I was one of the hundreds of thousands of people who watched the grand finale of Vijay TV’s Super Singer 7 last weekend, which was shown on Astro. I had been following the singing competition from day one. In past years, I would only watch the show off and on, although last year I watched the last few rounds of Super Singer season 6 in full.
From the beginning I felt that Murugan, Punya and Vikram would make it to the finals and that the winner would emerge from these three. I was proven correct.
While I could see the immense singing talent these three have, I felt Punya might edge the others based on her showmanship and stage presence. But I was wrong. Murugan emerged the winner, with Vikram as runner-up. Punya and Sam Vishal were declared joint third-prize winners.
Although I preferred the song choices of Murugan in the finals over that of Punya, I felt she would win when I saw the four judges – seasoned playback singers Unnikrishnan, Anuradha Sriram, Benny Dayal and Swetha Mohan – rushing to the stage to hug and congratulate her after her second and final performance.
The judges did not do this for the other five finalists.
I think music director Anirudh Ravichander had also felt that Punya would win. This is because, immediately after the announcement of the third-placed winners, he announced that he would give Punya and Sam Vishal a chance to sing for one of the movies on which he was music director.
When was the last time a third-prize winner got such a break?
My feeling is that Sam Vishal got lucky. Anirudh could not just give Punya a chance and ignore Sam Vishal as both were joint third-placed winners.
Note that Anirudh did not say he would give a chance to second-placed Vikram.
Popularity Over Talent?I have since read that many people have criticised the results of the competition, with many of them saying either Punya or Vikram should have won first prize, with Punya getting more support. Many are saying that popularity and not talent, has been rewarded.
It is true that the anchors of the show have been, from early in the competition, making fun of Murugan and his nose, even calling him “mookutti Murugan”. This made him very popular. Also, he is not just a talented singer but can paint well too. He demonstrated his work during some of the weekly shows.
I don’t think it would be proper to blame the judges because the problem probably lies in the manner in which the show is run. People get to vote for the contestants too, and public votes plus the judges’ views are taken into consideration in selecting the winners.
It is a fact that not everyone knows or understands music even though we all love music. I appreciate music but because I did not go for music lessons, I do not understand the nuances. Someone who has studied music or who understands some of its intricacies will certainly make a better judge than me.
Some of those who cast their votes could have done so because the contestants were related to them or were their friends. Or perhaps they liked the sad stories about some of the contestants and their struggles. Contestants such as Murugan have had very tough lives. The struggles of Murugan and several others were earlier screened for all to see while the clip of Punya showed she comes from a comfortable family background.
It is possible, therefore, that some of those who voted might have taken this into consideration. After all, we all like to help those whom we feel have suffered in life. People often vote based on feeling. But, I must stress, Murugan has immense talent. I personally like his voice and his singing.
This is not the first time that the Super Singer show has courted controversy. When Anand Aravindakshan won in 2016, there was criticism that he was already a playback singer and, therefore, had had an advantage over the others. Anand had sung a few songs for movies by then. Critics noted that Super Singer is about unearthing new talent and giving them a platform to shine.
Well, the fact remains that Murugan is the winner. But at least those who supported Punya would be happy to know that they will hear her voice for a movie song or two, at least, in the near future.
Overall, I must say I enjoyed watching the various young aspirants showcase their talents from April till November.
Kathirasenar is a veteran editor and columnist with an interest in culture.
Photo source: ibtimes.co.in