Sony’s X Factor and Star Plus’s Just Dance are not just reality shows that have captured eyeballs because of their celeb quotient; the real heroes of the two shows are its contestants who are so talented that it’s difficult for even the worst critics of reality shows to stay away.
However, there are three contestants in these two shows who stand out as clear winners and literally blow you away in every act that they perform every week.
Seema Jha on X Factor, along with Abhash Sengupta and Ankan Sen on Just Dance — all of 17 years of age — set the stage on fire as they performed to popular numbers on these two shows that run parallel on prime time.
Unlike most teenagers who are conscious of their voice, body and looks, these three were the most uninhibited of the more senior lot — confident and very, very aware of their talents. While Seeema actually reminds one of Lata Mangeshkar, Ankan’s moves on Just Dance are unlike anyone I have seen on any dance show on the Indian small screen. Abhash, who did Hrithik Roshan’s Main Aisa Kyun Hun with a Michael Jackson twist, had judge Farah Khan reminiscing about her days when she used to copy the pop icon.
On Sunday, both Abhash and Ankan, who performed on Ye Hosla… from the film Dor, danced like professionals. Their expressions were bang on and so were their moves — clean and uncluttered, their body language oozing rhythm from every pore.
Seema performed Mehmood’s epic song Hum Kaalen Hai Toh — she not only got the South Indian twang right, but even managed to look the part. Throughout the song, she kept the judges entertained with her antics, without even a hint of a hiccup with the lyrics or the melody.
As I saw them on screen, I couldn’t but wonder at their levels of confidence; their body language belied any stage fear even though all the three come from middle class backgrounds, with none of the baggage that comes with being rich. They have a lust for success as I have never seen before.
I had to keep switching between the two channels as I watched these shows, but in the end it was worth the effort. Truly, what makes these shows stand out as compared to the other reality shows like Sony’s Indian Idol is the fact that as a viewer I can see the hunger in their eyes — the determination to do well and the hard work that that is needed to make their dreams a reality.
To be fair, both these shows aren’t just a platform for the young to showcase their talent. Gone are the days when we had reality shows where the top 10 were youngsters and all unmarried. Both in Just Dance and X Factor, the age of contestants is varied and so is their marital status. This is a great change on Indian TV and it means that not just the makers of these shows, but we viewers too have matured.
These two shows stand out because they encompass what is truly the spirit of a class among the youth — immensely passionate about what they want and the will and nerve to survive even the toughest tests.
Image courtsey Startv.in and Setindia.com