Swaroop Khan's ouster from Indian Idol was perhaps long overdue. This, despite the fact that Swaroop had his own charm -- a distinct folksy, rustic voice. However, where the youngster lacked was versatility -- a must in a contest of this nature.
With Indian Idol drawing towards the grand finale, the show seems to be getting more and more exciting. The quality of singing and the choice of songs have definitely improved.
Of course, the presence of celebrities has also increased the wow factor. If it was Aamir Khan last week, Dharmendra was in the spotlight this week in Indian Idol. The Garam Dharam looks as handsome as before.
Expectedly, the contestants sang songs from his and son Sunny's films. Each contestant got the opportunity to sing two songs and going by his reaction, it seemed that Dharamji was enjoying every moment of it.
This week's episode started with the glamorous Bhoomi Trivedi who sang the evergreen S D Burman composition Aapke Saajan Sawaan Mein from Chupke Chupke. The number is a hallmark Burman composition with the simplicity and catchy tune. Judge Anu Malik rightly said that Bhoomi was good, but not outstanding. This was in stark contrast to the remarks of the other two judges -- Sunidhi Chauhan and Salim Merchant -- who felt Bhoomi was superb. The other song she sang, Koi shehri babu was quite a flop. Neither could she get the feel right, nor was she in tune.
The same can be said of Rakesh Mani. Being from the same state -- Punjab -- as Dharmendra, Rakesh had a gala time on stage. Not only did they speak in Punjabi, but they also danced bhangra together. Mani first sang the beautiful R D Burman composition Baadal yun garajta hai from Betaab. So impressed was Anu with the performance that he said that Rakesh had already reached the Top Two! And Salim and Sunidhi agreed.
The other number Rakesh sang -- Pyaar ke is khel mein -- was not his best performance, and the judges gave him appropriate feedback. But all said and done, one must admit that Rakesh has the capability to create a nice musical ambience when he sings.
Sreeram -- being touted as the next Idol -- sang a song from Dharamveer, Oh Meri Mehbooba. He exhibited complete command over the song, and seemed to move closer to the title. Understandably, Dharamji and the judges were impressed. Sreeram also proved his consistency when he sang the title song of Aya Sawan Jhum Ke. So good was his rendition that Dharmendra became emotional and shared some nice trivia about the time when he was shooting for the song.
But the same cannot be said about Swaroop Khan, whose performance was becoming very monotonous. He sang one of Dharmendra's favourite songs Dum Dum Diga Diga but his voice broke midway. That obviously did not please the judges. His second song, Naukar Biwi Ka, was average.
Rakesh Maini was announced as the performer of the week once again. Looks like the August 15 grand finale will see a stiff competition between Sreeram and him.