By Usha Wagle Gautam/Doha
The 20-year-old Buddha Lama from Pokhara emerged as the Nepal Idol 2017 last Friday, as thousands thronged to the Asian Amphitheatre, Grand Mall for the live telecast of the show. In addition to the title, Lama walked away with a Mahindra KUV 100, a record deal worth 1.5 million Nepali rupees and Nepali Rs2mn in cash.
Nishan Bhattarai and Pratap Das stood first and second runner-ups. Bhattarai walked away with Nepali Rs1.5mn, while Das won Nepali Rs1mn. The grand finale was attended by an estimated 15,000 people from all walks of life. Nepali ambassador Dr Ramesh Prasad Koirala was the chief guest.
Nepal Idol, affiliated with the Idol franchise, is a reality show aired by AP1, Nepal’s only HD television. The Qatar finale was jointly organised by Onix Action International and Everest Nepal Youth Association. The winners were selected through SMS and mobile app voting. The organisers said that about 93,100,000 votes were cast during the finale.
Ambassador Prof Dr Koirala praised the organisers for hosting the programme in Doha. He also took the opportunity to get the message across to Nepalis in Qatar that they can always visit the embassy in case of trouble.
Singer Indira Joshi and musicians Kali Prasad Baskota and Nhu Bajracharya were the judges of the event. Baskota is a renowned singer, musician, composer and lyricist in Nepal. He began taking vocal classes in 1999. His musical career as a lyricist and composer began with the release of the song Chahana Sakiyo. In recent times, his song Thamel Bazaar from the movie Loot 2 (sequel to the highly successful Loot) is one of the most viewed Nepali songs – it is the third-most viewed Nepali song on YouTube.
Indira Joshi is a Nepali singer, model and actor. She released the song Rato Ghanghara from her album Dance with Me. She also sang the item song Udhreko choli from the movie Loot.
Nhu Bajracharya is a Nepali music composer and singer. He is widely regarded as one of the best music composers in the Nepali music industry. He has composed dozens of famous songs in Nepali and Hindi, and one song in Chinese.
Lama was ecstatic after being declared the winner, calling his win “unexpected.” He said, “ I want to be adored, not only by the people of my community but by everyone. I will pursue my career in music, and see people appreciating my musical works.”
To learn music better, Lama joined Gurukul Institute and devoted himself to music from a fairly young age. He learned to play harmonium, along with other percussive and stringed instruments. Lama’s years of learning produced multiple successes: first being tagged as the fourth top singer in the singing competition Big Icon in 2012; second as the performer in various shows; third as the singer of few records. His father is a dustman at the municipality while his mother stays at home. Lama is currently studying Tourism Hospitality Management.
Bhattarai, the first runner-up, said Nepal Idol is a large platform on which he got a chance to showcase his vocal skills to a large audience. He said even if he did not win, he is sure that he won the hearts of the audience members both at the venue and back home. The show, he said, has provided him the “best platform” to rise to fame.
Das, the second runner-up, said he cherishes the love and affection shown to him by the audience members. One of the top 10 contestants of Nepali Tara, Das is already on his way to a successful career with songs like Chiya Coffee and Motorcycle Ma.
Apart from the top 12 contestants, the finale saw performances by comedian duo Madan Krishna Shrestha and Hari Bansha Acharya. Their performance was comical, yet rich with social messages. Two of the most celebrated comedians in Nepal, the duo are more popularly known as Maha Jodi. They have performed all over the world, creating social awareness and national unity through laughter. Both are talented singers, actors, music composers, writers and lyricists.
Teria Magar, Nepali winner of two Indian dance reality shows, gave an electrifying performance. Magar was performing for the second time in Qatar. She is also the peace ambassador of the Lumbini-Kapilvastu Day Movement Magar.
Singer Hemanta Rana performed his current top hit, Saili. He started his career back in 2004 with the album Paap Punya. Saili tells the story of a husband who goes abroad to work, sacrificing his chance to be with his loved ones.
Nalina Chitrakar performed songs from her latest album. Chitrakar is a popular singer in Nepal and was named the country’s best pop singer in 1999 and 2005. She writes songs about the harmony between Madhesi and Pahadi people, and fights against the discrimination of the Madhesi communities of Nepal.
The programme was hosted by Sushil Nepal and Rima Bishwokarma.
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