The fourth season of India's Got Talent winds to a close as 12 finalists compete for the top prize.
Sizzling with stars of the fourth season of India's Got Talent
As the fourth season of the show draws to a close, the final showdown - which will be broadcast on the Indian TV channel Colors tonight - will see 12 teams and individuals competing to win the judges and audience over with their talent. Get ready for singing, dancing and a whole lot of acrobatics. In addition to some truly amazing performances, the makers of the show have lined up a treat for their viewers: Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma, riding high on the publicity around their latest release Jab Tak Hai Jaan, will appear as guests on the finale and will perform a special segment.
Shiraz Irani, 24, from Pune is an expert at a form of dance that is the perfect complement to her curves: belly dancing. Ever since she saw a belly dancer on stage in 2006, she has dreamt about the day she would be skilled enough to perform on stage herself. Seven years of hard work later, she is one of the 12 finalists. Irani has wanted to appear on the show since it started in 2009 and views performing at the finals, in front of all of India, as the best award. Once she is done with the show, Irani plans to release a DVD tutorial on belly dancing.
Meet the comeback act of the show: Ocean Kids from Mangalore. Eliminated at an earlier episode, this group were brought back upon the insistence of the judge Kirron Kher. She managed to convince her fellow judges and the producers of the show to make them a wild-card entry for the finals. Since 1988 the troupe has specialised in narrating Hindu mythological concepts through dance and has trained more than 5,000 students in India and some in the UAE.
Sumanth and Sonali
The show's youngest contestants, 14-year-old Sumanth from Noida in the state of Uttar Pradesh and 7-year-old Sonali from Kolkata, are favorites of judge Karan Johar, who has called them "the Sridevi and Kamal Haasan of the show". The two are tipped to give an explosive performance at the finals. Trained at the Kolkata-based Bivash Academy of Dance, the duo wowed the judges with their acrobatic salsa. Their victory in the finals now depends on audience votes. Bivash also trained the finalists Bad Salsa from the third season of India's Got Talent.
Mukesh and Tanya
The extremely skilled aerial-act performers Mukesh and Tanya impressed the judges right from the first episode with a breathtaking acts involving ropes.
An accomplished young singer, 12-year-old Deepraj Rai from Sikkim has a voice that belies his age. Raj does beautiful renditions of songs sung by vocal maestros such as Kailash Kher and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.
Margam Dance Academy
The group from Margam Dance Academy performed beautiful Bharatnatyam for their audition. In all likelihood, their performance at the finale will be equally mesmerising.
Stop the presses
Originally scheduled to be aired last Sunday, the Grand Finale of India's Got Talent was postponed due to the demise of Shiv Sena's Bal Thackeray. While the leader's death was being mourned all over India by politicians and celebrities alike, an official tweet from Colors said: "We will be airing our India's Got Talent - Grand Finale next weekend. We'll keep you updated." The episode was being shot when Thackeray's death was announced. In addition to the judges and contestants, Bollywood stars Khan, Kaif and Sharma were on the show's set to film their segment but it all came to a halt in a show of respect.
The production team rescheduled the shoot for later in the week.
About the show
The Indian franchise of the Got Talent series, India's Got Talent is co-produced by Indian TV channel Colors and Britain's Fremantle Media. The show premiered in June 2009. It follows the global Got Talent format of auditions in front of three judges and a studio audience, with judges making the call until the semi-finals and viewer voting factored in from there onward. It is now Asia's biggest talent show and the team behind it travels to different cities across India in search of interesting local talent in areas such as singing, music, dance, impersonation, puppetry and illusion. Contestants are not just limited to these areas though - anyone can compete and there is no age limit for the contestants. The winner receives a cash prize of 5 million rupees (Dh333,000) and a Maruti Suzuki Ritz. The show is India's first major platform for new talent.
Season four started on September 22, with Manish Paul and Cyrus Sahukar as hosts and the model and actress Malaika Arora Khan, the actress Kirron Kher and the director and producer Karan Johar as judges. In later episodes, the director and choreographer Farah Khan replaced Arora Khan.