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IACA presents its first Atlanta Indian Idol Contest

July 2013
IACA presents its first Atlanta Indian Idol Contest

Left: Anu Romesh won first place trophy in the Junior category.

Right: Bhishma Oza took first place in the Senior category.


Indian American Cultural Association (IACA) treated Hindi music lovers to Atlanta Indian Idol Contest 2013 at the Robert Ferst Center for the Arts, Georgia Tech, on April 27. First of its kind for IACA, the singing competition embraced the essence of Bollywood: music, dance, talent, and glamor in one show. Emceed by popular personalities Suchita Vadlamani and Ash Chandler, there was never a dull moment for the audience of over 900 who gathered to cheer the singers. SMS Polling for contestants on site was also a novel attraction!

After national anthems of the USA and India rendered by Dr. Aarti Pandya, dance schools performed at regular intervals through the program. Opening dance “Ga Ga Ga Ganpati”was by Shiv’s Institute of Dance. Planet U Performing Arts presented a medley of songs; Nritya Natya Kala Bharti performed “Sheila Ki Jawani” in Lavani style; Aparna’s Dance Academy presented a medley of classical songs; Geet Rung School of Dance and Music performed “Katto gilheri chammak challo rani”; and Prem’s Dance Studio concluded with “Bezubaan/Party on My Mind.”

The qualifying round had been held on March 24th and 31st. Of the 66 talented singers participating, 12 qualified from the Senior category, and 6 from the Junior category to compete in the finals. On show night, 5 of the 12 singers in Senior category qualified for the finals.

Winners who took home the trophy were (Senior) Bhishma Oza rendering “Tu Hi Re” from Bombay and (Junior) Anu Romesh singing “Jiya Re” from Jab Tak Hain Jaan. Senior runners-up were John Macdonal (“Abhi mujh mein kahi” from Agneepath) and Namita Jain (“O Paalan hare” from Lagaan). Junior runners-up were Navya Nuthivana (“Aisa Jaadu” from Khakee) and Kuheli Mitra (“O Sajana” from Parakh).

Judges included Dr. Aarti Pandya, Dr. Kakali Bandyopadhyay, Sujatha Rayburn, Prithwiraj Bhattacharjee, Anand Srinivasan, and Dr. Raktim Sen for the qualifying rounds. Mentors included Dr. Lakshmi Ra, Pankaj Bhargava, and Supriya Shridharan.

Classic numbers “O Duniya Ke” from Baiju Bawara by Ajay Madwesh, “Dil Ki Arma” by Swati Mishra, and “Dil to Hain Dil” from Muqaddar Ka Sikandar by Deepa Basavaraju set a nostalgic note. Popular contemporary songs “Bolna Halke Halke” from Jhoom Barabar Jhoom by Raj Bharatpur, “Jaane Jaan Dhoondta Phir Raha” from Jawani Deewani by Samir Siddiqui, “Kwaboh Kwaboh” from Force by Sandeep Kowtha, and “Tumko Paaya hai to” from Om Shanti Om by Trisula Siripurapu added delightful flavor to the night. Shyam Gupta kicked it up a notch with attire and attitude to match the retro number, “Om Shaanti Om” from Karz.

The creator of the program, Chand Akkineni, recognized the sponsors and organizing committee headed by Dr. Raktim Sen as program director. Mr.Rajinder Singh, Political Consul/Head of Chancery from The Indian Consulate in Atlanta, was also present.

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