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The Fifth Season of Indian Idol started broadcasting from April 26, 2010, on Sony TV. Anu Malik returned as the judge while Salim Merchant and Sunidhi Chauhan were the two new judges this season. The top-17 finals format is used in this season, one among whom will emerge as ‘Desh Ki Awaaz’. The contenders will each stand the chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a playback singer in a forthcoming movie of Yash Raj Films, said a Press release issued by Sony Entertainment Television. The fifth season saw numerous changes to the format of the show. There are 16 semi-finalists instead of 24.

Changes from Season 4

Several changes were planned for season 5. Indian Idol 5 featured fewer "funny auditions," and quickly move its focus to the potential singers during the earlier stages of the competition, thus moving the season at a faster pace. Contestants were more emotional and thus viewers could learn more about them and their pasts than they did in the past seasons. Meanwhile, Anupama Mandloi became the new executive producer instead of Nikhil J Alva and Niret Alva, as Indian Idol 5 production changed hands; where Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. stepped in replacing Miditech Pvt. Ltd., which has been producing the show for the past four seasons.

Rounds and Phases

  • First Round: (Auditions Round)
The auditions were held in Delhi, Kolkata, Ahemadabad, Indore and Mumbai, where 112 participants were selected to perform in Mumbai.
  • Second Round: (In Mumbai)
The semifinals saw the biggest change in this season, as out of 112 contestants selected through the regional auditions, throughout the country in the first round, only forty candidates were selected to go in the second round, using group auditions and eleminations method. Remaining 72 candidates had to return to their homes. In this method, all the contestants were divided in the groups of 5 to 6 in each group, performing together as a group in front of the judges and then judges would decide on the overall performance of the group as well as an individual in the group whether or not the candidate is in the next 40's or not, eliminating the remaining ones.
  • Third Round:
In the third round, these 40 candidates were to form pairs amongst themselves, suggested by the judges, to sing duets. Here 25 candidates out of 40 would go to the next round.
  • Fourth Round:
In the fourth round, every individual would perform in front of the judges on some live music, on the song or tune or lyrics suggested by the judges. This being the toughest round as the participants are not given any chance to prepare before going to perform and they do no know what they would be asked to perform. This round saw the elimination of nine more candidates, leaving behind the final sixteen participants.
  • Fifth Round: (First round in front of the audiences and the public voting comes in the picture for the first time in season 5)
In this round, all 16 candidates would have to perform individually in front of the audiences and of course the judges and show there potential, to be in the next round where the final twelve would perform for the title. This is also the round where the public votes would come in picture for the very first time in the season 5; four candidates out of sixteen would be eliminated facing the public votes.
  • Sixth Round: (Gala Rounds Started)
This is the real round of Indian Idol 5, where all the Final Thirteen would compete for the title. This is a change from last year. There were only twelve last year.

Early process

Rules and Regulations

Contestants are required to be between the ages 15 and 30 on February 1, 2010 and eligible to work in the India. Contestants are ineligible; if they were part of the top 24 from previous seasons , if they hold any recording or management contracts, or if they are not Indian citizens, or are landed immigrants (i.e. temporary residents).

Regional auditions phase

Locations: Auditions were held in the following cities:
Episode Air Date Audition City First Audition Date Call-back Audition Date Audition Venue
April 26, 2010 New Delhi March 9 and 10, 2010 March 11 & 12, 2010 Expo Drive, A - 11, Sector - 62, N.H.24, Noida
April 27, 2010 Ahmedabad, Gujarat March 19, 2010 March 20, 2010 Karnavati Club, Sg Road
April 28, 2010 Kolkata, West Bengal March 3 and 4, 2010 March 5 and 6, 2010 The Heritage Plaza, 89C, Molana Abdul Kalam Azad Sarani
April 29, 2010 Indore, Madhya Pradesh March 15, 2010 March 16, 2010 Basketball Complex, Race-Course Road
May 3 and 4, 2010 Mumbai, Maharashtra March 23 and 24, 2010 March 26 and 27, 2010 Andheri Sports Complex, Veera Desai Road, Andheri West
March 25, 2010 ,
( DOCOMO Subscribers' Audition )
Theatre Round phase

Held at the National Centre of Performing Arts, Mumbai for the second straight year, the first day of Theatre Round phase featured the 113 contestants. In the first round, the 113 contestants were split into several groups. Contestants from each group sang a short solo a cappella performance of any song. Forty contestants advanced. The next round required the contestants to split up into groups of three or four and perform. They were split up into groups of three where the judges take groups one by one and tell them if they made it to the final round. The Twenty-five contestants who passed group day went to the "judges' mansion" and performed one more solo song according to the judges' choice, this time accompanied by a band, before being narrowed down to the final seventeen.

About the judges

  • Anu Malik
Anu Malik has been the jury member on Indian Idol since its inception. Known for his cheeky and straightforward comments, he is the viewers’ favorite judge on the show and a nightmare to many a young participants. He was also a judge in the first Asian Idol held in Indonesia, representing Indian Idol.

The son of veteran composer Sardar Malik, brother of Abu Malik and Daboo Malik, Anu learnt music from Pandit Ram Prasad Sharma. He composed music for various films but his music finally gained recognition in 1993 for his melodious compositions for the movies like Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aayee, Jaanam, Sir and Baazigar. Some of the prominent films that Anu gave music are Aks, Fiza, Filhaal... and Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hai to name a few. His recent work includes Love Story 2050, Kambakkht Ishq, Jaan-E-Mann and the Aishwarya Rai starrer Umrao Jaan.

Anu won the National Award for his work in Refugee and Filmfare Award for Best Music Director twice - for Baazigar and Main Hoon Na. He also got a Special Jury Award (Filmfare) for his outstanding contribution in music. He has worked with some of most prominent playback singers including Sonu Nigam, Kumar Sanu, Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Anuradha Paudwal, Shaan, Abhijeet, K.K., Sunidhi Chauhan and many more.
With his work in crossover films like Bride and Prejudice, he is among the few Indian film composers with international projects to his credit.

  • Sunidhi Chauhan
Sunidhi Chauhan debuts on television as a jury member on Indian Idol 5. A versatile playback singer, best known for her Bollywood film songs, she has over 2000 songs to her credit. She began to sing at the age of four and was spotted in the singing contest, Meri Awaz Suno, which she went on to win.

Her breakthrough in Hindi films was Ram Gopal Varma's film – Mast and after that there was no looking back for her. The year 2008 was a highly successful year for the young singer; as she went on to give a huge number of super hit songs like Chhaliya Chhaliya (Tashan), Rock Mahi, Lucky Boy (Bachna Ae Haseeno, Desi Girl (Dostana), Dance Pe Chance (Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi), and Race Saanson Ki (Race).

Chauhan is one of the few female singers who have sung for some of the leading actresses of this generation like Aishwarya Rai, Preity Zinta, Rani Mukerji, Kareena Kapoor, Bipasha Basu, Priyanka Chopra and more… She has also sung for legendary actress Rekha. She also sang for the comeback films of two leading Bollywood actresses, Kajol, in Fanaa and Madhuri Dixit, in Aaja Nachle.

She has won several awards-- three Filmfare Awards, two Star Screen Awards, two IIFA Awards, Zee Cine Award and Kelvinator GR8! FLO Women Award 2009.

  • Salim Merchant
Salim Merchant is all set to venture into the reality showbiz as the one of the judges of Indian Idol 5. Salim is a music director and singer who has been composing music along with his brother Sulaiman Merchant for over a decade and together they are popularly known as ‘Salim-Sulaiman’. They have scored music for movies such as Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year, Pyaar Impossible, Kurbaan, Neal 'n' Nikki, Chak De India, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and Fashion to name a few.

Salim-Sulaiman started by composing background scores for the movies. Their tryst with Bollywood music direction began when Karan Johar’s movie ‘Kaal’, which was an instant hit. Since then there was no looking back for the Merchant brothers who went on to work with Bollywood’s biggest producers and directors such as Yash Chopra, Subhash Ghai, Ram Gopal Verma, and Madhur Bhandarkar among others.
Salim, who has learned music from the Trinity College of Music in London, has brought a global edge to Bollywood’s music world, to go with the changing face of the film industry. While his music has a deep resonance of classical music, it strikes a chord with the contemporary too. Infusing different themes like Western, Indian Folk, and Hindustani and Sufi into his music, he has a wide range of audiences across the globe.

About Semi-finalists

  • Asit Kumar Tripathi, Bangalore
23-year old Asit Kumar Tripathi is a mechanical engineer from Bangalore. He lives with his family comprising of parents and elder brother. His father is a doctor in Central Excise Police Force, his mother, a housewife while his elder brother is an engineer.

Asit started singing at a young age of 16 years. He hasn’t taken any formal training in singing or music and believes that his talent is inborn. He has been improvising on his singing with every passing day and feels there has been a lot of improvement in his performance lately.

Music is an integral part of Asit’s life and therefore he decided to participate all over again in Indian Idol 5. In fact Asit was rejected earlier in two seasons – Indian Idol 3 & 4. This season Asit has worked hard on his performance and determined to make it into the finals of Indian Idol 5.

  • Kanika Joshi, Mumbai
19-year old Kanika Joshi teaches singing at Ajivasan in Mumbai. She actually belongs to Uttaranchal but shifted her base to Mumbai to join India’s well-known classical playback singer, Suresh Wadkar and establish her career in singing.
She belongs to an extremely poor family. Her parents had struggled a lot to help her in establishing her singing career.

  • Lakshay Nijhawan, New Delhi
20-year old Lakshay Nijhawan is a commercial pilot based out of Delhi. His family comprises of his parents and an elder sister. His father works for a switchgear manufacturing company while his mother works for a bank.
He has been singing since he was 8 years old. Lakshay is both a singer and a guitarist. He auditioned for Indian Idol to showcase his passion for music and singing. His favourite playback singer is Kailash Kher.

About Finalists

  • Arpita Khan, Kolkata
19-year old Arpita Khan is first year BA Sanskrit Honors Student. She has been learning music since the tender age of 5 years from her guru, Jayanto Sarkar and Anu Shila Bose. Her father is a headmaster of a RK Shiksha Peth Secondary School while her mother is a housewife now, earlier she uses to be a singer herself.

Arpita’s hobbies include singing, painting, gaming, listening to music and shopping. She has a huge collection of soft toys and can even open her shop with that kind of collection. She has participated in many reality shows and has also done playback singing for couple of Bengali movies.

  • Bhumi Trivedi, Baroda
21-year old Bhumi Trivedi is not new to Indian Idol. In fact she had auditioned for the show twice – Indian Idol 3 & 4 and even got selected. She had to quit the 3rd season as she was suffering from jaundice and 4th as she had a personal crisis wherein her aunt, who she was very close to passed away because of breast cancer. She now returns to the fifth edition of Indian Idol with much more confidence and determination.
Bhumi belongs to a family that has music inherent in their blood; her father loves to sing while her mother has her own music group. Her elder sister is a trained bharat-natayam dancer. Bhumi along with her sister and mother are regular performers at Navratri events. Bhumi started to learn music while she was in 8th grade. She participated regularly in school and college’s competitions that boosted her confidence and made her take up singing seriously.

Sponsored ads At the audition, she performs on the song, 'babul ki aur suno liye...'.After she finishes with the song, Salim and Annu Malek asks her to sing the same song in western style. Bhumi then suggests performing another song which is in Gujarati, but she will sing it in Spice Girls 'Wannabe' song style. Bhumi presents a unique mix of rap and hip hop in Gujarti which leaves the judges spellbound and she gets her ticket for the next round.

  • Manisha Karmakar, Kolkata
19-year old Manisha Karmakar belongs to an upper middle class family in Kolkata. Her father is a head teacher and her mother is a housewife. She hasn’t taken any formal training in singing but has been singing since childhood. She feels that her exceptional voice will strike an emotional cord with both the jury and the viewers.

Manisha’s favourite singers include Asha Bhonsle and Kishore Kumar. Manisha’s claim to fame is her win in one of the reality shows. Since then her life completely changed and today she makes a good living through various stage shows.

  • Meghna Kumar, Jhansi
17-year old Meghna Kumar from Jhansi shined brightly amongst all the contenders at the Indian Idol 5 auditions held at Indore where she proved that physical disabilities were no barrier in producing stirring performances.
Meghna is a first year Bachelor of Arts student from Jhansi University. She suffers from the Tunnel Vision syndrome wherein the vision diminishes as the person grows older due to reduced retina over a period of time. According to her doctors, she will completely lose her eyesight by end of 2010. Meghna has completed her Sangeet Prabhakar from Prayag University.

This extremely versatile and melodic singer is visually impaired, but she hasn’t let that affect her passion for singing. Meghna has been a part of various stage shows and has even won a gold medal from Agra and Allahbad in Sangeet Spradha. Some of the shows she has participated in include UP Idol, Agra Ninaad Competition and Prayag Sangeet Samiti.
At the auditions, Meghna performs on the song ‘Lambi Judaai…’ which leaves the jury members spellbound. The jury gives a standing ovation to Meghna as well as salutes to her talent and spirit.
Today, Meghna has proved and set an example to the world that nothing can prevent you from doing what your heart desires … not even your disabilities. Kudos your underlying passion and spirit Meghna!!!

  • Naushad Ali Kawa, Jaipur
18-year old Naushad Ali Kawa is a classical and sufi singer from the Pink City, Jaipur. Naushad started his training in singing from his uncle Amanat Ali Kawa at a tender age of 3 years.
He lives with his parents and five siblings – 3 brothers and 2 sisters. Naushad belongs to a family of musicians – his father is a sitar player and his brothers – eldest is a singer, the second plays Santoor while his youngest brother is training to play tabla. Naushad too plays tabla in his spare time.

Naushad has studied till 10th standard from Children Development Secondary School in Jaipur. He has represented his school in several competitions and functions, the recent one being the Ravindra Manch – Ek Shayam Shaheedo Ke Naam where he represented his school and won the first prize amongst the 35 schools from all across Jaipur.

Naushad is a big cricket fan and his favourite cricketer is Yusuf Pathan. Naushad came to know about Indian Idol through his academy and decided to audition for the show.

  • Rakesh Maini, Agra
27-year old Rakesh Maini belongs to a big family comprising of eleven siblings and his parents based out in Agra. Rakesh’s parents are really old and have dwindling eyesight. Their only wish in life is to see their son, Rakesh performing on television. Rakesh auditioned for Indian Idol to fulfil this wish of his parents.

Rakesh has no formal training in music and has largely learnt singing through his own commitment and effort. His favourite playback singers include Sonu Nigam, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Shaan. Rakesh feels his strength lies in being a complete performer with great stage presence and good entertainment value.

  • Sashi Suman, Mumbai
21-year old Sashi Suman has been very passionate about singing since he was in his teens. Since he never got adequate encouragement and support from his parents, therefore he left home seven years ago to chase his dreams. He travelled in Banaras, Lucknow and Madhya Pradesh with just Rs. 1000/- to hunt for good music universities.

He even auditioned to get admission in a reputed music institute in Lucknow, which eventually he cleared and secured his training in music under Ustad Gulshan Bharti for six years. During his stay in Lucknow, one of his college friends offered him accommodation at his home and thereafter he opened a small music class there to teach music to kids. This not only helped him to share his knowledge on music but also earned him a living so that he could take care of his day to day expenses.

He shifted his base to Mumbai about two years ago and initially had no place to live, so he started living at one of the platforms in Andheri Station. Today he earns a living through doing a lot of stage shows. He auditioned for Indian Idol 5 to not only to showcase his talent but also to make his parents understand that singing isn’t a bad profession after all. His favourite singer is Sunidhi Chauhan. Apart from singing, Sashi also likes to play guitar and table in his spare time.

  • Shivam Pathak, Mumbai
20-year old Shivam is a student of hardware networking in Mumbai. His father is a senior accountant in a government bank while his mother is a housewife. Currently Shivam is learning music from Ajjivasan Institute.
His dream is to become a successful playback singer and a music director. His idol is Sonu Nigam as he thinks Sonu is the most gifted and versatile singer of today. Shivam’s hobbies include playing guitar and board games at home.

He is a happy go lucky person and believes in spreading happiness wherever he goes. He wants to be a part of Indian Idol to realize his dream of becoming a successful playback singer as well as showcase his talent to the billions of viewers across the country and the world.

  • Sreeramchandra, Secunderabad, Hyderabad
24-year old Sreeramchandra is a professional singer who lives with his family in Secunderabad. His father is a High Court advocate while his mother is a housewife.

Sreeramchandra started singing during his school days, but began his professional training in singing in the first year of his college. He is a complete music enthusiast and has performed in various music shows including playback singing for few Telegu movies.
His hobbies include sports such as football & basketball, music such as singing and playing guitar. He auditioned for Indian Idol 5 as he feels he has all the qualities to be India’s next big singing sensation. He feels through Indian Idol, he will able to reach as well as showcase his immense talent to the millions of households in the country.

  • Swaroop Khan, Jodhpur
19-year old Swaroop belongs to the Langa family in Jodhpur. The only profession of the people of this and neighbouring village is singing. Likewise, Swaroop’s parents too are deeply associated with singing.
Swaroop learnt singing from his parents and even plays Khadtal and Morchang. He has performed at many stage shows in both India and abroad. He also won the best actor award for Milk and Opium. He has also featured in the Bournvita ad where the kids are seen dancing on his singing.
Swaroop is confident to win Indian Idol as he feels he has an exceptional voice which represents and blends perfectly his style and tradition.

  • Tia Kar, Mumbai
19-year old Tia Kar lives in Mumbai all by her self. Her father is a playback singer, while his mother is a professor in Kolkata University. Tia is a first year fashion designing and law student in Amity, Pune.
She developed interest in singing through her father. Though Tia hasn’t learnt music formally, she feels that she has the potential to learn more. Tia has grown up with her aunt in Kanpur since her father was mostly travelling while her mother was busy with her teaching.
Tia has participated in Indian Idol 5 to fulfil her father and uncle’s dream to see her as a successful singer. Her favourite singers are Sonu Nigam and Sunidhi Chauhan. In fact, Tia takes Sunidhi as her idol and gets nervous while performing in front of her.

  • Vishwas Rai, Allahabad
Vishwas Rai is a 29 years old music teacher from Allahabad. He lives there with his family – parents and his siblings – elder & younger sister and a younger brother. His father is an engineer by profession.
Vishwas teaches as well as studies music at Ganesh Sangeer Vidhya Mandir in Allahabad. He is very passionate about singing and has spent 20 years in learning it as it intends to make his career in playback singing. Vishwas is a big fan of the following playback singers – Mohammad Rafi, Sukhwinder Singh, Shreya Ghoshal and Asha Bhonsle. Vishwas’ hobbies include cricket and playing music instruments such as table, keyboard, harmonium and drums.

He has been a part of a reality show and even hosted one of the episodes in Dubai. He now participates to makes his presence felt on Indian Idol 5 and gain recognition for his voice and music.

  • Yashraj Kapil, New Delhi
18-year old Yashraj Kapil was a winner of a reality show on television. Even though he emerged victorious and gained recognition, his career came to a standstill and he continued to struggle to get due credit for his talent in the music industry.

Being the only child of his parents, he has received a lot of love and attention from them. They have also been his constant support.
Yashraj’s favourite playback singers include Sonu Nigam, KK, Shankar Mahadevan, Nusrat & Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. He makes a comeback into showbiz through Indian Idol 5 as he feels he fulfills each and every criteria to be India’s singing sensation be it talent, faith, confidence, style and a good voice.


Every week, as the show progresses, there would be eliminations where the participants would be eliminated after facing the public votes and judges decisions, Second wee, third week fourth week, fifth week, sixth week, seventh week, eight week, ninth week, tenth week.

Eliminations Table

1. Arvind
May 9th, 2010 Arvind Gujral was eliminated after a face-off competition with another contestant and his close friend during the journey of Indian Idol together, Asit Kumar Tripathi. The result was announced by Deepika Padukone, who came as a gust at the show for the promotion of her film Housefull.
2. Asit Kumar
May 13th, 2010 Instead of 4, the three participants were eliminated by the judges on 13th May after their solo performances, to select the top 13 candidates (instead of top 12, as it was declared earlier), who would go for the next level in Indian Idol. Yashraj was given a special Judges choice favor to be in the competition for the next round and he would be the 13th participant. The results were announced in presence of the guests of the day, the team of Hindi film, Badmaash Company.
3. Kanika
4. Lakshay

Danger Zone Statistics

Date Bottom Three
May 18 Contestant Name(TBA) Contestant Name(TBA) Contestant Name(TBA)

Bottom Two
July 20 TBA TBA
July 27 TBA TBA

Final Three
August 03 TBA

Elimination chart


Did Not Perform Top 16 Top 13 Winner
Bottom 5 Top 3 Safe Safe First Safe Second Judges' Save Eliminated
Stage: Semi-
Place Contestant Result
1 Vishwas Rai

2 Manisha Karmakar

3 Tia Kar

4 Bhumi Trivedi

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5 Sashi Suman

6 Swaroop Khan

7 Shivam Pathak Saved

8 Naushad Ali Kawa

9 Sreeram Chandra

10 Arpita Khan

11 Meghna Kumar

12 Rakesh Maini

13* Yashraj Kapil *

14-16 Lakshay Nijhawan
Kanika Joshi
Asit Kumar Tripathi

Guests and Celebrity Judges

1. Usha Uthup - April 28, 2010
2. Housefull Team - Deepika Padukone and Jiah Khan - May 10, 2010
3. Housefull Team - Riteish Deshmukh, Sajid Khan and Lara Dutta - May 11, 2010
4. Badmaash Company team - Shahid Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Meiyang Chаng and Vir Das - May 13, 2010
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