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IACA organizes Atlanta Indian Idol Championship

January 2023
IACA organizes Atlanta Indian Idol Championship

New champions emerged from among Atlanta’s talented singers on November 13, 2022, at the Atlanta Indian Idol (AII) Championship presented by India American Cultural Association (IACA) at Duluth High School.

[Left] Atlanta Indian Idol 2022 Winners: Prithvi Bhorali and Lavanya Muni.

Prithvi Bhorali, who wowed the judges and the audience with his euphonious rendition of “O Meri Jaan” from the movie, Life in a Metro, secured his victory in the Senior category. Lavanya Muni who stole everybody’s heart with “Jag Ghumeya” from the movie, Sultan, in her dulcet voice, took home the crown in the Junior category.

Dr. Swati Kulkarni, Consul General of India in Atlanta, presided as the guest of honor. Fuzail Rafi, grandson of the famous singer Mohammed Rafi, who was supposed to join her as the guest of honor was unable to attend.

Charged with energy and melody, the almost five-hour-long program included high-octane dance performances from students of acclaimed dance academies across Atlanta.

The championship engaged the audience and participants with judges who provided feedback and encouragement after each performance. Contestants were judged on various aspects of their performance including rhythm, diction, tonal quality, accuracy, and overall mastery of style, among others.

An attractive feature included an on-site SMS polling system by Text By Choice which allowed the audience to vote for their favorite singers by texting the first four letters of their names. Prithvi Bhorali, the champion in Senior category, also won the Audience Appreciation Award in the Senior category, while Aneesh Gosangari’s mellifluous rendition of the yesteryears’ classic, “Kuhu Kuhu Bole Koyaliya,” from the movie Suvarna Sundari, earned him the audience appreciation award in the Junior category.

AT_06_01_23.jpgIndrasish Chakraborty who sang “Roz Roz Aankhon,” from the movie Jeeva, secured first runner-up position. Bharath Pudi who sang “Main Agar Kahoon” from the movie Om Shanti Om was the second runner-up in the Senior category. In the Junior category, Ananya Muni, with her rendition of “Moh Moh Ke Dhaage” from the movie Dum Laga Ke Haisha, was the first runner-up and Aneesh Gosangari was the second runner-up.

[Right] All the winners of Atlanta Indian Idol Championship.

Dr. Raktim Sen, the program director of AII, awarded Director’s Choice Award to Monalisha Borgohain Saikia who sang “Agar Tum Saath Ho” from Tamasha in the Senior category, and to Aashi Salim who sang “Paan Khaaye Saiyyan” from Teesri Kasam in the Junior category. The award, as the title suggests, were his picks for the evening.

The evening began with beautiful renditions of the national anthems of the U.S. and India by past Atlanta Indian Idol champions. Anushka Chowdhury, AII Junior Champion, 2021, sang the national anthem of the U.S.A.; and Poulami Basu Thakur, AII Idol Senior Champion, 2021, sang the national anthem of India.

The judging panel included Dr. Kakali Bandyopadhyay, sitar player who taught Indian instrumental music at Emory University; Purnima Mathur, founder and director of Malhaar Music Academy; Dr. Sheela Thomas, singer by passion; and Asawari Gadre-Joshi, classical and light music vocalist.

Emcees for the evening Shaveta Jain, Mrs. India International as well as founder and co-creative director of BeTheYou, delighted the audience with her grace and charm. The energetic dance performances by the students of DanceFlix Academy (Anusha), gracious Bollywood fusion dance by NNKB (Kumud Savla), and spirited fusion performance by Naach Dance Academy (Sareena Nagpal) enhanced the Bollywood experience.

AII, the brainchild of IACA’s current president Chand Akkineni, and founded by him and Dr. Raktim Sen, made its foray in 2013 and opened to resounding success. “We wanted to create a platform to identify talented singers in Atlanta to promote and create visibility for their performances. IACA is glad to see Atlanta Indian Idol singers and winners become popular in the Atlanta Singers circuit. The performance of Junior singers, with exposure to western music, is exciting. Soon, some of them will reach greater heights,” Akkineni said.

The organizing team for the contest included program director, Dr. Raktim Sen; IACA president, Chand Akkineni; event co-chairs Dr. Paddy Sharma and Dr. Anu Bhat; registration coordinators Vidya Prakash and Asawari Gadre-Joshi; media director Jyothsna Hegde; Nicky and Deepak Bagdi for hospitality; Rutuparna Joshi for video and graphics support; and Nizar Bhojani for SMS polling tech support.

—Photos by Arvind Shukla of PhotosByArvind

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