The Remix | Show Review
By Bryan Durham - March 9, 2018
A music reality show that’s also an Amazon Prime Video India original? And looking as good as it does? The video streaming platform must really believe they have a winner of a format on their hands to have sunk so much money into creating THIS. We had a look at the just launched first two episodes…
Don’t get us wrong. It’s an innovative format, but one that’s fairly new and untested. And one that HAS worked in its country of origin: Indonesia. Yes, we’re aware that the original format comes from Vietnam, but the one that the Indian one is a version of, is the Indonesian one.
In short, here’s what the show is about. 10 singers perform 10 reworked pieces of music with the help of DJ/Producers and will be judged by three judges, week after week. There’s no audience voting. At least not this season in the Indian version. The production value is quite high for something that’s essentially going to be on an OTG/online platform.
The only few names most audiences will be familiar with, among the singers are Bollywood regulars Prakriti Kakar and Akasa Singh. Thomson Andrews has been a backing vocalist on far more songs, but is well regarded within the industry. Anirudh Bhola and Sonam Topden are social media favourites. Yash Narvekar is another Bollywood name, who’s only going to get bigger this year (with or without this show’s help). The rest you’ll be introduced to, during the first episode itself.
Of the DJs, Kiran Kamath and DJ Akhil Talreja are known within Bollywood while Nawed Khan, Candice Redding and DJ SKIP are big on the music festival circuit. Su Real’s kinda someone who’s an artist on the rise. There are club DJs like Megha Kawale and DJ RINK also in the mix along with the relatively unknown Kryll. NSG Music Recordings? Well, he is Thomson’s trump card. Why? He’s affable and knows the game better than all of them, having been part of the Indonesian version as well.
They are the real stars. Sunidhi Chauhan, Nucleya and Amit Trivedi all need no introduction, but they get one through song. In the first episode, Sunidhi comes across as the softest mentor of the lot. Nucleya is all technique and critiques accordingly, but when he loves something, he’s vocal about it. Amit is no-nonsense and quite frankly, needs to loosen up a little.
Can’t say I’ve ever seen TV actor Karan Tacker ever host a reality show before, but am damn sure this is his first time hosting one in English for a show where the music is all in Hindi. He comes off as supremely confident and on-the-ball.
THE FIRST EPISODE
As a taste of what to expect, ‘Best Foot Forward’ works like a charm. The initial introduction of the pairs seems rushed It also raises several eyebrows. As a non-elimination episode, contestants ideally should have gone all-out in owning their performances. Something that doesn’t really happen as a whole. Plus, there are a few snags that you just can’t miss. Early days, but still…
Stage production and choreography-wise, full marks to Thomson Andrews and his partner on the show, the very lovable NSG from Indonesia for what quite simply set the standard. Vocally, Yash Narvekar appeared to be most confident and ready from the get-go. DJ Skip and his turntabling skills were quite simply the revelation of the episode.
THE SECOND EPISODE
Called Movie Title Track, the intent is obvious. This being an elimination episode, they’re expected to bring their A-Game. The overall choreography seems to still be finding their feet. But the contestants seem to be working better as a unit. Sunidhi’s mood, in particular, seems to be a bit off and it shows.
The claws are out, as far as the judges are concerned. And quite frankly, so are ours. Thomson seems to falter at the start before coming into his own. Prakriti and Kiran had a better week, but can’t say we completely agree with the judges. Akasa (that jazz opening was really something!) and Skip let it all out and it comes together for them and the audience can’t have enough, but the judges aren’t as pleased. And again, can’t say we agree with them.
One contestant in the bottom three we feel didn’t deserve to be there (no prizes for guessing who). Instead, we’d have put Anirudh Bhola-Megha there.
As a whole, the show is slick from the word go. There’s no put-on airs or a ready-made scripted-feel. The format feels raw, wet-behind-the-ears and that newness doesn’t let you switch away. Early days, but it could clearly do with more drama and better choreography. Would it have worked better with more established names? That’s just another what-if in a long list of what-ifs. What we know for sure, is that when you as the audience don’t agree with the judges, you’re on the right track.