Musical reality shows are supposed to showcase the reality when it comes to the singing prowess of participants.. But what is the present face of reality shows? And what does the future have in store…

Not so long ago, a Musical Reality Show meant a platform where new talents showcased their talents and treated viewers to a wonderful musical treat and were also exclusive.

But today, such reality shows are a fad that has gripped every channel possible. These shows are dime a dozen, and almost every channel has such a reality show to offer, some presenting new faces while some are recycling old faces that had caused a stir when they had come the first time. Jo Jeeta Wohi Superstar (JJWS) ended this week to be replaced by Star Voice of India while Indian Idol fourth season is scheduled to get started shortly. The age old SaReGaMaPa by Zee TV has already rolled out its latest SRGMP Challenge 2009 for this year. Waar Pariwaar on Sony TV, Junoon on NDTV Imagine are few others that are on air at the moment.

Some channels have even gone on to capitalize on the past contestants’ popularity to belt out few more shows mixing singing with dancing like Chak De Bachche on 9X and Ek Se Badkar Ek on Zee. But do the shows offer anything new? Do these shows really have any aim? How much do these shows really help in giving the music industry the much needed playback singers?

Moreover, how real are these ‘Reality’ shows? With respect to the script, the many reality shows pervading our television don’t really qualify as reality shows because they are supposedly scripted with participants coached to act in certain ways by off-screen handlers, and events on screen are manipulated through editing and other post-production techniques. SRGMP this week saw Ashaji putting down her mike after making a statement which through sound effects and video editing was made to look as if she was banging the mike. Was that what really happened?? Mentors or the judges’ fighting have become part and parcel of all these shows. Junoon started with an envious judges’ panel but even that has taken the same path of showing controversy among the judges. Waar Pariwaar tries not to end any week without some drama or the other. But worse being that such shows are started in haste without proper planning or format structuring leading to sudden change of formats midway.

Whatever we are seeing on television is nothing new, including the selected songs by the contestants. A country like ours that boasts of such a vast musical heritage sees a recycle of the same songs time after time in different reality shows of different channels. Most of the organizers of such shows seem to be looking to make money out of viewers who send daily SMS to keep or evict contestants. Mostly this voting is dictated by the popularity of a contestant among the masses rather than quality of singing. The sustenance of such shows hinges on the involvement of viewers who vote to keep the show going and most feel aggrieved at the end of such shows. Either they are found complaining about more of drama and less singing or about the amendments made on the show of which they are oblivious.

Keeping all these aside, the saddest part of these shows are when the essence and objective of such shows get defeated as in most cases the winners fail to a make an impact in their field of reality. What is the future of this fad? Shall we see better, improved shows, or will a singer coming out of such shows be able to carve a niche in the musical world in the coming days? Will there be something interesting to look forward to? This is a question only the producers and creators of such shows can answer, provided they have an answer…

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