Comedy show lands in controversy - The New Indian Express

Comedy show lands in controversy

Published: 20th February 2013 09:23 AM

Last Updated: 20th February 2013 09:23 AM

A popular comedy show aired by a Malayalam television channel has landed in a controversy with the second prize winning team alleging ‘foul play’ in the selection of winners at the show’s grand finale held recently.

Members of team ‘Four Stars’, adjudged the second best team of ‘Vodafone Comedy Stars’ aired in Asianet channel, alleged that the show’s chief judge Jagadeesh and director Byju Melila ‘sabotaged the judging process’ and pushed them to the second spot despite winning the maximum number of SMS votes and maximum overall marks.

“We got the maximum overall marks and SMS votes and came first in more than nine episodes while the team which was given the first prize was third in terms of overall marks. Also, they came first only in six episodes,” Four Stars’ team captain Ullas Pandalam told a news conference here.

“In the grand finale, there were four judges. While three judges could award 20 marks each, the chief judge could give 40 marks. Despite our repeated requests, the chief judge and the director did not make the marks awarded by other judges public, clearly indicating foul play,” he said.

Four Stars’ members said that they walked out of the show’s grand finale in protest but that portion was edited out of the show.

“The show which was touted to be a live telecast was in fact a recorded one,” they said, adding that they found it more honourable to part with the second prize of Rs 4 lakh than silently suffer the injustice.

“Over the last three years, many teams including ours cancelled many stage shows which was the source of our livelihood and suffered many hardships to participate in ‘Comedy Stars’. But we were paid a paltry amount of Rs 500 per show as travel allowance,” Ullas said.

Ullas said that they decided to hold the news conference to make contestants of similar shows aware of the ‘backstage sabotage’ that might happen in the final selection of winners.

They said that their aim was not to target a particular channel or individual but to highlight the plight of ‘hapless contestants’ who spent years for the success of various shows.

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