Finally, the much awaited genre of music was covered in Pakistan Idol tonight. It was an amazing episode & the guest judges were perfect as well. I thoroughly enjoyed the episode & a couple of performances too.
The first guest judge was the maestro of Qawwali – Amjad Sabri. His performance was the perfect opening of tonight’s episode. On the high demand Sajjad Ali was called again to judge the contestants & I am glad he once again made an appearance on the show. I am thinking they decided to have a Qawwali week at this point, it would’ve been so good if they had done it before when there were more contestants. It would’ve been a treat to watch as well but as they say better late than never.
The performances & the commentary on them is as follows:
Kashif Ali (KA) of Lahore performed ‘Akhiyaan Udeek Diyan’ of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. I must say this has to be Kashif’s weakest performance so far. I wasn’t too impressed & felt that he performed it more like a song & defeated the purpose of it being a Qawwali. He went off-beat so many times, once again sounded too soft & let the music over lap his voice. It looked like the judges were skeptical in giving away the actual comments therefore they sugarcoated a lot when it came to the feedback. Amjad Sabri pointed out a few places where he went weak & said that it was a good performance. Sajjad Ali spoke about the issue in his ending notes too but said he sang it powerfully. Bushra Ansari said it was a powerful effort that he did. Ali Azmat said he managed the camera, the choir really well & was good. Hadiqa Kiyani gifted him a bracelet she owned & said his performance had everything the feel, the heart, the soul & even the perfection of notes (!?!?!?!).
Ali Asad Zaidi (AZ) of Karachi performed ‘Dam Mast Kalandar’ of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Once again it was too evident in his performance that he was pushed out of his comfort zone. He did attempt it nicely but failed to make a mark obviously. Ali Azmat said that he sounded strained & tensed, in the end he tried to show his personality by changing the feel of the song but overall was a good attempt. Sajjad Ali said that he added the rock feel to the Qawwali by the end of the performance. Hadiqa Kiyani said that this wasn’t his comfort zone & it looked like he already had preconceived discomfort level therefore it was evident in his performance through out. She also went to say that he has a lot of potential & a good tonal quality so he could’ve learnt it a bit more & a bit better. Amjad Sabri said that if he had lowered the scale a couple of notches, his performance wouldn’t have gotten the rock feel to it. He advised him to understand the meaning & the purpose of Qawwali before performing it. Bushra Ansari spoke about accent being also another issue but she said it was a good attempt.
Zamad Baig (ZB) of Mandi Bahauddin performed ‘Ye Jo Halka Halka Suroor Hai’ of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. He came, he performed, he owned & he nailed it completely. I think this has to be one of the best performances of the episode & also of Zamad’s himself too. Not only his voice was perfect for the genre but he understood the meaning of Qawwali & performed it just the way it should have been performed. No doubt he deserved all the appreciation that he got & also the standing ovation he received from Hadiqa Kiyani & Ali Azmat. Hadiqa Kiyani said no one else could’ve performed this specific Qawwali the way he did, he made a connection & created an ambiance which was necessary. Bushra Ansari said he was on a journey & he took everyone along. Ali Azmat said that Zamad has an advantage of this genre suiting his voice but this doesn’t mean that he sang it well because of it. He performed it brilliantly because he himself is a great singer. Sajjad Ali generally commented that he sang it nicely but said he wouldn’t comment on technical issue. Amjad Sabri at first made a vote appeal for him & said that he would’ve given him a standing ovation too but he picked on a minor note that was missing but otherwise said he sang it beautifully & needed a little more command on Qawwali too.
Mohammad Shoaib (MS) of Peshawar performed ‘Mast Nazron Se Bachaye’ of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. OMG! What a stellar performance. I thought he’d get criticised but he shook everyone by surprise when he performed it brilliantly. He enjoyed & he performed & he convinced everyone to say that he deserved to be in this spot. Amjad Sabri’s appreciative hug proved everything, he said Shoaib can become a perfect playback singer & even went to say that Shoaib could be the voice Pakistan is looking for. Sajjad Ali said that he selected a hit number but owned it because to listen to it in his voice was perfect & even Sajjad Ali gave him a standing ovation too. Bushra Ansari whistled herself thrice for him & said that she was worried for the sargam part of the song but the way he sang it, he nailed it completely. Ali Azmat went on the stage & hugged him as well saying he performed better to what we had expected & we thought that Zamad would have an upper-hand in this round but Shoaib proved us wrong. Hadiqa said he is a fighter who has improved tremendously. She said she was proud of him & the way he created the whole environment proved that he was perfect. She went on the stage & hugged him as well.
So, this was it from tonight’s episode & I must say the best performances for me were of Zamad Baig & Mohammad Shoaib. Kashif Ali did get some good feedback but after Ali Asad Zaidi performed & got criticised I felt that his performance was at par of Kashif too. They both didn’t have the feel of Qawwali in their performances & Kashif sang it like a slow song too. If they hadn’t announced in the beginning that this was going to be a Qawwali round, no one would’ve guessed that Kashif attempted a Qawwali. By looking at these performances, I feel Ali Asad Zaidi & Kashif Ali will be in the bottom 2 this week.
All of a sudden I feel that either Zamad Baig or Mohammad Shoaib could win the title. So far Ali Asad Zaidi & Kashif Ali looked like potential winners of the show but after this particular episode, this notion has changed completely. It was once again proven that Kashif Ali is not at all versatile that’s why when he had to perform Qawwali, his mistakes surfaced clearly. Ali Asad Zaidi has been good consistently but after this episode Mohammad Shoaib has overtook the limelight completely because if we look at it Mohammad Shoaib has performed all sorts of songs & might be the only one who has experimented throughout, I didn’t say it before because I didn’t want to give an impression of being biased but after this performance I proudly say that I supported Mohammad Shoaib & he deserves to win the title. :)
I am glad Sajjad Ali reminded the contestants about the versatility because our permanent judges didn’t emphasize much on it & in fact when they got a chance they gave them the songs that they could sing pretty well. I hope we do have a folk round too because this was a treat to watch after so long. Share your thoughts on tonight’s episode & also do let us know which were your favorite & least favorite performances.