The first episode of Sur Kshetra, the biggest music reality show, began with a bang, with the Indian captain Himesh Reshammiya, belting out a medley of his hits including Main Jahan Rahoon, Tera Suroor and ended the treat with his standard 'Jai Mata Di, Jai Hindustan!'
Next up, the gorgeous anchor of Sur Kshetra, Ayesha Takia took the stage and quizzed Himesh if he was confident about his team. Himesh replied that he had full faith in his team. But as he had selected 10 Indian contestants after rigorous auditions, and the format allowed for only 6, 4 contestants would have to go.
Himesh then introduced the first member of the judging panel that would help him to choose the best 6 singers from the crop of 10. The first was the singer with the soulful voice, Suresh Wadkar. Himesh hugged and welcomed the veteran singer who was all too happy to be on Sur Kshetra.
After Suresh Wadkar, the lady with the golden voice, Alka Yagnik was invited by Himesh on the judging panel. She stressed the fact that the singer whose voice touched hearts would get through in the challenge.
The third and final judge to come in was the outspoken Ismail Darbar. He came in and assured the contestants that they only needed to sing from their heart and not be afraid.
The first contestant to come under scrutiny was Soumyadipta Sikdar. He sang the very difficult Allah Hu. Himesh Reshammiya appreciated the performance but Alka Yagnik and Ismail Darbar said that he had a long way to go in terms of his singing.
Yashraaj wowed the selectors in the first episode itself when he sang the title song of Saawariya. The jury found his mischief and masti while singing very promising, and he found a place among the 6 Indian Surandaaz.
From Mumbai to Kashmir, Mudassir Ali came up next on the stage. Himesh noticed his biceps and the way he walked like Salman Khan in Bodyguard, and called him a bodyguard too. The judges applauded Mudassir's voice but said that he would have to practice a lot to get better.
Ayesha Takia seemed a little miffed as all the contestants til now were guys. But the smile returned right to her face when she saw the next contestant Indrani Bhattacharjee. Indrani, with her powerful voice, sang Bheegi Bheegi, and even attempted its Bengali version. Alka Yagnik seemed very impressed with her voice and her ability to keep her style intact while hitting all the notes.
After the Kolkata girl, a Punjabi puttar took the stage to mesmerize one and all. Diljaan's soulful rendition of Jiya Dhadak put everyone under a spell. Ismail Darbar gave Diljaan the highest praise when he said that he is the first contender capable of competing on an international stage.
Shahzad Ali, the boy from Bikaner, looked like a slight boy when he came on to the stage. But his powerful voice pleasantly surprised everyone when he crooned Naina Thag Lenge. There was thunderous applause at the end of his performance, and the judges had only good things to say about him.
After all the soulful songs, Budhaditya Mukherjee lightened the mood by singing the romantic 'Dil Ne Tumko Chun Liya Hai'. Alka Yagnik, queen of romantic songs herself, said that romantic songs are his forte and he should focus on them. Himesh joked that if he got selected, he would make Budhaditya sing only romantic songs!
Anurag Shrivastav was the next to come under the judges' watchful eyes. Though he did sing well, his voice did not sweep the judges off their feet. Uh oh, not a good sign of things to come.
The last one to come on stage was Aman Trikha, and its true what they about saving the best for last. Aman went into full Rockstar mode as he sang the high energy song Sadda Haq, improvising as he went along. Himesh went gaga over Aman's confidence on stage and the judging panel too, offered him some well deserved praise.
After the test, came result time. Budhaditya was the first contestant to make the team, and was followed by Aman, Diljaan, Shazad, Indrani and Yashraaj. Himesh looked very happy and confident about getting a formidable team to take on the Pakistani singers in this India-Pakistan battle for musical supremacy . We wish them all the luck