Sonu Nigam in reality shows: ‘Always praising participants doesn’t help’

Singer Sonu Nigam says reality show judges should avoid openly praising contestants as it will only mislead aspiring singers. Sonu, who has served as a judge on shows like Sa Re Ga Ma and Indian Idol, said in an interview with ET Times that contestants will stop honing their talent if they always get praise from judges.

“As a jury, we are here to teach the participants something. We must give honest feedback to the participants. Always praising them won’t do you any good. Humesha wah wah karoge toh kaise hoga (how will it work, if you always praise them)? We’re not here to spoil these kids. Even the contestants won’t understand when they’ve performed well and when they haven’t, if we keep praising them,” Sonu said.

The singer’s latest comments come weeks after he defended Amit Kumar for criticizing the quality of singers on Indian Idol 12. Amit Kumar, who was a guest on the episode where contestants paid tribute to his father, legendary singer Kishore Kumar, told ET Times he didn’t enjoy the show but had to praise the contestants because he was asked to.

Following his comments, Indian Idol 12 host Aditya Narayan and composer Manoj Muntashir made comments in support of the show. It’s when Sonu Nigam released an Instagram video requesting the creators of the show to end this controversy and stop abusing Amit Kumar’s silence.

“No one can do justice to Kishore Kumar’s songs. His son Amit Kumar is a great man and he has seen this industry a lot more than we have. He is a very calm and dignified person. He says nothing and you are taking advantage of this unjustly. I want to tell the Indian Idol team to end this controversy. It’s not wrong with Amit ji and Indian Idol either,” Sonu said, explaining that it’s not wrong on the part of the show’s creators to ask Amit Kumar to encourage participants by saying good things.

Since Kumar’s comments, many musicians have been candid about the various aspects of judging reality shows. Music composer-singer Salim Merchant supported Amit Kumar when he told radio host Siddharth Kanan in an interview that it was not unusual to ask judges to praise contestants. Salim even said that maybe because he didn’t listen to such requests, he doesn’t rate shows today.

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