Who will win Indian Idol 5?Rajul Hegde in Mumbai
After months of speculations and eliminations, only three are left standing on the Indian Idol 5 stage.
The final tussle on Sunday will be between Bhoomi Trivedi from Baroda, Rakesh Maini from Agra and Sreeram from Hyderabad.
So who will be crowned the winner? Will it be one of the two talented lads or the lone girl standing? Well, we give you one last chance to reacquaint yourselves with the contestants before you start voting.
Don't forget to tell us who you're rooting for.
Sreeram has been consistent through out earning appreciation from the judges as well as celebrity judges.
"Every time I went up on the stage, I told myself to perform well because you don't get an opportunity like this everyday. So I wanted to give the best and utilise it to the fullest," he said.
For Sreeram, who has been singing and learning music for the last six years, performing on stage isn't new, but each time the results are declared, he said his hands and legs tremble.
The feedback he has gotten from his home town is very good. Filmstars to politicians are rooting for him. They have put up hoardings and cut-outs asking people to vote for him.
Asked if he will get enough votes from the South to win the competition, he replied, "People liked my singing and that is one of the reasons I have not entered the danger zone even once. That means people are supporting me, right?
Sreeram also got an opportunity to chat with his fans from different parts of the country and abroad as well.
"People from Pakistan and Bangladesh liked my singing and have asked how they can vote for me. It's a big achievement in itself. I am sure if people like your singing they wouldn't bother whether you are from that particular region or not."
Sreeram is clear that he will shift to Mumbai after the finale.
"Whether I become an Idol or not I will shift my base to Mumbai. I like the hustle and bustle of the city. After coming to Mumbai I have realised the value of time. I don't like to even waste 10 minutes. I want to really work hard and become a music sensation. I don't think there is any better place than Mumbai to fulfill my dreams," he added.
Sreeram has already lent his voice for judge Salim Merchant. "The best opportunity I got during Indian idol competition is to sing for Salim sir. He is one of the best composers in Bollywood. I could not have asked for a better start [smiles]."
Sreeram has also done background singing for a few Telugu films. He started his professional training only when he was in the first year of Engineering. But he has been performing on stage since childhood.
He was called the Nightingale of St Andrews School. His grandfather was a music lover. In fact, it was his grandfather who made him realize that he could sing.
Video: Rajul Hegde
Who will win Indian Idol 5?
Name: Bhoomi Trivedi
The only girl amongst the finalist talks about her Idol experience.
"The journey has been beautiful, adventurous and full of surprises. There is no tension of elimination but for D-day there is excitement and nervousness," she says.
She has a right to be as she is suffering from a sore throat. Asked what she thinks of her chances of doing well, she replies, "It's a do or die situation. There will be no excuses, though."
Though she has been accused of not being a versatile singer -- her voice has often been said to suit only Sufiana and rock music -- Bhoomi thinks differently. "I can sing all types of songs," she confidently says.
Bhoomi is touched by the kind of support she is getting from her hometown.
"Every week my parents would come with the some pictures, cards and videos sent by my supporters. I have been staying away from my hometown for the past few months but I always connected with them through my parents," she adds.
Being the only girl in the competition, does she think that she has better chances of winning the title?
"I have no idea. Actually I want to pose this question to the janta [smiles].
Like Sreeram, Bhoomi is planning to shift base to Mumbai after the finale to fulfill her dream of becoming a playback singer.
"I came to Mumbai with a dream of participating in Indian Idol and through my journey I have realised my dream. I aspire to be one of the best singers in the industry [smiles]."
Bhoomi had auditioned twice for this show before getting selected. Her father loves to sing while her mother has her own music group.
Bhoomi started to learn music while she was in school. Bhoomi, along with her sister and mother, is a regular performer at Navratri events.
Who will win Indian Idol 5?
Name: Rakesh Maini
Rakesh's passion for music can be traced right to his childhood days. Due to personal problems, he started singing professionally after finishing school. Rakesh was rejected once during one of the Idol auditions but got lucky this time around.
"Indian Idol is the best thing that has happened in my life," he says of his Idol journey. "This platform has given me name and fame. Earlier, a limited number of people knew who I was. Now the whole country knows me."
He continues, "People wait for a chance to just get a glimpse of the legends but I got an opportunity to meet and learn music from them, which is like a dream come true."
Rakesh became one of the luckiest contestants on Idol when he was saved from elimination by the judges, who used the veto power to make it possible for him to continue his dream run.
"I am in the finale only because of the judges. I couldn't believe that they saved me from being evicted out of the show. I am really grateful to them. This shows how much they love and believe in me," he says.
Rakesh cannot stop raving about the judges. "They were very nice off and on screen too. Sunidhi [Chauhan] would come personally to every contestant and help us choose the songs and tips," he recalls.
Asked what he thought of his well wishers and supporters who are campaigning for him in Agra, he says, "I heard that people are performing special pujas at various temples and melas. Banners and hoardings are being put up all over the city. I really don't know how to thank them."
Image: Rakesh Maini