BY ALI NAQVI –
Season 4 of Pepsi Battle of the Bands is uniquely poised to showcase more electrifying performances. Among the six bands, featured in the 3rd episode, only three could qualify for the next round. E-Sharp and Skehlaaj came face to face in the opening battle. The first to appear in the arena was E-Sharp. They did really by being original to the core and stuck to doing what they do best. Skehlaaj’s performance was a disappointment for judges as well as their fans.
E-Sharp made it to the next round and Skehlaaj entered the Red Zone. The idea of the Red Zone is to give one of the three loosing bands a chance to have one more battle. Then came the clash between Mousiqa and Neon. The first to perform was Neon. The song was below average. The melody was weak and the lyrics went nowhere. After listening to Neon all Mousiqa needed was one good tight performance. Mousiqa did exactly that. The rhythm was good, melody was better and the overall feel of the song was way better than Neon’s.
The fans of Mousiqa were relieved as the band had a clear edge on its opponent. The first to speak from judges was Meesha. She asked the bands how they felt and did not give a decisive comment. So we can count her as neutral. Bilal Maqsood, the judge that every band fears for his brutally honest comments, praised Mousiqa for creating a better structured song. Bilal’s comments were tilted more towards Mousiqa than Neon. We can count his vote in favor of Mousiqa.
Faisal Kapadia said straight away that he was disappointed by Neon. “Your performance was below what you could have done,” he said. But he praised Mousiqa saying that they had performed even better than their first performance in the auditions. His comments were not in favor of Neon.
In Fawad Khan’s opinion both songs were lyrically weak. For him the arrangement of Mousiqa was better but Neon had a slight edge with vocals. Fawad also stopped short of giving any verdict. But his comments suggested that Mousiqa will get through.
Finally, three judges gave positive comments for Mousiqa while Meesha was neutral. It looked that it’s all over for Neon. How could they move ahead to the next round when half of the judges were disappointed with their performance? But astonishingly the judges after consultation announced their verdict in favor of Neon.
You don’t need to know the technicalities of music to differentiate between good and bad melodies and that’s what makes music universal. The listeners all over Pakistan are asking what the judges were thinking when they chose Neon over Mousiqa. Just look at the comments on the 3rd episode of Season 4 on YouTube you will find a lot of support for Mousiqa and the bewilderment on the decision of the judges.
One loses interest in the episode after watching judges make such a horrible mistake. Aarish wins in its battle with Starzone because Aarish had a much better ‘song structure’. Starzone enters the Danger Zone and judges again ignore Mousiqa and pick Starzone out of it.
Pepsi Battle of the Bands Season 4 has a nerve wrecking start. But the poor judgement by the judges has raised a lot of questions on the fairness and impartiality of the show. It smells of favoritism which could destroy the reputation of Pepsi Battle of the Bands. If Season 4 kept on making such blunders the show will lose all the excitement, charm and the authenticity it is currently enjoying.