Thats why I came to Singapore. Mediacorps' production. This was a talent hunt for youngsters between 13-17 in Singapore. They called me in to host the final episode which is why we landed here. Tipu and Harini came in as special judges as well.
I was told that this was the first ever time that they called in someone from India to host a show on Singapore television. This contest has been going on for the past ten weeks and was hosted by Ilamaran, one of the leading singers in Singapore. I was his co-host. The point about this show was that it was Live. It was a live telecast from the Mediacorp studios.
Ilamaran and I had a sort of a rehearsal yesterday to go through the script (for the first time in my life, I was given a script to host a television show and it came in even before we left to Singapore). Under the guidance of Thaamarai, producer of Yaar Andha Star, she is one very exacting person and very meticulous, everything went according to plan today, when we actually started rolling. Ilamaran was extremely affable and we hit off pretty well. Once we kinda went through the script, I went to give an interview and only had enough time to catch some zzzzz.This morning we went to the studios by 10 AM and I started writing points on my cue cards. Which was also a first. I actually got the opportunity to take down the names of the contestants, because I would actually see them and hear them perform live for the first time.
The show was for 90 minutes. Around 3 pm Ilamaran and I went to the floors for a dry run. Right from the opening walk-in to all the performances and the final bye we went through every line of the script. It was good to have a script to know what was coming when, and especially the names and what they were going to sing. It was also good to know how long we would take and whether we were running late. The dry-run clocked 93 minutes. We overshot by almost 3 minutes.
We went on the floors again at 6:20 PM and we were on stand-by. An interview with P C Sreeram was going on just before ours.
The best thing about this event was I was not nervous at all, which was weird, because I expected to be. Maybe I was OK this time because there was preparation and I actually knew what was going to happen when.
90 minutes flew past and it was a breeze because Ilamaran was great support. And when we said "Bye Bye see you next time" we clocked precisely 90 minutes. Yaar Andha Star was won by a boy called Koushik who was very good today. I must also say all the 9 singers today were very good. We heard that the talent level would only be "mediocre"", but when we did hear he performances, (most of them were totally untrained) they were very good. Also they do not have the kind of exposure to the wide range of music that Indians living in India have. Koushik was trained and it showed.
We attended a reception and dinner thereafter and I got to speak to a lot of people and there were a lot of photo-ops as well.
Today would be the best day of the trip. And I am totally waiting to come back home. Time and again its getting reaffirmed that I will not be happy anywhere except India. Nowhere but India. Nowhere but Chennai.