May Issue 2014

By | Arts & Culture | Society | Published 10 years ago

The Pakistan Idol journey comes to an end, but what a ride it has been. From humble beginnings and absolute obscurity, the show has propelled many young talents to instant stardom.

In the final battle between contenders Mohammad Shoaib and Zamad Baig, it was the latter who emerged victorious, securing the highest number of votes to become the first-ever Pakistan Idol. The young “ustaad” from small-town Mandi Bahauddin in the Punjab, is now all set for nationwide fame and success. Alongside, he also won a cash prize of Rs 2.5 million, a brand new Honda City and a contract worth millions of rupees from the Geo Television Network.

Despite being at the bottom thrice, the judges would often say that Baig’s voice reminded them of the late, great Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan — ironically, both Baig and Shoaib sang NFAK’s songs at their auditions and cited him as their ‘idol’ — and it was perhaps his rendition of ‘Allah Hu’ and ‘Yeh Jo Halka Halka Suroor Hai’ that really won over the audiences.

Peshawar’s Mohammad Shoaib’s energetic performances, angelic voice and “1000-watte smile” may have lost out to Baig’s powerhouse vocal chords, but great things are expected from the 23-year-old nonetheless. If American Idol history is anything to go by, it is often the runner-up who goes on to become the more commercially successful of the two.

The grand finale was as grand as promised, with performances by ghazal maestro Ustad Hamid Ali, popstar Sajjad Ali, Sufi singer Abida Parween and judges Hadiqa Kiyani and the multitalented Bushra Ansari.

As a final act, Ali Zafar made a surprise appearance (his second) to join Ali Azmat on stage, as they performed the full version of ‘Dil Maange Ya Abhi,’ the tune that can be heard on the Pepsi commercials on air since the start of the show, featuring the two Alis.

This article was originally published in Newsline’s May 2014 issue.

The writer is a journalist and former assistant editor at Newsline.