Oh God! I must get this out before it is too late or before my head bursts in excitement. How many of you watching Idea Star Singer thought high of Amrutha's performance (for which she got a 90) in the Fusion round? You guys need to check out this performance from another contestant attempting the same song in another competition. What? Another competition? Yes, Asianet is not the only one that is conducting a reality contest show. There are scores of others. Last September I had seen the much talked about SuperStar Global on Amritha channel in Kerala and I was blown by some of the performances there, particularly one singer Teena. But I was hardly prepared for stuff about which I am going to write about now.
After reading my blog my wife's cousin sent her a link to a video on YouTube about a singer called Roopa (sorry I write "a singer" because in Chennai you need to have Tata Sky or DishTV or the Set Top box to watch the Amritha channel). I did take a look and was very impressed. I was also impressed with the way the judges passed their comments, the telecast, the host and the music accompanyment (just keyboards, synth and software, and sometimes purely acoustic accompaniment too). Judges would give standing ovations and many times loose inhibitions and egos to appreciate the superb perfomances. Even the guests that show up are veteran singers, UnniKrishnan, Karthik, Gayathri to name a few. This is a rare thing on Asianet's Idea Star Singer. It is sad that Amritha channel has lesser coverage. Thanks to Asianet's marketing and reach, Amritha channel's videos gets fewer comments even on YouTube. Furthermore Asianet's also focusses on non-music things like Dance, Costume, Gimmicks, Acting, the audience and the orchestra. The orchestra in many places does not provide perfect support either. On the other hand Stephen does a great job on the keys and software to support performances on Super Star Global. This emphasizes the singers performance instead of the orchestra hogging the limelight.
Back to the main story. As I hadn't watched Amrutha's performance fully I decided to check out YouTube. Here is her performance that you may check and later make your own comparisions.
As I watched I couldn't help reading the comments comparing her performacnes to that of Roopa's on Super Star Global where several viewers have indicated about Roopa's superior performance. Next Stop, checking Roopa's performance and here's my conclusion. If judges on Idea Star Singer could give Amrutha 90 on 100 they would have given Roopa a 150. The performance was mind blowing. Check it out here.
and the comments, from the Judges.
Actually Amrutha's performance on Idea Star Singer literally pales in comparison to that of Roopa's. Amrutha's performance is hardly enjoyable after you watch Roopa's. Roopa is also more in control and seems to enjoy the song and delivery than Amrutha whose face is writ with tension and anxiety. The only consolation for Amrutha I have is the fact that she is only 17 whereas Roopa is 23. But as they say "the proof of the pudding is in the eating". What ultimately is expected is the better song and Roopa clearly wins.
In fact Roopa's performance even suprasses the original song sung by Sudha Raghunathan. Bear in mind that Sudha Raghunathan's song was made IN THE STUDIO. So it could have been done with a hundred or more takes and retakes. They could have even recorded Sudha's part seperately (though this may not be the case) and then fused it to the music track to create the complete song. Not to forget that Roopa does the English part of the song too which Sudha does not do in the original.
Simply put Roopa's version makes Sudha Raghunathan's version a "screaming version" and Amrutha's "cacophony".
However the best part is this. Roopa's performance is enjoyable both visually and aurally. Her voice and singing is perfect and enjoyable at the same time, something which both the studio recording and Amrutha's performance lack. Amrutha had also stretched her song making it longer while Roopa's is tight and crisp. Roopa also sings Malayalam lyrics (making the performance even longer) which are neither in Amrutha's song or Sudha's making me wonder if there was a Malayalam version sung by Chitra. Let me know if you have any information and I will report a comparison on the same.
The best part of Roopa's lovely and very beutiful voice is that it is extremely soothing and pleasant to hear. Looks like you could give her a bad song and Roopa could come out with a better version of the same. Personally I am not against Sudha Raghunathan or Amrutha but I must say when Sudha R sings I cannot stand regional intonations and accents such as as "Ishai" instead of "Isai" and such. It is just a turn off. Check out the three songs and compare yourself.
Next I dug up more of her vidoes and I couldn't believe what I saw. Performance after performance of excellence and mastery. Be that English, Tamil, Hindi or Urdu her pronounciation is near perfect. Just check out the comments (you will have to search them on YouTube) and you will know. The reaction from the audience and the judges tell it all.
I have to mention my friend Tee Pee (man are you listening?) who used to tell me about Thodi Raagam and how Thodi Ragam veteran TNS could make you cry singing Thodi.
This song is based on the Thodi Raagam. Here is another Thodi based song, originally sung by Yeshudas. The audio and video aren't very good on this one.
Here are her other memorable and unbeatable performances you cannot afford to miss.
Comparing her ghazal to that of Najim Arshad on Asianet I must say it was as good as if not better. Najim is the best on Asianet and very good too but I would rate Roopa better than Najim anytime.
She makes songs sung by other artistes sound better. In one of the comments session Unni Menon even said to her that after judging her for so long he was waiting to hear a better performance from Roopa than S Janaki who sang the original.
Songs sung by other artistes that I have ignored seem and sound much better. Here is one of them.
Tharamakumbil - terrific singing, great keyboards,
Sundara raavil, an acoustic delight with Stephon on the piano. Check out the judges comments where Chithra Iyer even confesses she doesn't feel she is in a competition but in a concert. Unni Menon thanks Roopa for giving him and other the good fortune of listening to this song.
And to top it all here is a song sung by Roopa who had only been out of the hospital with 5 shots (wonder why she took 5) half an hour earlier before her scheduled performance. Check out the comments video for the standing ovation from the judges plus comments. Roopa is almost shaking. Thank God she didn't collapse.
Raavil, Veena Natham pole...
After I dug more info on her (I just couldn't restrain myslef) I also understand Roopa is good violinist having won consistently awards for both her singing and playing from 2001 to 2005. A fan has even promoted a website on her. You can check it at www.rooparevathi.com.
Here is an overstatement. Roopa will be the next big sought after singer music directors will be see gunning for, more than any of the other contestants in the two competitions, Idea Star Singer or Super Star Global. Music director Jaychandran, actor Lalu Alex, and singer Chithra Iyer, all judges on SSG have already adopted her as their daughters. C'mon all this cannot be some conspiracy or a strange coincidence either.
Oh my God, I am on a total Roopa trip!.... Maybe I am so overwhelmed because I got it all in one shot whereas regular viewers were seeing things gradually. It is Saturday morning and I am still writing..I have been doing this for almost three days now.
I say just give her the Merc and close the competition. Really don't know what the organizers are waiting for. Maybe to let us listen to more of her, because we may not get to see more of her soon? She is just too big for the competition. No wonder Jayachandran in a gesture even wanted to leave indicating he is too small to judge her.
Final words. This is a highly opionionated review. Feel free to comment. For days now I have been blogging only about the singing contests on T.V but sorry guys I will write about other topics too. If only I had 48 hours a day. But the new posts will come soon. I value your patience.