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Indian Idol's longest season to end with a 12-hour finale

It will be the longest ever episode in the history of Indian reality television. The duration of 5-6 episodes had to be shot to create 12 hours of content.

To bring an end to the longest seasons of ‘Indian Idol’, Sony Entertainment Television has planned a 12-hour Grand Finale. It will be the longest ever episode in the history of Indian reality television, and will air on Independence Day (Sunday, August 15) from noon to 12 a.m.

At a press event, Ashish Golwalkar, head - content, Sony Entertainment Television, said, “We have done marathon runs of TV programmes and rehashing of old episodes earlier. Generally, one episode of ‘Indian Idol’ is about an hour and 30 minutes long. So, if you calculate, the duration of 5-6 episodes had to be shot for creating original content of 12 hours. We have been preparing for eight days now and all our contestants are exhausted."

Titled ‘The Greatest Grand Finale Ever’, Golwalkar said that Independence Day was chosen as the Grand Finale as the beginning of the 75th year of Independent India coincides with the 75th episode of ‘Indian Idol’. The show was even extended by two weeks so that the Grand Finale could be held on this date.

Describing it as a 'pressure cooker' situation, Golwalkar said, “You have to programme 12 hours straight. It means you have to shoot three weeks of content at one go. It is maddening for the editing, music, costume team, and every other department. But it is also exciting. Like I said, it has never been done before. Maybe, this will mark a new era in reality TV.”

The winner will be announced live at midnight, however, some parts of the 12-hour episode will be pre-recorded.

The episode is expected to record high TRPs and, subsequently, give a boost to the Sony’s ad revenue.

‘Indian Idol 12’ has been quite different from the other seasons. For the first show, auditions were conducted virtually as they were being held during the first wave of the COVID pandemic. During the second wave, the shoot had to shifted to Daman for two months due to COVID-related restrictions in Mumbai.

Speaking on how they have changed the way auditions are conducted, Golwalkar said, “‘Indian Idol’ was the first show to have fully digital auditions. We can’t do the whole show digitally. So, we developed a hybrid model for auditions. We learnt from our experience during ‘Idol’, improved on it and are now using this hybrid model for our other shows as well."