| 24 Feb 2024
Colors Infinity's 'The Stage' to go on-air this October

MUMBAI: Colors Infinity’s first homegrown music reality show ‘The Stage’ is all set to offer Indian audiences their first English music reality show. It will premiere on Saturday, 10 October 2015 at 9 pm and will have musicians like Vishal Dadlani, Monica Dogra, Ehsaan Noorani and Devraj Sanyal on the jury panel, while Shibani Dandekar will play host.

The show will be a one-of-its-kind reality show, with judges taking the final call on the contestants’ eliminations. And unlike most reality shows in India, this English property will not be influenced by Bollywood elements. Furthermore, the winner of this SOL Production property will also get a recording contract with Universal Music India, and will be seen performing gigs across the country, ensuring the show will not only be limited to television, but will also explore new avenues for participants on-ground.

Talking about the same Viacom18 Head English Entertainment EVP Ferzad Palia said, “It’s not just a TV show with 20 episodes. TV is just a part of this platform that we are providing our artist. A winner will be selected on the show but the journey beyond will be more important. They will get a beautiful music release with Universal Music. There will also be gigs and on-ground events. And we will keep looking for new talent over the years.”

Palia’s comment is an indication that ‘The Stage’ will have more than just one season. The reality show is expected to have a new season every year, with on-ground events being planned around the year.

Contestants participating in the first season of this home-grown property will be a mix of different regions and experiences. “There are people who have never sung professionally, but are great singers. So, when they came onboard we did a bit of grooming. Some contestants were, and some are a part of a band. So, it’s a mix that we have here,” he added.

There were no open auditions for the reality show, and contestants have been selected through the channel’s network. However, that has not stopped Colors Infinity from reaching every town in India for its selection. To ensure that the search has not been limited to just metros, participants have been picked up from different regions of India. “Judges and mentors have groomed them and helped them get rid of their initial inhibitions. The journey has been truly gratifying. We are looking out for a big sensation that will make a mark across the globe,” said Palia.

He further explained why they selected Dadlani, Noorani, Dogra and Sanyal as part of the jury, “Each of these judges has a different connect. Vishal is a singer and he has composed for different genres of music so he can give them that lens. Ehsaan is a technical guru. He has even seen Sunidhi Chauhan’s demo tape; he has been around for a long time. Monica gives a different perspective on performance; and she has performed internationally. Devraj can tell what will work and what will not from a business perspective. He can take a look at the overall packaging.”

When asked if Sanyal would play Simon Cowell on the show Palia explained, “I don’t know who will play Simon Cowell on the show. Everyone on the show has been extremely forthright, strangely enough. The judges have had very difficult decisions to make in terms of eliminations. The discussions have gone for hours extending the shoot.”

Additionally, the reality property will also witness the presence of guest judges on the show every now and then.

Given the fact that ‘The Stage’ is an English reality property, the question of production quality does come up. However, while Palia confessed that the production quality does not match that of International shows, it is still a full grown production, and that the channel has left no stone unturned to make it the best in its power. “The international investments are multiple times more than ours, but then we forget that viewers do not look at a show for its scale of production. We have many shows with expensive scales that have failed because of the content. We are proud of the quality that we have put out,” he stated.

The show has brought onboard Renault as its sponsor, and talking about it, Renault India Marketing Head Virat Khullar said, “As a company we at Renault stand for Innovation and Passion and ‘The Stage’ is a fresh new concept in Indian television which is bound to change the scope of entertainment in this country. This belief in the show is the foundation of our partnership with Colors Infinity. We are glad that we can be a part of this huge transformation of English entertainment in India.”

On the unique concept, channels co-curator, Karan Johar said, “When I first heard about ‘The Stage’ I was amazed at the introduction of such a novel concept for Indian television. I can see a paradigm shift in the reality TV shows in India.”

Fellow co- curator Alia Bhatt, stated, "English music is such an important part of our playlists but we don’t get to see it anywhere on our music platforms. So 'The Stage' is an idea whose time has come.”

The channel also plans to launch more music shows as Palia said, “It could be talent and non-talent related music show. It (Colors Infinity) is a blank canvas and we started with the most unexpected property. We are starting with more stuff. More local production but, we do not have the liberty to share it.”

‘The Stage’, which is also powered by dating app Truly Madly, will be aired every Saturday and Sunday at 9 pm.