It took them a couple of years to actually launch a project they initiated in 2007/8. But if anyone can, GEO can. And GEO has. Finally brought Pakistan Idol to Pakistan. The buzz has been in the air for a week ten days but a formal (much too formal, which reads dry) press conference put some facts and figures on the table.
1. Auditions for the very first Pakistan Idol will be starting tomorrow in Karachi, followed by Lahore, Islamabad and even Peshawer and Quetta, according to the newly appointed CEO of GEO Entertainment, Asif Raza Mir (yes, the one and only). There is no reason to ignore or overlook the talent in these two major cities (referring to Peshawer and Quetta), he said.
2. The first round of auditions (Theatre Round) would be followed by a Piano Round after which 13 finalists would make it to the competitions.
3. Pakistan Idol will start airing in December.
4. What would the winner win other than applause? It wasn’t made very clear, though ‘a lot/enough’ was suggested.
5. Music on the Pakistan/Idol forum would be Indo-Pak, you can expect a nice collection of Pakistani pop, classical as well as Indian film music rolling in.
6. The age stipulation may be 16-30 this time but GEO does plan to have another round for the elderly (30-60) and then yet another for kids. This could very well be a joke on Asif Raza Mir’s part but it was hard to tell whether it was or not.
7. And finally, in response to a query on the judge’s panel, there was none. Meaning GEO intends to keep certain elements of surprise. However, rumour has it that Ali Azmat, Hadiqa Kiani and Bushra Ansari have stepped into the very big IDOL panel shoes.
8. Oh, and conclusively GEO has partnered with Clear, Q Mobile, Mobilink and Pepsi for Pakistan Idol. So all of you Coke fans can just eat that!
The press conference, I have to say lacked energy and vigour, that one would have hoped it to have. A couple of corporate speeches, introduction to the Pakistan Idol promo (played to Overload dhols) and a press release handing out general information wrapped it up. I guess GEO spent all energy on the official launch six years ago. Or I hope that the formal, musical and happening launch will happen when it’s ready to go on air…Here’s to Pakistan Idol!