As another season of Asianet’s Star Singer, the mother of music-based reality shows, begins on March 31, its producer G. Padmakumar is a confident man. This signature show of Asianet has made or boosted the careers of all those who have participated in it, including participants, judges and anchors. Since good music always has its share of fans, Padmakumar feels that the show can be tweaked to suit their tastes. Excerpts from an interview with the producer.

The seventh season

Although Asianet is one of the pioneers of the genre in Malayalam, now every channel has one or two music-based talent hunts. So I was a little anxious about how the show should be conducted. The challenge is to come up with innovative ideas that cater to viewers by designing interesting segments that are entertaining and yet do not deviate from the musicality of the programme. The show has been off the air for more than a year and a half. Our viewership surveys point out how our viewers have always enjoyed the show. So, we decided to revive it with some drastic changes.

New features

There will be no SMS voting by viewers. All the judging will be done by the judges. Many doubts have been expressed about the veracity of SMS voting. So, we decided to do away with it. Moreover, we have done away with the idea of a hostess. Instead, M.G. Sreekumar and Rimi Tommy, two of the judges, will also host the show and interact with the 17 participants who were chosen after gruelling auditions. The third judge is Anuradha Sreeram. As usual, joining them on the judges’ panel will be celebrities from tinsel world and film music industry.

Designing the programme

I produced the fifth season of the reality show. So I am familiar with the potential and problems of the format. I have a team of four-five music buffs and producers to help me select the right mix of old and new songs. We also have grooming sessions to help the participants get used to the needs of the stage and the show.

Tough auditions

Asianet received more than 10,000 applications. Playback singers M.G. Sreekumar and Kavalam Srikumar and a producer were the judges in many of the auditions held all across the State. We had to call in the police to control the crowds in some places. Sixty youngsters between the ages of 14 and 25 were selected in the first round and then it was narrowed down to 17 – eight men and nine women.

The show

There will be 59 episodes and one mega finale. Instead of dragging the programme endlessly, we have decided to make it crisp. What is remarkable is that all the participants are trained singers. Their ambition is to enter the highly competitive arena of playback singing. We are sure that each has a bright future as a singer.