missed a few of the notes at the bottom. Loses her power in between. totally her genre . Great Effort.
Roohshad Garda: Didn’t pitch right in the beginning. Not audible with some of the low notes . nice voice texture .
Roopika Muthanna: Good in parts. Pitching issues. She didn't feel comfortable.
Venkat Subramanyam: This guy is so good. one of my favorites . Not one of his best performances though

- SANDEEP CHOWTA

The First Round – Disco

13 people march up to the guillotine – 13 very nervous people

Why do you put yourselves through this torture? Why?

No I’m serious, why?

I think everyone was under par, confidence seemed to be at an all time low. From 13 one selects 6 that go through to the second and final round. This is based on their overall performances on that night. Anything that has happened up to that moment, good or bad, is of no consequence and for those that are hell bent on getting through to the second round, it’s really a make or break moment and absolutely anything can happen. It all comes down to those 3 or 4 minutes you have on stage. What a nightmare.

For those about to sing – I salute you

Round 1 – Disco

Anaitha – If You Could Read my Mind

Your subtle ease and command on stage were your biggest plus points. You have a great voice too but maybe haven’t realized that yet and hence don’t use it to its full potential. I was sad to see you not get into the second round as I think you gave a good honest performance. If one could go back in time I would suggest re-working the song to make it showcase the voice you have. You need those one or two moments to show off and wow the audience.

Sendil - Another One Bites the Dust

I’ve heard you in Opus and I’ve heard you on the CD and I think you have a great voice. On the night this didn’t come through though. Probably down to a bad song choice. I don’t think it suited you and I know you could have done much better with something a little less glam and more your style.

Judy – Turn the Beat Around

I met her some time before the show. Good lord was she nervous. For some people nerves turn into adrenaline and someone high on a sudden surge of adrenaline can make for a great performance. I don’t think this happened with Judy. I love this girl’s voice and I think she has huge potential, unfortunately one isn’t scored on potential. I’m not gonna criticize her performance or her singing, I’m just gonna say this: Judy, you need to read Asterix and the Normans to understand how you can turn it upside down and make it work for you and not against you – fear can give you wings (it’s a fun read anyway).

Aditya – Super Freak

I really liked what you did with the song, you are a good performer and seem to understand what it’s all about. I think a song like this doesn’t come naturally to you but you took it on as a challenge and it worked. It’s a great thing to move in and out of your comfort zone so effectively. Good stuff.

Alexis - Murder on the Dance Floor

I’m at a loss for words here because you are one of my favorite voices on the CD and I saw little of that on stage. Firstly I think it came down to your song choice. With a huge variety of “singer” songs to choose from in the disco category this was not one of them. Probably everything else stems from there. You really needed something where you could have shown off that amazing voice you have and also something that you could have grooved to and had fun with on stage. DO NOT beat yourself up about this and do not beat me up for saying it either, it’s a lesson to be learned, learn it and move on, you have a great voice, now what’s it gonna take to make you loosen up on stage?

Venkat - Miss You

It was good to finally see you do something like this. You didn’t do it badly at all, in fact I thought it was quite good. You definitely should do more stuff outside of Sinatra and Bennett though, roll with it.

Nevil - Staying alive

You picked a song that is sung in falsetto. My question to you is this: Is that your real singing voice? I’m guessing here but I think the answer is no. You did it well though, I do give you that, but it came across as a novelty song as opposed to a “singing” song and novelty is not gonna get you far in a singing contest. It’s maybe difficult to find a disco song that would suit your voice but definitely not impossible. As mentioned before, I think you have a great tone and feel and you can get very far with that. Work on your stage presence – get comfortable – and do your thing.

Aarti - Lady Marmalade

Why Aarti why? Why would you go for a song that is almost ALL about attitude? It’s a singer’s song too, but… I see you more so as a traditional kind of singer, traditional diva stuff you know? But then of course I could be wrong. Anyway, it was nice to see you diversify like that. I liked what you were wearing, specially the shiny hair!

Sharon – I Wanna Dance with Somebody

What a super song for you to sing. I think it was a great song choice, I think you did well and I know you could have done better. I could not believe it – you were nervous? But… but… anyway, nervousness aside, you sang well and you looked like you had a great time. I look forward to hearing you sing in Opus again.

Megha - Hot Stuff

Pretty good but not up to your usual self. Was it nerves? I didn’t think you had it in you to be nervous. Again I think I am wrong. Vocals were not bad, performance was not bad but it was not mega (forgive that).

Roohshad – My First, My Last, My Everything

The Biscuit’s theme song (Ally McBeal), that’s at least how I know it. One of the better performances of the evening. No snazzy dance moves, no pyrotechnics but a good sense of stage and presence. Reasonably strong vocally, nice little touches here and there. Overall – good stuff.

Roopika - Don’t Leave Me this Way

A great voice and a decent performer but you did not shine as you can. I don’t want to keep repeating myself but this is a singing contest not sex – there’s a time and place to be safe. You did however get into the second round and by comparison I think you deserved it. But seriously, you need to let go, roll about with the punches, get knocked out a few times, get up and say “Ah, so that’s how it feels”. You learn your lines well but I don’t really want to hear lines.

…You trade in your reality for a role. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask – JM

I’m not a huge fan of his words, but he did make some sense…

Andy – You Sexy Thing

You sang well, your performance could have been better. It’s often the subtle things that count. Those glasses for instance, yup, the ones covering your whole face, maybe not a good idea. Much has been said about eye contact, so I shall not go there. Overall though – a neat job

Round 2 – Soul/RnB

Down to the final 6, nerves conquered, they line up against the wall.

Ready! …Aim!

Megha – Listen

What a performer. You put yourself out there, you sing your heart out, and everyone loves you for it, thank you.

Aditya - Hard to handle

This went very wrong for you. It was just a really bad song choice, from 10 seconds into the song it seemed evident that you felt the same way about it, the Black Crows version would have been great and a welcome change. Sure you would have nailed it.

Roohshad – Smoke Gets in your Eyes

I think you tried your best and it worked for you. Good show, these sort of songs suit you (I find them boring and cheesy) and you have a great tone for them as well as the attitude. I would suggest doing more stuff like this but having a modern edge to it. Re-work the vocals a bit etc. Nice.

Roopika – Vision of Love

What was up with that? You were good but why were you so holding back? You had it in the palm of your hands and you just let it slip away like you didn’t really want it. I don’t know what to say.

Musicality – Good (should have been excellent)

Stage presence – Okay (could have been excellent)

Venkat – Try a Little Tenderness

Really good. You’re quite fun to watch on stage, a side of you I haven’t noticed before. RnB or soul or whatever that was seems to be out of your comfort zone but you did really well with it, good for you. It’s great to see people doing something which is a challenge for them. I’m yet to see you do Baby Got back though, maybe you should do it as a duet with Roopika sometime, should be fun.

Andy – Without You

What were you thinking? Why on earth would you want to attempt a song like that? To win the contest??? Hmmm… well you did do that. It was a gamble and it paid off, congratulations (I mean it)… you were one of my favorites, but here’s what I think of your final performance:

It lacked feel, was far too watered down and your stage presence left much to be desired. It was a very brave choice of song and I think you over stepped your limits.

The End

It was very difficult writing that stuff up there. I do believe all 13 singers are in fact really good without exception and I’m not just saying that. But contests are difficult and they really do boil down to those few moments you have on stage. For those that are unhappy or disappointed with what they did, all I can say is, don’t take it too seriously, maybe there are lessons to be learnt, maybe you just had a bad day, only you can be the judge of that.

Mayank, Barry and his merry troop of ghouls – great, great stuff, excellent.

A super after party, great atmosphere, everyone having a really good time.

Gina, Shonali, Carlton and everyone else who organized this – really, really super show. It was great fun for me to be a part of this and I hope everyone else had a great time too.

Ciao.

- SHARMON IBRAHIM

Thursday, May 15, 2008

kroaking season 3 CD


CD Review by Sharmon Ibrahim


Alexis – TURN ME ON – NORAH JONES
Home after a hard day? Kick up, pour yourself a shot of something smooth, and turn her on.
Alexis, you are a breath of sweet, fresh air

Rooshad – SPIDERMAN THEME – MICHAEL BUBLE
Ha! You’re a funny guy… As quoted recently in the Daily Bugle – “…but I never thought he had it in him!”
I think you nailed it

Sendil – SHE’S ALWAYS A WOMAN TO ME – BILLY JOEL
Silky, mature, honest and heartfelt. Super stuff

Judy – WHAT HURTS THE MOST – RASCAL FLATTS
Sitting in the studio, from the first note, the sound of your voice is distracting. What a beautiful tone

Venkat – I LEFT MY HEART IN SAN FRANCISCO – TONY BENNETT
I heard you last year and I heard you this year. What you do, you do well, and then you do it better. I’d love to hear you sing Sir Mixalot–Baby Got Back

Arthi – WHEN YOU TELL ME THAT YOU LOVE ME – DIANA ROSS
Soaring effortlessly through valleys and peaks. Visions of cozy fireplaces and ski lodges. Marshmallows and mittens… (I have no idea, don’t ask) Really nicely done

Megha – NO ONE – ALICIA KEYS
What a different song for you to do. One of the most distinct voices – angelic, sweet, serene, spank-me-I’ve-been-a-bad-girl tone – great to hear you move away from the usual power-diva songs and do something like this ever so well

Neville – HOME - DAUGHTRY
Classic neo/pop rock singer. It’s all about the sound and you have it

Roopika – JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL – CARRIE UNDERWOOD
An aural exhibition of control and phrasing – it sounds really great too

Anaitha – UNFAITHFUL - RIHANNA
In the studio you mentioned that you were not really a singer (or something to that effect). Well… you sound great. An interestingly lovely tone and a great feel, you really seem to mean the song

Aditya – SUCK MY KISS – RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS
That rocked, really. From your performance in the semi finals to this. What to say… well… I’m very interested to see what you have up your sleeve for the disco and RnB rounds

Sharon – I HATE MYSELF FOR LOVING YOU – JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS
Wow! I was quite concerned when I heard you were doing this song. Y‘see, I had a huge crush on Joan Jett… uh… and Suzi Quatro… and Agnetha Faltskog, Debbie Harry too but… this is about you, sorry… Super stuff woman! Ow!!!

Andy – NO WAY – ANDY
Tight leather, headbands, wristbands and big blond hair – no, this is not S&M Fortnightly. 80s hair metal is what they call it. You go for those notes and you get them.

Megha & Roopika – WHEN YOU BELIEVE – CAREY/HOUSTON
What a vocally glam song to attempt. It could have gone wrong, very wrong. You both sound stunning in places and in others you just sound really good. I was looking forward to a cat-fight in the studio actually, that was the only disappointment. Ha!

Mark – ONE LOVE – HOOTIE & THE BLOWFISH
Another voice to be heard. Super tone and feel. Quite distinguishable – Mark as only Mark can be

Carlton – WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS – QUEEN
Oh… My… God… This is truly special, what a voice and what delivery. Most courageous, a lesson to be learnt: do your thing, and do it fully. Una voce dolce e potente. Bravo! Bravo! Encore!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Results: Pre Finals 3 ( 7th May)


















THERE’S KROAKING, AND THERE’S KONTEST KROAKING

By Stanley Pinto

Dear Carlton,

Last evening, your friendly contretemps with Mark about whether what was going on onstage was ‘Fun’ or ‘Hard Work’, got me thinking. And here’s what I concluded:

Kroaking is fun. It’s about standing up, usually pissed, and singing to a sound track that happens to be there, to a bunch of equally inebriated friends, even if you cannot carry a tune and haven't ever sung, not even in the bath. It’s about being silly, and making a fool of yourself, and all that really matters is that you joined in the fun of being silly. Fun.

Kontest Kroaking is different. It’s about singing for glory. It’s about being fundamentally a good singer, and selecting a song that’s appropriate to one’s voice, and working the accompanying sound track for the express purpose of demonstrating one’s talent. It can be Fun to the confident singer – but it is Hard Work too. The singer must work hard to be effective and to be the best on show.

To my mind, Carlton, last night may have been Fun for the audience, and of course it was, but contestants who didn’t recognise that they had to put in some Hard Work would inevitably pay the price of losing.

Most of the singers last evening were primarily good singers. I expect they had to be, to get to the semi-finals. To that extent, it was all most entertaining and enjoyable. But … and there’s always a ‘but’ when I write a critique, isn’t there!

There’s more to just being a good singer if one is to compete in a Kroaking Kontest.

There is, for instance, one key pre-requisite: selecting a song that makes the most of one’s particular voice skills. And then there’s another: Individuality. Innovation. I would explain that best by saying that a good singer who chooses an appropriate song and then puts his own spin on it will always, to my mind, be a winner over a singer who is great, and chooses an appropriate song, and delivers it as a perfect copy of the international singer who made it a hit.

So.

Andy has the most perfect, pure voice. He never hits a bad note. His pitching is exemplary. His ‘When A Man Loves A Woman’ was terrific. But he’s a Me-Too, too. I want to hear Michael Bolton, I will listen to Michael Bolton. There wasn’t a Michael Bolton before Michael Bolton came along – and that’s why he was successful. There was a newness to him, and he could sing, so he made it to everyone’s music collection. Will Andy? I’d have to be his friend, or his bitch, to buy his Me-Too recording of Michael Bolton’s original. But he is a grand little man and a truly gifted voice. I hope he takes it to the next level soon.

In that sense, Aarti’s attempt to re-work ‘Let It Be’ was most creditable. It helped that she’s a fine singer too. I’d buy her recording of it, along with several other singers’ recordings of that song, and stack it on my shelf alongside the original McCartney (it was McCartney, wasn’t it?) version. In fact I do have a few versions of that song already.

But Kroaking Kontests are also about putting on a show… and what a show Sharon Chang put up with her “You Just Keep Me Hanging On”. That girl is a star! I’d marry her just to have her perform regularly for me. And you don’t have to wash your mind out with soap, Carlton, because she’s sexy too!

There were several other high spots, of course. And a few that were just a little better than Fun. And that’s OK. We came to have a good time – and that’s what we got. Except when some fool stood up at the end and sang some Music To Leave and Go Home Too. Who was he, fer Chrissakes!



SHARMON IBRAHIM comments...

Enter Wembley Arena to the united chorus of seventy-five thousand people screaming their heads off as Axl Rose steps up to the microphone to the intro of Welcome to the Jungle…
Hang on… that's not Axl… that's Venkat! So why does he have a cigarette in his hand? Uh-oh…

Having said that, onto the contestants…..
Anuj
Your first song, Can't take my eyes off you, was not a bad song as far as the song choice goes but did it suit you? I think not. Needs much more emotion than that, is a tough song for the most seasoned singer and performer, apart from it being a lil out of your range I think. However, Piano Man I do believe was a different story. I liked it. It was pitchy yes, but at times you really had it. Billy Joel is really tough and you did it justice in your own way.

Kevin
CCR – bad choice for a singing contest (I'm gonna be saying that a lot). What you did wasn't bad, your tone is different and that's a good thing. The second song I liked very much actually, you distinctly reminded me of Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins) for some reason. I think you felt the song and did really well with it. Your act on stage is strong and confident if lacking in charisma but you did good and I liked it. Both the songs wouldn't showcase singing talent however and that's where I think you lost out.

Saurabh
Pretty Woman? Not only Pretty Woman but then it goes into the Shankar Eshan Loy Pretty Woman. I think that was quite a gamble, you would have really needed to work it with the crowd, some amazing dance steps, a few costume changes, back up belly dancers, pyrotechnics and maybe Aishwarya Rai on one arm to distract from a song that has little to do with singing talent in the first place – it didn't pay off. Again, bad song choice (very bad). The Bon Jovi song was a better choice (since it's Bon Jovi) but still it didn't go far and was not memorable.

Swetha
White Rabbit – I'm gonna say it straight off – bad song choice. You didn't do it badly, but seriously, how much acid have you dropped? Rule #1 – sing about stuff you know. The Dido song was much more suited to you, and was not bad at all. You need to work on being at ease on stage – you own it for those few minutes – so own it! It makes ALL the difference, and that's what true performance is about, not breaking a few moves here and there, command!
Aarti
Let it be – one of the two good song choices of the evening. It started well, went on well, but didn't go anywhere near where it could have gone. You are a good singer and perhaps this biased me in a way (I expected more). It's a jam, and there's ample freedom to DO YOUR THING. Even a cp would have done wonders for the whole deal (crowd participation). You look good on stage, if a bit hesitant, loosen up woman! Your second song was nice, I liked it. You seem much more suited to a song that is more structured and set. Move out of your mould, do something different, do something more challenging to yourself.

Adarsh
The first contestant on stage – a tough thing. You seemed a bit nervous, nobody can blame you for that. Did you feel the adrenaline pumping? The pressure to perform? This is your one chance, screw it up and you'll never see her again… however, you can use all this to really bring it on! The song Happy Together – all together now – BADSONGCHOICE
Nirvana, not bad, not bad at all, in fact I think you did it really well, a good song, but a bad song for a singing contest. It IS a singing contest – Kurt Cobain – a most influential name in modern rock today, a singing virtuoso, NO!

Aditya
Your first song – quite interesting to see you sing stuff like that. Not bad, but why? Your second song however, I think it was the highest peak in the evening. Singing, command, attitude, prescence, performance – you did your thing – this is what it's all about. Song choice was not great actually, ample room to bugger it up, but you pulled it off… superbly.
Sharon
I liked your voice, and you entertained me on stage. You are uninhibited, and a pleasure to watch and this can take you very far. Both not great song choices but not too bad either. Again, I think it's cos you pulled it off that it worked. Good job over all, am looking forward to hearing you with more vocally challenging songs.

Andy
Am not sure what to say. You almost won last years contest. I really can't wait to see what happens this year at the finals. Your first song (personally I hate it) – the best song choice of the evening. I expected you to nail it and you didn't disappoint. The Queen song was equally good, or perhaps better. You are no doubt a good singer with a wide range of songs that you would make your own and you are not scared to experiment. I do believe you would do justice to anything from Ella to Slayer.

All about Song Choice:
#1 – Choose a song you like
#2 – Choose a song you think you are good at
#3 – Choose a song that suits your vocal range
#4 – Choose a song that will showcase your vocal talent
#5 – Choose a song that you think will entertain the listener
#6 – Do not be safe, safe will get you no where
#7 – Do not be over adventurous, unless you can pull it off
#8 – Do not be uncomfortable vocally with the song you choose or the lyrics
#9 – Do not try to be what you cannot relate to
#10 – Do not try to copy, do not try to make it your own, do not try – just do your thing and do it fully

The Finals:
You are gonna be nervous, use that to your advantage
Warm up
Get lots of alone time during the day, make it a point
Talk as little as possible throughout the day
Drink LOTS of water (room temperature) throughout the day
Avoid dairy products (milk etc)
Avoid much sweetness (I mean sugar etc)
Have nothing cold to drink, no cool drinks, even at room temperature
Sleep a LOT the previous night
Either think of nothing the whole day or think of your performance
Drink no alcohol, not even a drop
If you smoke, try to cut down a tad on the day, if it's difficult, don't cut down at all, but don't increase or don't cut down drastically
If you feel great, you are gonna be great

All the very best to each of you, have a great time!



Thursday, May 01, 2008

Results: pre final 2 (30th april)




















Kroaking Semifinals Week 2

This week, to re-coin a phrase: "The EYES have it". Those who knew their words communicated best, as they are using their eyes to connect with the audience. Constantly looking to the left to read the words is as distracting as if you had a baby's dummy in your mouth. Simple rule to all contestants: every time you lose eye contact with your audience, you lose a vote.

Nevertheless, very high standard this week, and I am intrigued to find out who got through as quality was very equal.

Judy - Good voice which would work better if you warmed up. It's hard going first, and you had a little problem with pitching. Second song was much more confident. But never assume everyone knows the words - I lost a lot through lazy consonants. I just wanted you to let yourself go and...USE YOUR EYES!

Suraj - Great voice, great communication. You chose two contrasting songs that really suited your voice. When you smile. it's magic. So don't frown (practice in front of a mirror - you'll find out what I mean!) You really believed what you were singing and communicated that. Maybe your wardrobe, hair, make-up etc. needs a re-think (look in the mirror!)

Alexis - powerful voice for a little lady (sorry - hope that doesn't sound patronising!). Great songs. But your eyes let you down: the audience is in front of you, not the word-screen to the left. Practice using the mike in your hand off the stand so you can move around more.

Roohshad - terrific, loved the crooning. Brilliant fill with the dance on L-O-V-E. My advice is to find songs that say "this is Roohshad" not "I can do Michael Buble, Frank Sinatra etc." and... know your song. End of first song was a bit of a mess.

Venky - very brave choice "Ol' Man River" and you pulled it off. Great voice: your vibrato tickles the listener! You purr like Chewbacca...and what were you chewing? Not nice!

Neha - it took a while for you to warm up into your first song. Second song was much more energetic and came across as more confident. You have a very low range, but pitching was better on the higher notes. Explore your higher register more.

Roopika - you really choose interesting songs that show off your voice, which is magnificent. However, please warm up: it took a little while to settle into your first song. Pearl of wisdom: this is not T.V. where you need to draw an audience in. Here, you are on stage and need to give out to the audience. The answer is to keep your eyes open at all times and use them to connect to the audience. Closed eyes tend to make you look self-indulgent (and you lose that vital connection).

Mark - Sorry, your first song just did not "come together" because you didn't know your words. And the repetitive refrain at the end just got boring because you didn't do anything with it. "I live my life for you" was a vast improvement because you knew the words and it showed off your voice much better. Great potential but you need to work on your technique, and know how to warm up to get there.

Good luck to everyone - sadly I shall not be able to make week 3 or the finals as I shall be in UK. I'll be thinking of you next Wednesday when I shall be a school in South London training a boys' choir for two epic pieces I have written about the Tsunami for a concert at the Royal Festival Hall on May 12th. For me, this is the big time!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

performa . in . voice















































Ok I know I should’ve written this a while ago because I don’t remember who-sang-what anymore. And I don’t have a little red writing book. And even if I did, it wouldn’t be red.

In any case, the ball is back in my court. The score is hardly love all but still, facts are facts.

So first, there’s something about the first semifinal that always lends itself to an anticlimax. I remember how I felt that first year and the feeling is somewhat similar, if not as pronounced. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, http://kroaknights.blogspot.com/2006/05/showdown.html <%22>

Anyway, let us leave the sick-friend’s-bedside-manner aside and move on to the evening itself.

No doubt you will all know who made the cut and who didn’t and you all have opinions on who should have and who was doing a fix. And no doubt you will also know what Chris Williams thinks of who-sang-what and what everyone must do to become ‘better performers’. (Read with pronounced British accent)

I am not a critic, not a singer, not a ‘voice’ to be reckoned with so I will stick to some general, larger picture comments. On performance. Anyone who knows what happened on March 8th at Opus will not contest my authority on the matter.

Point #1: (Pet peeve)
Learn your bloody words. Put our pointless education system to some use. They taught us to mug and regurgitate what we’d read. Why is it so difficult? Because you have a voice, you forget you have a brain?

Point #2: (Also Pet peeve)
Never, EVER, show us when you’ve made a mistake. We don’t know what you’ve planned. There are enough singers at Opus who do not sing songs the way they were originally recorded (%^$#*&^%$). Let us believe you’re one of them. Do your thing. We have no expectations. But if you’re going to tell us you’ve FFFffrogged up, we’re going to think you’ve FFFffrogged up and we’ll hoopla another FFFffrogging frog.

Point #3:
Entertain your audience but not at the cost of your performance. If the audience isn’t responding, asking them again won’t help. Try singing.

Point #4:
I know its Opus and I know liquor is available. And I also know I’m the last person to advocate sobriety. But there are times, I have to admit, when it is required. Drink enough to lose inhibitions. Not to lose the plot.

Point #5:
Finally and most important. This is slightly philosophical but it’s a mantra. Be honest. Don’t try and be something or someone you’re not. We can spot it from a mile away. The practical way to put it is to play to your strengths. Experiment, by all means, but not on us.

Will wait for the cascade of comments before I decide whether to leave town or not.
Getting on stage is the easy part. What you do once you’re up there is the hardest thing ever, no matter how good you are and no matter how often you’ve been there. Congratulations to all 8 semifinalists and we’ll see you tomorrow!

Vivek Madan

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Results- prefinal 1 ( 23rd april)




















Right guys, so you wanna win?

Rule No. 1: Know your words - reading the words off the screen to the left means you have no eye contact with the audience. You haven't a chance. Nota bene (N.B. to you illiterates): this is no longer karaoke, it is performance.

Rule No. 2: Don't close your eyes - as soon as you close your eyes you lose contact with the audience. It immediately becomes self-indulgent. All it does it makes you look as if you have a bad case of constipation. It's not pleasant to watch. You've lost. Myopic sufferers: lose your glasses and pray you don't collide with the palm tree or fall off the stage.

Rule No. 3: Communicate! If you want votes, then you need to communicate what you are singing. Use your audience> Look at them> Make eye contact>Make them want to love you> Get them in the palm of your hand>Make them want to be you> Make them want to go to bed with you (if you are that desperate)!

Those are my general notes. Here are my individual reports for the evening (try to spot when my whisky glass was refilled):

SONGS FROM THE '60's:

1. Neville - great song, great presentation but just not warmed up. As a result, a little flat in pitch. Has potential, I thought.

2. Sendil - great voice but please read my general notes. Walentine? (Bite your "V"'s!) (Sorry - I used to do British Accent and Culture training).

3. Anaitha - tremendous performer and stage presence - you understand all of my 3 rules. However, singing voice needs work - technique to get breath and pitch.

4. Megha - a natural star! Corny song for karaoke but you pulled it off (and most gentlemen's in the audience!)

5. John - fun performance but voice needs work.

6. Ravi - the song didn't do much to show off what seems to be a terrific voice. Struggled to get the audience to join in, so song choice really let you down.

7. Aishwarya (apologies - I know I haven't spelt that correctly) - energy under par. You have a major diction problem - I hardly understood a word. Good voice but it doesn't mean much if the words do not come across. Practice sucking, chewing, anything, to get those facial muscles working!

8. Nitin - this was a great song for your voice but you failed on rules 2 and 3 particularly. Practise in front of the mirror, especially to lose that frown.

9. Mark - brave song choice. But to pull it off you need to obey rules 1 and 3 particularly. Great tone but out of synch with the backing track and need to work at your breathing.

SONGS OF YOUR OWN CHOICE:

1. Mark - please read Rule No. 1. But questionable song choice as most of the song was on one note. You enjoyed yourself, but did we?

2. Nitin - frankly, I got bored. Far too much instrumental (huge mistake if you haven't got a physical guitar to manhandle). I just wanted to give you a dose of syrup of figs to relieve your constipatory agony. Nevertheless, I think you have great potential if you stopped being so self-indulgent. Pearl of wisdom: leave your audience wanting more (not less!)

3. Aishwarya - again, diction was a problem and you kept closing your eyes. However, the oohs at the end were beautiful.

4. Ravi - "Lightning crashes" is such a powerful song but you really need to know it to perform it. I couldn't make out any of the words when you were singing low. It just didn't communicate to me.

5. John - this song did nothing to show off your voice. This is a pity as I thought your eye work and audience communication was great.

6. Megha - mesmerising! Now you know how to work your pelvic region with the audience, find a song that really shows off your voice and brings tears to our eyes through wonder rather than we having to cross our legs.

7. Anahita- have an electric stage presence but you need to to work at your vocal technique for your voice to match it.

8. Sendil - wonderful voice. When you know your words, you will be a star... but only then.

9. Neville - the microphone is not an ice-cream. When you got it right, it was terrific and a great performance. (Get some advice about microphone technique).

Finished - 2 am - now I can go and watch American Idol...oh, my God! it's Andrew Lloyd Webber night! Aaaah! (There's one for you, Carlton!)

Chris Williams

Monday, April 21, 2008

Andy is dandy

You know that irritating thing about television that makes us think our lives are not good enough? Perfect moments, perfect timing, perfect teeth, perfect brea…kfasts. You get the drift. But when that sort of thing happens before your very eyes, and you haven’t even had a delusion-friendly amount to drink, you realize that art indeed imitates life.

My little red writing book is chock-a-block with underlines and circles and flowers and- for the first time, like some smitten teenager- hearts. We’ll come to that later.

First off, our old friend Verghese came back after ages, and reminded us of that James Dio-esque persona he pulls off so well. He was quickly followed by Kevin with a stunning performance of Megalomaniac. It is important to note that under Kevin’s name I have written the word ‘uzhoo’. Judy, breaking a jinx that took place week after shocking week, finally got her due. With a characteristically coy rendition of I Never Really Loved You Anyway, Judy broke into that now-complete list of finalists. Abhijit Sudhakar, another ghost from KroaKing past, came back with more tweezers and oranges, and successfully yowled his way through Living On A Prayer. Nitin- one of my hot favourites from Week 3- returned, and made the cut with panache, with Born To Be Wild.

And then came one of my unabashed beaming moments. It’s positively hideous to watch me when I get like this; I look like Little Lotta would if she swallowed a lightbulb. When Vijay sang My Way, I watched proudly as all the women turn to each other and said, “Why don’t they make them like this anymore?” It was a warm fuzzy safety-in-numbers moment, albeit without an answer. We didn’t have much time to care; Dino Morea was on stage shortly after, and aforementioned complaining women would’ve eaten some words except for the minor fact that they weren’t breathing.

What happened next goes directly into my special section.

Chickie in my pen

Megha Girish
A little bit of history first. Megha was with me at KroaKing 1. You know, back when karaoke was only about fun? There were enough lethal voices in Season 1 to make one feel like they didn’t stand a chance in hell. But when Megha performed Lady Marmalade, the rest of us may as well have just packed up and left. It is important to point out that we didn’t. We couldn’t; she glued us to our spots with her voice. Megha won that season hands down.

And now, she’s back in town, taking part again. The competition is insane, and it’s impossible to pick any favourites. But watch out for Megha.

Mamma’s most beloved boy wonder!

Andy
You know that thing about drawing hearts that I mentioned earlier? Andy was responsible. Eight hearts and one big flower, Andy. What have you done to me? After last week’s nonsensical repeat trick with the cell phone, Andy came back. This time, there was a sheet of paper pinned to a tree. Andy looked at me mockingly and began to sing. The rest, as they don’t say, is in the present continuous. Andy sang Love Me Like There’s No Tomorrow and everyone just shut up and listened. I was telling someone the other day, that there are very few voices that astound me, every single time they begin to sing. Andy is the only voice on that list who is not an international star. Yet.

Andy, I’ll call you when you’re on stage at the finals, okay?! Wink.

That brings us to the end of the qualifying rounds. Five people made it last Wednesday, since a couple of people from previous weeks have had to drop out. Judy, Andy, Megha, Nitin and Kevin.

That also brings me to the end of a fairly long relationship that I’ve shared with this blog. I first wrote here right at the end of Season 1, and haven’t stopped since. It’s going to be strange not to be here for the rest of this season. But I will try and survive on news I’m sure I’ll get from friends. It’s been an honour and a pleasure to spend week after week getting badgered by Carlton to write now, write now!

Have a great season, all the best and may the crown belong to the most passionate.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Week 7: Andy, get a landline




I’ve been sitting in front of this computer for an hour and a half. I have nothing. Let me assure you. If I didn’t absolutely have to write, this week’s post would have been a visual interpretation of a stunned silence.

And please don’t assume that the dumbstruck disposition is a positive reaction to last week. Not by a long shot.

Last week was the penultimate qualifying week at KroaKing Season 3, and also the penultimate week for me in Bangalore. (Pen. Ultimate. Smirk.) I have another week to go with this blog before I head off to a clement, balmy, pleasant Secunderabad. And I’m hoping and praying that I’ll have a lot more to say next week.

It’s besides the fact that the same people came back with the same songs. I can’t imagine why, although I’ve been doing it for years as well. I don’t care; I’ve had a tough week, and I’m allowing myself the luxury hypocrisy. Shilpa with Bubbly, Tania with Punk Rocker, JJ with Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Selwyn with Angel. Seriously guys. I’m planning a blog embargo for next week if you don’t sing us a new song. And I deserve a better farewell than that! So come on!

Through the entire evening, I remember smiling thrice:

1. For Russ who did Twist and Shout. I like Russ. He keeps thinks fresh and interesting, and I never tire of seeing him on stage.

2. For Stanley Pinto and Fly Me To The Moon. Stanley is a judge and not a participant; we all know that. But I found myself circling his name in my book anyway. Endearing as always, Mr. Pinto.

3. Actually, this was a beam. For Aishwarya, who sang one of my least favourite songs of all-time. But goosebumps are not bigots; they don’t have differences of opinion on genre, neither are they averse to alarming levels of smarminess. Aishwarya, you were my one shining moment from last week. What a magical voice you have.

Which brings us to my failed shining moment:

The Continuing Story of Bungling Andy

For those of you who were not present at the Kroak finals last year, congratulations! You were saved the trouble of cringing when Andy- easily one of the best voices in the house- pulled out his cell phone and proceeded to read the lyrics to his song- the ENTIRE song- from his phone. So there was a magnificent voice on stage, but the body that was producing that sound, seemed to be checking his SMS.

Cut to Kroak 3 qualifiers, week 7.
Paste.

Anyway. (Like, so whatever.) Three more have made it to that all-important list. Neha, Suraj and Aishwarya. Congratulations, you three, we’re looking forward to seeing more of your talent at the semis. I’m headed to Opus early tomorrow, in the hope that I can catch Andy at the entrance and confiscate his cell phone. Also, my Little Red Writing Book and I will say goodbye to you tomorrow, our last kroak-evening. So be there! And if you don’t know who the hell I am, be there still!

your last chance to get in

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Week 6: Little Miss Sunshine Says Boys Do Cry


If confirmed cynics like me allowed déjà vu to get to them, I might have sighed last Wednesday.

It felt like a Kroaking competition from at least a year back. Shyju was singing Uriah Heep, Roopika was back in town, Arfaaz was wearing his heart on his knees and Saurabh Dubey was performing a very 80s public display of angst again. Damn. I should’ve sighed.

But last week wasn’t just all about nostalgia: these guys were all back on stage to get back in the game again. The fact that only a couple of them made it goes to show just how competitive this has become. Shyju’s Stealin’ reminded me of a semi-finals from two years back as did Arfaaz who, no matter what he sang, would’ve sailed through back then.

There were the usual suspects as well. JJ, Selwyn and Martin. The latter two seem to have settled into a depressing genre of music. Better Man, Real Love, Bed of Roses, Angels, Iris…all these songs involve young men bereft of something, usually love, and is punctuated with their inability to sing something happy. This is a terrifying male version of a syndrome that Bette Midler went through, as did Shania Twain, God bless her annoying soul.
Martin and Selwyn, you boys should sing happy songs. Does it really matter if you get into the semi-finals or not? Sing happy songs! Come on. If Del Amitri could do it, so can you. And JJ, although you have (thankfully) broken off that gloomy relationship you had with Iris, I fear that this rebound with Breakfast At Tiffany’s is going to be a long one. Quick! Find another song!

Anyway, moving on from the rebuking. Many special mentions this week. The Talented Mr. Menzel pulled off a very sincere Romeo and Juliet. Sharon who has already made it to the semis, came back with that feminist anthem I Will Survive. My knees weren't as weak as the last time she sang, but she’s got something special all right. There was Russ Peterson featuring Aashith Shetty in a screeching interpretation of Pretty Fly. Just in case Martin and Mayank thought no one else could perform this song. Come on, boys! Let’s have a little fist out, shall we? Russ and Aashith walked away with last week’s Radio One Fatafat prize.

Priyanka Blah was Hella Good. She got an Underline in my book, and I’m hoping she’ll come back. Thing with Priyanka is, she does stuff not too many people do on the Opus stage, and that’s always refreshing.

The return of Roopika was akin to headline material in Opus circles, and for all the right reasons. Roopika's performance is flawless. As for her singing, read back issues. She’s one of the best we’ll ever have. I personally dislike the song she sang. Jesus Take The Wheel, besides conjuring an irksome mental picture of Jesus driving a pickup truck (oh no. now there’s a pink carnation.), does nothing for me. Roopika, I would love to see you do something completely different. Some bad-girl rock, perhaps?

Then there was my flavour of the season, Ravi Bhat, with Plush. Ravi, in my World XI, you will be captain, okay?

Moving on to Mamma’s sections.

Chickies In My Pen

Shwetha Jairam
Finally finally finally. Shwetha Jairam, who I’ve been rooting for unabashedly and whose name I spelt right for the first time today, has got her due. Success is sweet, you deserve it, I love your voice and all that jazz. It's a tough song to pull off, and harder still without the backing. You did a very decent job notwithstanding. Woo. Hoo!

Mamma’s Boys

Arfaaz Kaagalwala
Arfaaz was a personal pick, mostly because he sang one of my favorite Aerosmith songs. I was just lapping up all the nostalgia last week!

Saurabh Dubey
One of our shining moments from KroaKing 1, I was thoroughly pleased when I saw Saurabh in the crowd. And even more pleased when he made the top three. Another victim of the Mr. Bette Middler Syndrome, I am hoping Saurabh will happy up in a hurry as well. Welcome back, Saurabh.

So that’s another week down and three more names on that board in Opus, which someone needs to update regularly, no? Saurabh, Roopika and Shwetha, congratulations and get ready for the mad bad world of KroaKing. Err, again, in most cases.
See you all tomorrow. This time, the cynic will try and bring her rose-tinted glasses. But I’m not promising.
For those of you who didn't make it, and for those who want a shortcut to success, here's how you go about it. Radio One, the radio partner for KroaKing 3, has a special on the menu. Call the numbers listed below, and leave a message. Of course, your message has to be a song. The powers-that-be will pick three of the best voices, and those three will make it to the semi-finals of Kroak, purely on the basis of that one phone call. BSNL users can dial 1255594, and other landline and mobile service users can dial 505101094.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Weak 5: Anhoni ko Dhoni kar de




The long arm of justice often gives us the short shrift, eh?



It wasn’t one of those weeks where there are so many fantastic singers that a great voice must be sacrificed in favour of another great voice. For once, I could actually count off the fingers of one hand, the number of people who stood out. And it was something of a shocker that Shweta Jayaram didn’t make it. But there you go. That’s the orange coloured, purple striped pretty green polka dotted arm of justice for you.


Okay, enough whining.

Last Wednesday, it rained many many huge monkeys. (Sue me.) Good thing we were singing and not playing cricket, for instance. No loss for me, though; I’m mistaking singers for cricketers all the time.

First to impress was my main man, Venki, with yet another hit by The Doors, Back Door Man. While a part of me worries that perhaps Venki is not exploring his full potential, range-wise, I am quickly reminded of I Left My Heart In San Francisco. And that part quickly shuts up.

Mr. Mayank Tiwary, with his belly-shaking bouncy baby take on Tubthumpin’ was the Radio One Fatafat Man of the Week. Mayank has no illusions about his voice, neither has he any doubt of his stage presence. And that is a refreshing find. Our faithful friend Mrs. JJ came back with Breakfast at Tiffany’s, a song which will henceforth be called Better Than Iris. JJ sounded far more at ease and self-assured this time. Look what happens when you find another song, JJ? Come, let’s go rounding in your car!

Speaking of old friends, we also had the immense pleasure of Abhijit Sudhakar’s company. Abhijit was one of the stars of last year’s competition, and few have managed to get over his terrific green costume. Last Wednesday, Abhijit squeezed some oranges with his rendition of What’s Up.

Remya was back with her beautiful voice, but had a very unfortunate choice of song. Hero has got to be the most annoying song ever written. And it really doesn’t help that it is in the scale of Mariah Carey. Every time I hear it, I have a mental picture of nails against a blackboard. Remya, on the other hand, has grace, nonchalance and a quite control over the crowd. Even strong attributes like those pale before a song of such preposterous proportions as Hero.

Senthil warmed the cockles of my Tamilian heart with an unpretentious rendition of Every Breath You Take. Senthil was the second person to make the list last week. And then there was Anuj- from Hyderabad- who sang Angels. He was the third. I’m coming to the first.

In my special section this week, I have one gush and one lament.

Mamma’s Boy

Dhoni





Okay, fine, Ravi Bhat. This young man has created a huge fan following for himself over the past few weeks. Thanks to my unabashed and constant gushing, the announcement of his name on the mic is followed by gregarious chants of Dhoni! Dhoni! Dhoni!, most of which I start in my quiet corner. But all that chanting finally paid off. Ravi promised a different genre and delivered with a flourish. His performance of Kissing A Fool was easily among the best last week. With Ravi Bhat qualifying, I feel like my work here is done.

Chickie In My Pen

Shweta Jayaram
Absolutely confounding and ridiculous that this girl didn’t make it. Nobody but nobody I know can pull off Patsy Cline’s Crazy and Son Of A Preacher Man like this girl. It’s not just about the songs she picks. There is something in her voice that sets her apart, and I can’t believe that she didn’t make it last Wednesday. You know, I try to keep this blog as light-hearted as possible, but I have to admit that this truly bothers me. Anyway. The cookie crumbled. Your voice makes me misty-eyed, Shweta, and you should know it.

So three more frogs have been kissed by fools, into princes- Ravi, Senthil and Anuj. More mayhem at the Octopus’s Garden tomorrow evening. I have many butterflies in my stomach about tomorrow- I have a feeling it’s going to be insane. My little red writing book and I will be there. And this time, I think I’m going to give the beer a miss.
I intend to maintain the sobriety of…judges.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Week 4: Books in running brooks, sermons in stones and a Mark in every season


Life at Opus, although very far from being exempt from public haunt, teaches us a lot of things. Why, after being a part of three KroaKing seasons, I feel positively wise. One can only imagine the effect all this has on Carlton, especially in light of the fact that he’s just had another birthday. Giggle. Anyway, the point I’m trying to make rather inarticulately, is about one of the biggest Kroak lessons we’ve learnt: There can be no contest if there isn’t a Mark to spice things up considerably.

Season 1 had our dear friend and local jester Mark Swaroop, Season 2 had Mark Lazaro of the (please note) erstwhile Marry Me! fame, and Season 3 seems to have found it’s share of Marks as well. We decided to go wild and get two this season. The first is Mr. Mark Rego of the Booze and Brains fame, to say nothing of the getting-friendly-with-the-microphone infamy. And the second one is him on the left in the picture, except I have to admit sheepishly that I have no idea what his surname is. We’ll know soon enough. Last Wednesday had its fair share of good singers, but when this boy came up on stage, everybody shut up. Not so much because he’s built like a bouncer, but because his voice looks like it’s going to kick some ass as well.

Adarsh came back with Alice this time. No, the song. The one with the expletive in the refrain. I don’t know if it was the song itself or the lack of whiskey, but I didn’t feel the usual pink bubbles I do when this boy sings. Bring back the bubbles, Adarsh!

Then there was Nina, who always manages to pick songs that really suit her low gravelly voice. Sheryl Crow’s If It Makes You Happy is one of those songs. Anaita was another fresh discovery with ‘Unfaithful’. She’s has that small-person-big-voice thing that I’ve said with regard to Andy, and it’s absolutely fantastic.

And now, because everyone else I have to talk about is also on my Special List, we’ll move right along.

Chickies In My Pen

Shweta Jayaram
First of all, anyone who can sing Son Of A Preacher Man, has my attention. And you have a beautiful voice that you sing it in. I drew a big flower next to your name, in my Little Red Writing Book. I’ll show you!

Mamma’s Boys

Mark Insert-Surname-Here
Where did you buy that voice, and can I have the address? OutSTANDING. And you’re such a performer, too. I can’t wait to see you in the next round.

Dhoni
Ravi Bhat, actually, but who’s objecting. I know you’re throwing a tantrum about coming back for Week 5. I highly recommend that you stop this with immediate effect. I will be lying in wait tomorrow, in the hope of ‘embarrassing’ you further. Dhoni! Dhoni! Dhoni!

Venky!!!
What a song to sing, when you want to show the rest of the competitors what is what. What?
Yay. Venky. Yay!
You make me babble.

Three more in the Big List, then. Anaita, Mark III and Venky. Adarsh, Dhoni and Shweta, I still want to see you guys back tomorrow. And now I will go away. See you on the morrow.

P.S.- All apologies for the extended Will Shakespeare reference. These things happen to me on windy days and Tuesdays. Even Karen Carpenter won’t understand.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I see dead people. Walking around like regular people. And they all sound like Jim Morrison.


I’m really tired of gushing every week. See, in real life, I’m not so nice. Ask anyone. But this competition is bringing out a really irksome pleasant mushy side of me. I don’t even know myself anymore. But I sure as hell know a lot of people with a lot of talent.

The past couple of weeks have seen a very remarkable Jim Morrison revival and I can’t ignore it anymore. Between Ravi (God bless you!), Venky and Russ we cover various The-Best-Of-The-Doors collections each week. Carlton, you might want to change the name of this contest to LizardKing! Although I am still not writing about Venky, he did a deadly LA Woman. And if you read that sentence like I did, go stand in the corner and think about what a dirty mind you have. Russ outdid himself with Roadhouse Blues. I must say I love the spirit of guys like Russ and Mrs. JJ who come back every week and kick some lily ass.

But Ravi. Judges please note. Although Ravi sang an Audio Slave number on Wednesday, I am actually cheating and writing about his performance on Sunday. Because I can. Its called artistic licentiousness. First of all Ravi did one of my favourite Doors numbers. Touch Me is so euphoric and unabashedly maudlin; it just lifts the spirits of a crowd, if the spirits they’re drinking hasn’t already succeeded in that area. Beautiful, beautiful.

But enough about the many little Jims.

There were many many other fabulous singers that evening, some not even singing Doors songs. Adarsh came back with Collective Soul and more whiskey. He’s got something. Our lovely little friend from Season 2, Jude Lazaro, came back and left behind puddles of audience drool. What a charming voice he has. Another man worthy of mention is Nitin. Nitin sang a fairly common karaoke song, but there is nothing common about his voice. Every Wednesday at Opus, I make notes in a little red book, to help me with my write-up. Under Nitin’s name, I wrote, “Wooohoooooooo”.

Now that I’m done with the boys, here’s the thing that really happened last Wednesday. Many many magnificent female voices. Crawling out of the woodworks. And they all go into my special corner!

Chickies In My Pen

Shilpa
I love it when people who haven’t sung at Opus before appear out of the blue and wipe the floor nice and clean with every one else. So…hygienic. Shilpa was one of those voices. She sang Bubbly and had every one hushed like puppies, eating out of her palm.


Judy Das
Judy has a lovely quiet uncomplicated way of saying, 'I’m here, now back off'. Her rendition of Love Song was such a refreshing change from some of these Big Mamma types who try and sing at Opus sometimes. Wink. I personally think Judy should have made the list. Come back, Judy. Bring your brother with you.

Arti Desikan
Arti is by no means a new Opus voice. She’s probably one of the most experienced singers who made it that night; she’s done plenty of singing in the past. And you’ll know why when you listen to her voice.

Meghana Das
Extremely young, extremely talented and with alarming control and maturity in her voice, Meghana sang Before He Cheats, and made it straight to the top of last week’s qualifying list. Ladies and gentleitems. Watch out for this one.

Mamma’s Boys

Ravi Bhat
Ravi, on Wednesday when I was taking notes about the contestants, I put a curly line under your name. Girls like me, we don’t use curly lines. You have a voice that makes my lines curly and my vision blurred. AND you look like a lovely little Dhoni. It’s not fair.

So that’s that. The three who made it on Week 3 are Meghana Das, Shilpa and Arti Desikan. Since we’re on the topic of Jim Morrison today, I’d like to mention that many singers from last week have unfinished business. Judy, Nitin, Adarsh and Ravi deserved to qualify and didn’t, because we can only have three per night. Guys, come back.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go prepare a face to meet the faces that we meet tonight at Opus KroaKing Season 3, Week 4.
Be there. Jim’s coming!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Week 2: In which the writer's maternal instincts surface, and a new Venky is born

Remember I said something seemingly premature and presumptuous about how this competition isn’t going to be pretty? You thought I was kidding, didn’t you? If you weren’t there, you should’ve been.

No, I’m not writing about Venky, so you’re not going to hear a long-winded syrupy discourse on the wonders of Venky; especially not about how he makes such a beautiful little Jim Morrison. He and his cigarette politely spurned my musically-inclined advances on Wednesday, when I begged him to take part, so not a word about him. Pattooee. I spit on you.

I am not going to speak about Venky, because the times have changed. This season, ladies and gentlemen, Neville is the new Venky! I tell you. All these young boys come and sing with these big old fluffy voices. You’ve got to understand you can’t repeatedly do this to us. Women my age not only find it immensely disturbing that we are, indeed, old and past our prime, we also begin to see thousands of hitherto concealed advantages to being The Older Woman.

Then there was Adarsh who drifted on to the stage in all his skinny glory, whiskey and cigarette in hand, proving that men can, in fact, multi-task. What’s more, he sang a song that, in the vast ocean of alleged love songs, actually does something in that area. Adarsh did a decent job of Romeo and Juliet, and I clapped loudly and his whiskey smiled at me.

There was Barry with one of his mad magic mixes, which was probably the highlight of the evening. Barry alone is a stageful, but when little Jordan Menzel decided to join him on stage it was a little too much to handle. I think my womb sort of leapt on to my lap and did a little jig to remind me of my dormant maternal instincts. Mrs. JJ came back with another ironed shirt and a far better performance. Don’t Look Back In Anger suited him just fine, although he didn’t make the cut. Come back JJ! We’ll all go rounding in your car!

Then there was an overload of deadly voices, at the end of which my soul was writhing on the floor begging for mercy. Ravi with a classic rendition of Roadhouse Blues was another Jim Morrison heart-stopper. I personally think it was a little shocking that he was shown the doors. Ravi, please come back next Wednesday. I think you like, totally deserved to make it, y’know, and the fact that you didn’t, is, to quote Avril Lavigne, like so whatever.

While we’re on the topic, I think another person who should have sailed through, was Remya. Remya, you sang absolutely fantastically, and I will eat my non-existent hat if you don’t make it next week. So come back.

There was Rooshad next, and Mark Rego, who both did songs they’ve done before. There’s an obvious reason why they picked the same songs. Rooshad does a brilliant Save The Last Dance For Me. Almost makes you want to do as he tells you, if you’re the dancing kind. Mark, besides doing absolute justice to Billy Joel’s You May Be Right, also pulled off some questionable moves with a very terrified microphone. What a man. He’s got booze, brains, Billy and a belly dance.

The three who made it this week, are Neville, Mark Rego and Rooshad Garda. From what they pulled off on stage, I can’t wait to see these three in the rounds to come. But I just want to mention again, that I can’t wait to see Ravi and Remya back either. And that I’m still not talking about Venky.

Mamma’s Boys

Yay! I have so many!

Barry
I just want to say that men may come and men may go, but Tam Brahm Software Engineers will go on forever. Especially this one, with its strange mutation that hadn’t surfaced in our Tam Brahm till he came by: talent AND sex appeal. I don’t care what people say, you CAN touch this.

Jordan Menzel
The only non-singer from Wednesday to make it to this list. Jordan, I hope someday your parents show you this. I have a very weak heart, and if adorable little babies like you keep being adorable, I might just not make it through the season. You are lovely. And, err, alarmingly young for someone with so much talent.

Ravi
I’ve already said everything I want to say. Come back.

Neville
Ditto. You will, of course, be back.

Chickies In My Pen

Remya
You’re the only chickie in my pen this week. You sounded absolutely lovely. I can’t think of one reason why you didn’t make it, except, perhaps, three. The ones that made it. Still. Waiting with bated breath for you to prove my point next week.

SEASON 3 KROAKING FINALE PICS

INDIAN IDLE

INDIAN IDLE
KroaKing season 2 every wednesday