Azhagin Azhagi 2020 is a reality TV-style beauty pageant which has been entertaining Vinmeen HD (CH 231) viewers since last September.

Astro recently caught up with the show's director Martin R. Chantheran, and judge, renowned local singer, to talk about their experiences, and unforgettable moments working in the pageant.

Director: Martin R. Chantheran

Please share with us more about Azhaghin Azhaghi 2020

In my opinion, Azhaghin Azhaghi 2020 is not merely a beauty pageant cum reality show looking for winners. It is also a talent search providing opportunities to 20 young women nationwide to showcase their skills and discover their hidden talents. We are happy to see some of the progress made in breaking away from stereotypes about women. I hope this show will motivate other young women to follow their passions in life.

Could you share about your background as a director and your experience in directing this show?

This is my second show with Astro Vinmeen HD after the success of ‘Pei Vettai’. I directed 12 out of 13 episodes of ‘Pei Vettai’, together with director, Karthik Shamalan. Besides that, I also recently completed a local feature film, ‘Hero Friend-u’ which is set to release early next year. As for Azhaghin Azhaghi 2020, I faced many unpredicted occurrences as this is a non-scripted reality show. My entire production team and I discovered each episode together as unexpected events unfolded daily on set. I believe this show gives the audience an interesting and fresh viewing experience.

Judge: Datin Seri Manimala

You were a popular singer and a well-known personality in the Malaysian Indian music industry. Could you share with us how your transition has been like from a singer, to a judge of a local beauty pageant?

This was not really a transition for me, as throughout my entertainment career which spans over four decades, I have had experience in various roles apart from singing, including acting, modeling, as well as being a judge of certain beauty pageants and singing competitions. It was great being a part of Azhaghin Azhaghi 2020, nurturing young talents.

What are some of your expectations and hopes for the contestants of Azhaghin Azhaghi 2020?

Firstly, I hope to see a lot of confidence and creativity among them and for them to unlock their hidden talents. Most importantly, I hope they enjoy this journey and gain some meaningful modelling experience, which will help them embark on their journey as a model. I expect them to make use of this journey as a stepping stone to pursue their dreams and passion after this show is over.

To the uninitiated, Azhagin Azhagi 2020 pits 20 aspiring beauty queens, who are placed in the same house for 20 days, where they will not only be gauged on their beauty, but on their intellect, courage and self-confidence as well.

The nine-episode will see an audition, and eight other rounds, including four elimination rounds - at the end of which 10 shortlisted finalists will proceed to the final round.

Local talents Bala Ganapathi William and Sangheeta Krishnasamy will mentor the contestants throughout their journey, and local artistes Sree Sonic and Thanuja Ananthan serve as judges, alongside Manimala.

Watch ‘Azhaghin Azhaghi 2020’ every Sunday, 9pm on Astro Vinmeen HD (CH 231). It is also available on stream on on Astro Go and on demand.

The Grand Finale of the show will be this coming Sunday (Nov 8), at 9pm on Vinmeen HD (CH 231).