Huge crowd, celebrity guests and a decked-up stage, the Super Singer 4 finals was as much about entertainment as it was about competition

After competing with the best of singers, five exceptional singers faced off at the grand finale of Star Vijay’s Super Singer 4, a television talent hunt that has garnered unprecedented following in recent times. A spectacular stage decked with bright beaming lights was erected inside the Golf Course Grounds at Guindy that hosted, apart from special guests from the music industry, thousands of people cheering on the finalists. At the end of it all, the audience’s favourite Dhivagar, who received most number of votes, was crowned the winner of this season.

Interspersed with performances by the popular singers and previous participants of the show, the first round of the finale was kicked off by Parvathy whose rendition of ‘Roja Vai Thaalatum Thendral’ from Ninaivellam Nithya set the bar high. But, it was the duo Syed Subahaan and Dhivagar that got the loudest of cheers from the audience. Just when one thought Syed had nailed the night with his heartfelt performance of ‘Vidai Kodu Engal Naadey’ from Kannathil Muthamittal, Dhivagar, after slightly losing his nerve in excitement, held himself together to deliver a superb presentation of ‘Humma Humma’ from the film Bombay. Watching him perform live affirmed the comments of judges that he is a ‘rock star’.

The evening, which unfolded over four hours, offered a number of occasions when the professional singers, who were invited to perform as guests, struggled to impress the audience as much as the contestants. The most enjoyable performance of the evening was the little duet Azhagesan had with actor and singer Andrea who sang a medley of old Tamil jazz numbers. .

The second round saw the finalists crank it up with Sarath Santhosh upping the ante with Om Sivah Om from Naan Kadavul. Sonia too impressed with ‘Marghazhi Thingal Allava’ from Sangamam. But, again, Syed and Dhivagar wrested the advantage from the others. While Syed sung the youthful ‘Sa Re Ga Ma’ from Boys, Dhivagar, who has not received any formal training, demonstrated that he could sing a classical number just as well as those who were formally trained. His execution of the popular and difficult song featuring Sivaji and M.R. Radha, ‘Neeyae Unakku Endrum Nigaranavan’, from Balae Pandiya prompted a standing ovation from audience and a kiss on the forehead from S. Janaki, the special guest for the evening.

The conclusion of two rounds was followed by a long wait for the votes to be counted and the judges to nominate their choice for the ‘Judges’ Choice’ award. In the intervening time, three Malaysian artists, named Rubber Band, Rabbit and Psycho, provided a taste of hip-hop as they rapped in Tamil.

A distinct advantage of watching the show live is that one gets the opportunity to see the kind of following that these finalists have amongst the people. It was clear that it would be a close call between Syed and Dhivagar but almost everyone knew the social significance of Dhivagar winning the competition.

As was widely expected, Dhivagar and Syed were the last two standing. After a customary countdown, which the audience didn’t want, veteran singer, S. Janaki gave away the grand prize of an apartment worth Rs. 60 lakhs to Dhivagar. Syed Subahaan walked home with 1 kg of gold and was the ‘Judges choice’. Sarath Santhosh came third on the night with Parvathy and Sonia taking the last two spots, each winning Rs. 5 lakhs each.

The real winners of the night were those behind this show, who made millions of young people believe that they could follow their dreams irrespective of their social background.