Many channels introduced reality shows during the past two
years. The Stars born were plenty. It is not wrong to say
that the first channel to introduce both audiences and
contestants to “Reality TV” was Sirasa.
The third phase of the show “Super Star Season Three” is in
its final stages being filmed in the “Sirasa” studios in
Ratmalana. With the idea of sharing the heat of their final
showdown we were there.
The number of contestants in the third phase has whittled
down to twenty eight now. Their songs are recorded in
groups. The Ratmalana studio records songs of a group of
eight on each Thursday and Sunday. Last week the day we
entered the Ratmalana studio it was past 1 p.m. By then
recordings had heated up the environs of the studio more
than the blazing day had in store for us as stars were doing
their acts. Te studio was also vibrant with their sweet
songs and the music to go with it.
The contestants were gearing themselves with their best
performances while their camaraderie with the band backing
them developed fruitfully. Yet, the “Super Star” stage did
not create any fright on the contestants. One person
completes his turn, and then the other takes his roll with
the band. After going through the number with the band the
director Suresh Malliyadda says we will begin this way.
The others get into the “Ready Room” to catch tune of the
number sung by their counter-part on stage. While this takes
place the lighting, taping, volume controlling, and camera
keeps rolling at a pace.
Precisely at this time we get chatting with the programme
director Susara Dinal;
“Like it takes ten months for a mother to conceive and give
birth to the child we take exactly the same time to produce
the ‘Super Star’of this programme. Like the egg fertilising
and turning into a child, beginning with hundred and five
thousand we will be left with only the best in the final
rounds.” We then asked him how he tackled the difficult
treading of the avenue of getting to the best of best.
Susara Dinal’s answer was “Last week the Sirasa Super Star
reached a special point. Until then the entire judgement
rested with the panel of judges, we broke away and took it
to the people our audiences to select the Sirasa Super Star.
The road up to that was difficult but once the panel cleared
the way now people have the opportunity to make their choice
by SMS. The first round of the third program started with
hundred and seven thousand applicants, seventeen thousand
were chosen for the second round. By the third round we had
three thousand only. We chose thousand for the fourth round.
There after we selected one hundred and out of that forty
eight were given the chance by the panel of judges. With the
heat turned on now eight contestants are dropped each week.
The final twelve selected according to SMS will face the
final round to select the Sirasa Star to wear the crown. The
judges in selecting these winners went through a tough
period as out of hundred of thousands of equally good
performers to get at the best is a big question mark. But,
our team managed to overcome all that today.”
To our question who were the better ones whether it was
the third or second phase contestants? To which Susara’s
answer was “Yes, the contestants in the third phase were far
better than the ones in the first and second phases. About
fifty percent out of the hundred and seven thousand that
applied were thorough with the subject of music. It showed
in their performance. The final selection is also full of
thorough musicians. We are happy to say that the final
twelve and the one to wear the crown out of that will give
you the opportunity to see a great show. Susara did not
forget to mention the great work contributed by the judges,
the members of the band providing music and the music
“We have judges with great music minds who would not do
injustice to performers, Jagath Wickramasinghe, Amal Perera,
Chandrika Siriwardhana and Samitha Mudunkotuwa all look at
the performers in a special way, broadmindedly. That
different approach makes a great contribution in selecting
the best as the ‘Super Star’. The selection of Suresh
Malliyadda as the music director is a great in the ranks of
the present new comers. His novelness his capability and
experience has specially contributed in giving the programme
clout. Every musician in the band is thoroughly experienced
with instruments and its handling and their input has been a
boon to the entire show”.
We were compelled to ask Susara about the new instruments
imported especially for this show.
“We purchased some brand new equipment from abroad for the
show. As we felt we should provide our audiences with a
great mix of quality music new equipment was purchased in
the form of a good quality violin from Europe, a Piano and
drum set from Japan which we felt would provide the
necessary heat and quality listening to our audiences. First
we have to think of the contestants getting good sound to
contribute to their performance, the entire audience that
have flocked around ‘Sirasa Super Star’ to keep up with this
programme also would benefit with the new instruments used,
to listen to good quality music. That is our wish. We think
they would get a fair deal”. Until all the eight contestants
completed their turns none of them got any resting time.
In the meanwhile we went in search of Kamal
Addaraarachchi. He is an indispensable player in the Sirasa
Super Star story. He rested, while contestants were
training, in the sound control room. In that noisy
atmosphere too we managed to chat with him.
“Only twenty eight contestants are left now. There is a
heavy competition amongst them. Their talent is ecsquisite.
The people are the ones having most responsibility in
selecting the next twenty four. It is imperative that people
choose the most talented of the lot. Ousting one who is
really outstanding by a meager SMS is unfortunate and could
damage the entire image of the show. To keep them competing
with each other is the responsibility of the people. Those
with talent should get into the next round too. Only the
best out of the best can give the show real meaning.
Otherwise this Super Star if selected on the basis of
popularity the show will for sure become meaningless”.
At times Kamal has to face embarrassing moments during
the show. He explained to us one such incident.
“In these type of TV show the mind and body work together.
Such situations can be most embarrassing. Once I had to
mention the names of contestants waiting their turn while
recording was going on. There I showed the audience number
four with my hand, the audience went wild with laughter and
I was confused but soon realised that my fingers showed only
three fingers. Such moments are a plenty. The audience
eagerly waits for a moment where I make a boo boo to laugh.
That gives all a momentary break from the monotony of
listening to one voice throughout”.
We got in touch with the panel of judges who were there from
the beginning to find out their views on the show.
Jagath Wickramasinghe was of the view that “Selecting
forty eight from a hundred and seven thousand is indeed a
formidable task. Now it is the turn of the people to take
them forward from here on. I am sure they will do a good
Contestants as well as the audience was of the opinion
that Amal Perera was too tough with the parties taking part,
we therefore asked him about what he felt?
He said “Only a few contestants are left over in the
competition now. The decisions will not differ simply
because the numbers are few. Whether they can sing or cannot
sing will be openly spoken about to the contestants. Their
mistakes too will be explained to them”.
Samitha was also asked about her thoughts. She replied “I
personally think there are more talented people here in the
third phase than did in the 2nd or 3rd phase of Sirasa Super
Star. Selecting the forty eight was an uphill task. That is
because this competition is full of talent. In my selections
I always gave the talented a fair deal. I will always
standby talent and if some talented entity gets ousted on
the SMS selections it brings tears to my eyes”.
Through the panel judging the contestants and people who
SMS their selections in another four months another ‘Sirasa
Super Star’ will be born.
Pix by Ravindra Dharmathilake