The Indian Idol mania seems to have gripped most regional TV channels. I saw another version of the same with Shaan as anchor. This time the participants were kids. Towards the end of the program a kid was eliminated. The kid took the elimination quite gamely. Then to my horror, one of the judges, a female playback singer volunteered to sing a farewell song for the kid who was eliminated. I couldn’t believe that someone would something so foolish!! But it was real and happening! She stared singing a mournful farewell song and the kids face crumpled and she started sobbing.
Shaan looked like he wanted to slap the lady himself, but being the gracious anchor he is consoled the child. Soon other participants were also crying and so were the kids parents. It was mayhem and left me boiling. The playback singer kept singing totally in love with her voice and the show deteriorated to mass hysteria.
If I was the kid’s parent or guardian I would have stepped in and stopped the lady from abusing the kid. Yes, this was abuse…this was emotional abuse of a kid!!! And the lady should be arrested for the same!!! And what was pathetic was that not a mention of this was made in any papers or news channel!
I saw a similar episode on a Malayalam channel with Usha Uthup as one of the judges. Even this lady couldn’t control her emotions when a contestant was eliminated. What are you trying to say? That "I am helpless because the cruel SMS’ing public is so clueless"??? What message does this give out? That life sucks?
It is high time someone puts in checks and balances to reality shows. Emotions are natural but if whipped up can have disastrous consequences. Will it take the suicide of a contestant for people to wake up? And wake up they will and ask for a ban on reality shows!!! After all we cannot expect a public that watches these shows to make rational decisions!
Winning and losing is not the only element of the game. There is something else called “taking defeat gamely” too! And it is this vital element that is missing from most of these shows.
p.s Do check out this post on reality shows in the Philippines.