Star Voice of India was an Indian Television singing competition that premiered on 18 May 2007 and ended on 24 November 2007. It was the first Indian singing competition produced by STAR Plus. The show was directed by Gajendra Singh, creator of the famous Sa Re Ga Ma Pa series and also featured judges that were on the Sa Re Ga Ma Pa series, Aadesh Srivastav, Abhijeet Bhattacharya, Alka Yagnik, Lalit Pandit and Jatin Pandit. Shaan hosted SVOI and has left Sa Re Ga Ma Pa.
The Grand Finale was held on 24 November 2007. Ishmeet Singh was the winner and Harshit Saxena was the runner-up. From the South Zone, Harshit received 55% of the votes; in the East Zone, he received 52% of the votes and from the West Zone he received 60% of the votes. However, counting the North Zone votes, Ishmeet won. Also, Abhaas won the Jury Award.
The Auditions were held in the following cities in India each between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Kolkata: Swabhumi 89 C, Maulana Abdul Kalam Avenue (700054) - 29 April
Mumbai: Bhavans College, Munshi Nagar, Dadabhai Road, Andheri West - 4 May
Indore: Hotel Fortune Land Mark, Vijaynagar, Indore - 5 May
Delhi: Shankarlal Hall Delhi University Main Campus - 11 May
Jaipur: Jai Club, Mahavir Marg, C Scheme, Jaipur - 12 May
Lucknow: Ravindralaya Auditorium, Charbagh, Lucknow - 18 May
Structure of auditions
Auditions for the show were held in the Indian cities shown above. Judges had then finally chosen 17 contestants out of the thousands that auditioned and the 17 contestants performed on the first two episodes of the show.
The audition process was not professional at all, and the contestants who were well connected with Gajendra Singh were promoted to higher ranks within the show. Shweta, a fabulous singer from Canada, winner of Best Singer in North America by Sangam Kala Group, was invited by Gajendra Singh to participate in Voice of India. However, she was frustrated by the lack of integrity and the sort of mental torture that many contestants went through and decided to split. She was then selected to represent Sunsilk Gang of Girls and is currently performing at different shows in Canada.
Shortcut to auditions
In addition, there was another "shorter" way to audition from May 1, 2007 at 9:00 a.m. to May 10, 2007 at 11:59 p.m. that required the participant to be a subscriber and registered user of Hutchison Essar Telecom Limited ("Hutch"). The participant had to call 12399 from their Hutch mobile number and follow the instructions that required the participant to sing a song from their phone and asked personal details that would be recorded. If the participant didn't follow all the instructions given to them, the participant's entry would have be null and void. Inaudible and unclear entries would also not have been accepted.
The participant was only allowed to sing Hindi songs with a duration of up to 60 seconds. If the song went beyond 60 seconds, the song would not have been considered while judging the talent of the participant.
After five contestants were chosen, they were finally eligible to directly participate in the official auditions of the show held in Lucknow without having to wait in the queue for the auditions.
The prizes offered to the winner are:- 1. A contract for personal album with Big Music 2. A Chevrolet Car
Apathy of Judges
This contest has not been far from inaccurate judgment by jury. Basis of selection of jury are not consistent with the criteria used for judging performances. Jury members like composers Jatin and Lalit Pandit have been observed to accuse young performers of trying to copy voices of legendary singers on several occasions. However it can't be ignored that these jury members themselves have gained fame by plagiarizing other's work. Judge Aadesh Shrivastav began to use increasingly insulting comments towards the 'Prithvi' Team. In example when Arshpreet was voted out by the public, he commented that Arshpreet had not forgotten any songs or done any drama. This was clearly directed towards Abhilasha of the Prithvi team who had forgotten a song during the past performance and was not given a chance to redeem herself. The Agni also used the professional voice of Sunidhi Chauhan to aid two of their singers in their songs, while Prithvi did not. But over the times all the judges have proved to be supportive and confidant irrespective of which team the contestant belongs to. Alka supported Harshit belonging to the other team (Prithvi) when he forgot lyrics in Sanjay Dutt's episode. Latin & Aadesh also praised Abhilasha (prithvi) on her various superb performances.
Amul Star Voice of India (Star Plus) : Winner Ishmit Singh
Gajendra Singh shifted his famous show Voice of India to Star Plus as Amul Star Voice of India. The show is still being hosted by Shaan and the panel of Judges is still the same as Jatin-Lalit, Aadesh Shrivastav, Alka Yagnik and Abhijeet Bhattacharya. Auditions were held in many cities under the supervision of these five judges. Finally they got last 32 contestants who were again tested and they finally got 14 but as they wanted last 12 so they again tested them.
Contestants are in reverse chronological order of elimination.
Ishmeet Singh - Ludhiana, Punjab (Winner) & Harshit Saxena - Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh (Runner-up)
Abhas Joshi - Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh (Jury's Choice) (Wildcard entry)
Toshi Sabri - Jaipur, Rajasthan (Wildcard entry)
Mohammed Irfan - Hyderabad,
Priyani Vani - Indore, Madhya Prades(Wildcard entry)
Abhilasha Venkatachalam - Pune, Maharashtra (Jury's Choice-Female)*
Sumitra Iyer - Mumbai, Maharashtra
Mirande Shah - Ahmedabad, Gujarat
Arshpreet - Ludhiana, Punjab
Prantik Sur - Kolkata, West Bengal
Prantika Mukherjee - Kolkata, West Bengal
In Gala 1 all the 12 contestants set the musical stage on fire with their great performances. This Gala was just to show the voting details of the contestants.
In Gala 2 Anil Kapoor and Akshay Khanna were the guest judges and every contestant sang Anil Kapoor's songs of his classic movies. In this Gala the contestants were distributed among the two teams.
The Agni team is hosted by Lalit Pundit and Aadesh Shrivaastav and the Prithvi Team is hosted by Abhijeet and Alka Yagnik while the Jatin Pundit remained neutral.
In Gala 3 boys sang the songs of Kishore Kumar and the Girls sang the songs of Asha Bhosle. Amit Kumar and his brother were the guest judges of the day. It was the elimination day. Abhas, Prantika,Arshpreet and Prantik entered the danger zone but no one was eliminated.
In Gala 4 the theme was first love. Love was in the air and so the contestants sang the love songs.
In Gala 5 Alka Yagnik re-entered the game due to the request of the contestants and that day was of elimination. Everyone sang their song and Prantika, Prantik,Abhilasha and so Prantika was eliminated.
In Gala 6 everyone sang the songs of the music director Pritam as he was the guest judge.
In Gala 7 everyone sang the songs of Sonu Nigam as he was the guest judge. It was the elimination day. Prantik, Irrfaan,Priyani and Toshi Sabri entered the danger zone and so Prantik was eliminated.
In Gala 8,it was Vishesh Films time. The contestants sang the songs from the films produced under the banner of Vishesh films or if they were directed by Mahesh Bhatt as he, Pooja Bhatt and Mukesh Bhatt were the celebrity judges.
In Gala 9,it was the time to be get crazy with Sunidhi Chauhan as every contestant sang her song. It was also the day of elimination and the four contestants who came in bottom 4 were Mirande, Abhilasha,Sumitra and Arshpreet and so Arshpreet was eliminated.
In Gala 10,everyone went to their roots in India as they sang regional songs and the guests were Jimmy Shergill, Preeti Jhangiani and Sonia Mehra who came to promote their movie Victoria No. 203.
Wild Card Entry
Eliminated contestants on the show are given another chance to prove their talent through a wildcard entry which is started on request of judge Jatin Pandit. Wildcard contestants were judged by renowned personalities of music industry, however there are rumours that these contestants had personal connections with Gajendra Singh.
On Friday, October 5th, Toshi, Abhas and Priyani made it to the top three among the wildcard contestants. Originally, the hosts had intended to select only two of these three, and Toshi Sabri and Abhas had scored the highest votes. Abhas had scored only 16 votes more than Priyani, hence all the judges revised their decision and pressed for Priyani to be brought back into the show, citing that a difference of 16 votes is negligible in a contest where lakhs of votes are sent. However, some rumours circulate that this was done to increase the drama and TRP ratings of the show.
Chhote Ustaad : Winner Aishwariya
The director, Gajendra Singh, is now continuing with a series called "Amul Star Voice of India Chhote Ustaad," meant for children between the ages of 8 and 14.
The series is being hosted by VOI Jury-Award winner Abhaas Joshi and judges Shreya Goshal, Kunal Ganjawala, and Pritam.
Aishwariya----(Winner) Announced by Amitabh bachan.
Anwesha-------(Active - Runner Up: Second Place)
Prakriti------(Eliminated) (Wild Card Entrant)
Sonia --------(Eliminated) (jury's choice award winner)
Rigved --------(Eliminated) (Challenger)
The grand finale will took place on 5 April 2008. Amitabh Bachan and Juhi Chawla were the chief guests. Aishwariya was announced as the winner. Both Anwesha and Aishwariya are going to USA for a stage show. The Grand Finale was hosted by Abhaas Joshi and Shaan. To Canada Viewers, it was depressing to see Asian Television Network had said that the grand finale was 1am. However, it came 8:30 instead!
Harshit, Ishmeet and Toshi are participants of Jo Jeeta Wohi Superstar, which is aired on Star Plus.