Mentors found for Li'l Champs

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By Hindustan Times

Mumbai, April 29 -- It's official. Singer Javed Ali, composer-singers Adnan Sami and Kailash Kher will judge Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li'l Champs' upcoming season that starts towards the last leg of May. Hemant Brijwasi had won the previous season.

This time, the show will last 13 weeks, with two capsules a week. Actor Jay Soni joins last season's hosts, child actors Afsha Musani and Dhairya Sorecha, on the kiddie singing reality show.

And unlike other singing contests on the tube, Li'l Champs will feature original compositions prepared by the mentors and rendered by the knee-high contestants. Ashish Golwalkar, head of non-fiction programming, Zee TV, says, "I don't know whether this can be executed, but we have thrown the idea at our mentors. This hasn't been attempted in any other singing show." He adds that it will make the show unique, saying, "It only flags off late next month, so we have time to work on it."

The channel had been in talks with various music composers and singers to judge the show, including singers Richa Sharma and Mohit Chauhan, and composer Ram Sampath before zeroing in on the aforementioned names.

Golwalkar argues that Adnan, Kailash and Javed are well versed in the technicalities of music and their portfolios boast of big assignments. "Also, they are fairly young and can mix easily with kids. Adnan has composed and sung some of the best tracks in the last decade. Javed has worked in Bollywood, while Kailash is emotional about his music. Each has enough to pass on to his shishya on the show," he adds.

So far, the show has only had one or two hosts per season, but chose to have three hosts this time to pack in extra fun. "Afsha and Dhairya, at times, couldn't handle heavy moments on the show alone," says Golwalkar. "So, they have their Jay bhaiya for company this time."

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