Many youngsters made a beeline for the VJ hunt of Asianet Plus

As the crew get ready to record another session of Asianet Plus VJ Hunt, the contestants huddle together, eagerly awaiting the results. Separate rounds were conducted for the boys and girls to prove their talent in the areas of presentation, song and dance. "There have been VJ hunts by channels like SS Music and MTV before but we had no idea what to expect here," says Sinoj Sidhique who has come all the way from Thodupuzha. The contestants seemed at ease as they stood under the spotlight and answered the judges with gusto. "I really thought I might make it. But at least now I know want to improve on the next time. Besides, I'm really happy for the winner," says an optimistic Melissa A., a student of Class Nine who was probably the youngest competitor of the show. "As one of the judges pointed out, I was self-conscious," recalls Nithin George who hails from Ernakulam.

Impressive confidence

"The girls displayed impressive confidence all through while the boys seemed more jittery. There is no dearth of talent but there should be more boys coming forward to prove they have it in them," says one of the members of the jury, actor Praveena.

Ace director Blessy stressed the importance of being able to do something apart from what was usually expected of a VJ and to face the camera intelligently without always bringing it to the level of a show based on comedy. "Prove your identity to the audience through your body language. Make your presence felt without a lot of silly small talk," he advised the aspiring VJ wannabes.The contestants were given varied contexts under which to display their skills as anchors of a show. Members of the jury also quizzed the participants on socially relevant situations and their reactions on such occasions. "It helps for a VJ to have a good sense of humour. I believe a smile is the solution to get past any situation," remarks Hari G., one of the participants, whose favourite VJ is Craig of the channel Southern Spice. Sinoj says, "patience is a valuable quality when anchoring a show. You have to be prepared to converse with different kinds of callers. Nikhil Chinappa of MTV does a fine job of it."

Right connections

"Many a time the anchor is too engrossed in himself to pay attention to the caller. One has to connect with the tastes of the caller. That is key to generating popularity and it should not be taken lightly. Professionalism is an essential requirement," notes Praveena. The competition also relied on viewer support through SMS. "What matters is how the contestants face the finals. I remember vouching for a guy who I thought would definitely win because I hadn't seen such talent in so many years of my career as producer. But he lost his cool in the finals and so, didn't make it. It's only human not to feel up to it at the crucial moment," says Mushtaq, producer of the show. So while the hunt is still on, may the best VJ win.SAJNI V. SAHADEVAN