Alokananda Chakraborty

After singers, models to hog limelight on CHannel [V]

After two editions of Popstars, a nationwide search driven by CHannel [V] is underway for four new faces that will be part of the next generation of supermodels

Two successive editions of Popstars may have ensured incremental viewership, advertising revenue and top-of-mind recall for CHannel [V], but the big question tailing the programming team at the music channel ever since Popstars II concluded last year has been, what next? After an all-girl band and a mixed band, is a boy band next in line? Channel executives, predictably, choose to remain silent on whether or not a third edition of Popstars will be unveiled. What they are willing to share, however, is that a search is underway for new faces (four, to be precise) that will be part of the next generation of supermodels, landing a contract with CHannel [V] and Elite Modeling Agency.

Titled [V] Get Gorgeous, the channel's latest effort at reality programming was kicked off a month ago with a call for entries. Of the 1,100 entries that came in, 73 contestants have been shortlisted from Delhi, Kolkata, Pune, Bangalore and Chennai. The last leg, which was held in Mumbai yesterday (May 5), will see another 15-20 candidates added to the list, says Amar Deb, head of CHannel [V]. The 100-odd shortlist will be whittled down to 20 probables, who will then be taken to an undisclosed location to be groomed into supermodels. The final four faces will be selected from this lot, and the entire transformation will be captured on camera to be showcased in eight half-hour episodes and eight short capsules in the month of June, Deb informs.

Now, if a model hunt on a music channel sounds to be a bit off-centre, Deb puts up an interesting defence. "Modeling is big with the youth," he says. "And the struggle an aspiring model goes through is akin to the toil of a young singer. We wanted to take the reality TV format to the next level, as in, do something that doesn't involve singing. Which is why the model hunt."

Alongside, the channel has launched a new veejay, Sarah Jane, who will be the host of [V] Get Gorgeous. A graduate in sociology, Jane, incidentally, was discovered during a contest on the channel, and will now join the team of in-house veejays who include Gaurav Kapoor, Purab and Kim.

Programming on the channel comprises a mix of back-to-back music, veejay-led shows, humour, style et al. The channel has positioned itself as a youth channel as opposed to a mere music channel, and according to Deb, the idea is to be as current as possible with programming. "We initiated The Big Vote on the occasion of the General Elections, and [V] Bouncers and Commentary Box during the cricket season," he says. "We constantly endeavour to reach out to the youth, implying that our programming has to reflect that philosophy." © 2004 agencyfaqs!

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