Yes, general entertainment channels appear to have hit upon the right vehicle that will ensure their suppers as well as their desserts.There's a minimum of one 'music reality hunt' per channel, and more are in the pipeline. Channels yet to launch, like NDTV Imagine, have already announced two - Dhoom Macha De and Say Shaava Shaava. 9X, despite its clutch of different minded, well made soaps, has got itself a Mission Ustaad to spice up the weekends.And Zee and Star, still panting after the strenuous Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge and Voice of India hunts, have straight away plunged into kiddies' versions of the same. Music is the flavour of the season and apparently, there's no dearth of aspiring singers in this country. From the ages of five up to 80-year-old grandpas (who were welcomed on the aptly unsung Bathroom Singer), awesome talent lurking unknown in distant corners of India has suddenly found a platform. Actually, several platforms. If you can sing a tune or two, there are the Idols and Challenges to choose from. If you are just good at the lyrics, go for Bol Baby Bol. And even if you are an established singer relegated to 'playback' status thus far, go for a makeover and get your share of the spotlight on Mission Ustaad or Dhoom Macha De. It couldn't get any better. The question is - will the wave ride out the test of time?****
The Bluffmasters, the Kaun Banega Crorepatis and the Tol Mol Ke Bols and even the Jet Set Gos have all but disappeared, probably biding their time till the 'music hunts' lose their flavour. But with FM and its 24X7 Bollywood music a mobile phone click away, and a new slew of music channels at the country's doorstep, it's unlikely that the sound of music will evaporate soon.The most awesome talent on the hunts, though, has come from the generation that's still nursing milk teeth. On Zee's Lil Champs, the tots sing with awe inspirng confidence and some remarkable talent. Likewise, Star Plus' Chhote Ustaad that begins this week, has lined up some cute looking but ferociously gifted children on its show. These children understand competition, know no nerves and appear to be born facing the camera. If anything, it is the hosts and judges who seem to be having a tough time keeping up with the tots' quips and repartees.****Sahara One seems to have understood the rules of the music reality game a bit late. Nevertheless, it's jumped into the fray with some on camera spats, with Shekhar Suman as the instigator. Outdoor hoardings have capitalised on the fight, and news channels, on their part, have been happily replaying the squabbles between Suman and host Rahul Vaidya, as also the one between Suman's mentor Sanjeevani and judge Shabana Azmi. Nothing like some good fights to boost the TRPs. Next week's ratings should tell whether the exercise has been worth the effort.